Chapped lips, distinguished by redness, swelling, sensitivity and open fissures or cracks, are not only unsightly but also painful. Although commercial lip balms can temporarily help the burning, they can actually make chapped lips worse. In severe or chronic cases, scaling may appear around your lips; if this happens, you should see your dermatologist or physician. Many people report relief with homeopathic remedies. If you are interested in an alternative, holistic method of healing, consult with your doctor about trying homeopathic medicine to promote healing for your chapped lips.
Because chapped lips are often caused by exposure to cold, wind and dry air, the condition is more common in winter. Other causes include obstructed breathing from allergic rhinitis or sleep apnea, the use of certain medications, bacterial infections and dehydration. Chapped lips can also be caused by contact dermatitis due to irritants or allergens in cosmetics or skin-care products.
If you have chapped lips, the products you are putting on them to soothe or disguise them may actually be causing the problem. In an attempt to ease the burning of chapped lips, you may begin to lick your lips excessively; this habit can lead to a chronic condition called cheilitis, typified by a scaling pink band around the mouth.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like cures like,” and your homeopath may recommend the use of substances that, in large doses, would cause symptoms in a healthy person. For chapped lips, you can expect him to prescribe substances that have caustic, burning or irritating effects on skin, but because homeopathic medicines are so diluted, the amounts are too minuscule to cause harm.
Your homeopath will likely recommend natrum muriaticum, made from sodium chloride (table salt) and used to heal both mouth ulcers and cracked lips. She may also advise you to use apis mellifica, made from honeybees and used to soothe the swelling, burning and stinging of chapped lips, as well as calc fluor, a salt valued for its ability to heal delicate tissues. For those painful cracks in your lips, he may prescribe calendula officinalis–made from the marigold plant and used to promote wound healing–as well as sepia, made from cuttlefish ink, to relieve your chapped lips’ itching and burning.
Precautions and Tips
Don’t use any gels, balms or lipsticks that contain alcohol or petroleum products; they will dry your lips out more. Instead, use natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter to protect them. Avoid spicy or salty foods, and try to resist the temptation to lick your lips. Drink plenty of fluids to combat the dehydration that worsens chapped lips.