chapped lips

What is chapped lips?

When the skin on the lips gets damaged, it peels out and looks dry. This is caused because of inflammation on the skin. When this condition becomes worse, it is called chronic chapped lips. This is treatable by following simple remedies. It is kind of a myth that chapped lips occur only during winter. When proper care has not been taken, chapped lips can occur during any weather conditions.

Symptoms of chapped lips

  • Visible dry lips
  • Dehydration
  • Redness
  • Blood spots
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchiness or irritation on the lips

Exposure to too much heat, cold, water and cosmetics might also cause chapped lips.

Chronic chapped lips

Not all chapped lips condition lead to chronic conditions. When not taken care in the right time and right way, it can lead to serious medical conditions called chelitis or sometimes herpes. Chelitis is a skin condition which is caused by extreme exposure to sun rays or heat. When a person is affected by chelitis, lips form a whitish border where the skin pigmentation changes. When chelitis is not cared for properly, it might lead to skin cancer.

When a person is affected by herpes, it might also lead to chapped lips. If a person is affected by herpes, it is contagious and spreads very easily from affected person through a kiss or contact of saliva by eating from the same plate.

Home remedies to treat chapped lips

Apply oil

When you find your lips to be dry, just take oil of your choice – almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil or mustard oil, apply it on the lips and skin surrounding the mouth. This will help the skin to improve moisture and prevents dryness.

Regular application of oil also helps to reduce the irritation and redness.

Directions to use:

  1. Take few drops of oil in a cotton ball
  2. Apply on the affected area
  3. Let it stay on the skin for a minimum of 25 minutes
  4. You need not rinse it off
  5. You can apply before bed and leave it on overnight


You can apply oil of your choice many times a day.


Honey is one of the best natural ingredient that cures chapped lips very effectively. Essential elements in honey help to hydrate and also nourish the skin. It reduces flakes and dryness, which prevents from skin on lips getting worse.

Directions to use:

  1. Take few drops of honey
  2. Apply on the affected area
  3. Let it stay on the lips for a minimum period of 30 minutes
  4. Rinsing not required


You need to stay alert that you don’t lick off the honey from the lips. If you lick it off, make sure you apply again.


Creamy butter can heal dryness, cracks and moisturize skin effectively. It treats chapped lips when applied on a regular basis.

Directions to use:

  1. Take a small piece of butter
  2. Apply on the lips
  3. Let it stay on the skin for 20 minutes


Butter can be applied on the skin many times a day. As butter might add on to your fat and calories, make sure that you do not eat it off.

Sugar scrub

Sugar scrub is not only effective for facial skin but it is also very effective for chapped lips. The coarse nature helps to remove dead skin cells and dry skin effectively. It restores moisture and hydrates the skin. When combined with honey, it can moisturize and nourish the skin on the lips.

Directions to use:

  1. Take half teaspoon sugar
  2. Mix half teaspoon honey to it
  3. Mix well
  4. Apply on the lips and gently scrub
  5. Let it stay on the skin for sometime
  6. Rinse it off with water if necessary


This can be done once a day.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant that contains many medicinal properties in it. It can benefit general health and wellbeing when consumed internally and applied externally. It a natural coolant and hydrates the body and skin.

Directions to use:

  1. Extract aloe vera gel from the leaf. Click here to know how to extract gel
  2. Apply the gel on the affected area


Fresh aloe vera leaf is very effective, if not available, ready-made or packed aloe gel is available in stores.

You can also make lip balm at home which is chemical free. Click on the links to know how to prepare the lip balm.


Tips for prevention

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Do not smoke or consume alcohol
  • Do not use extreme chemical based cosmetics
  • Treat dryness in lips before it gets worse

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.