Lips sit like a delicate rose on our faces, enhancing our facial features and expressions, yet get least prioritized when it comes to caring! Observe how you pick the best for your skin, without compromising! What about your lips? This is why they get dry, dark, chapped, pigmented, and wrinkle-ridden, due to internal and external environmental aggressors, and one lip balm cannot solve basic lip problems how can it cure other major ones- Lip allergies, cold sores, swelling, blisters, vitiligo, fordyce spots, etc!
Let us one by one understand what causes these problems and what lip treatments are available worldwide!
1. Dark & Dry Lips :
There are many reasons responsible for Dark, Colorless, Dry, and Pigmented Lips. Sun damage, Ignorance, Lip biting, chapping, heredity, Diet, Dehydration, Vitamin Deficiency, etc. While certain things are not in our control, and desired results cannot be attained overnight, we can surely take care of them through different options available by individually assessing each one’s pros and cons and going for the ones whose pros exceed the cons!
Treatment for dark & dry lips :
Although there are various lip fillers and lip injections available that give instant results ranging from lip enhancers to plumpers! But they might not be accessible to everyone because It is Heavy on pockets. People, in general, cannot afford these treatments and even if they can it would cost them a lot! Plus there are chances of mishaps, and it requires a lot of aftercare- No major lip movement, No friction, and No flights for 72 hours, etc! It does not last long- Lip fillers generally last from 12 to 18 months depending upon your age and metabolism so younger people tend to burn calories faster, so lip fillers don't last as long as they do on elders!
Similarly, the ingredients that can be easily found at home do not cost much and do not have any side effects but they aren't scientifically proven and provide results after a very long time. Plus they may cause barrier damage if used inappropriately, So home remedies- A big NO-NO!
So what should you do?
Use Organic lip care products
Look for lip care products that are backed by science and contain skin-care active ingredients that get the work done! There are many brands specializing in lip care that have regime-based products for every step- Cleansing, Exfoliating, Moisturizing, and Treating!
Use skin-friendly, organic, and cruelty-free products
Ingredients matter just as the outcome, One cannot add any and every active ingredient together even if they do the same work, they might not be compatible with each other and can cause side effects or serious allergic reactions! Look for products that contain skin-friendly ingredients that are organic and not tested on animal skin!
Following a proper lip care regime
A regime is the most crucial part of attaining desired results! Each step has its relevance and can make a huge difference in your lip care journey! Cleansing, Exfoliating, Moisturising, and Treating lips! Without cleansing, applying a lip balm or ButterMask is a total waste! The same goes with exfoliation, Coating lips without removing the dead lip cells is going to make them crack!
Skincare actives that are science-backed and skin-friendly work wonders on lips and get the work done much more effectively and efficiently! Alpha Arbutin, Pracaxi Seed Oil, PHA Lactobionic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide, Ferulic Acid, etc, You must have heard these names already if you are a skincare enthusiast! These actives are proven to reduce lip pigmentation, prevent lip aging, protect lips against environmental aggressors, and provide hydration, and nourishment to the lips!
What to do along with following a Regime- EAT, DRINK, AND RELAX-
Even after applying the best of the best lip care essentials out there, you won't be able to achieve desired results if you eat poorly and are dehydrated! Ultimately it comes down to what you intake! Eat a vitamin-rich diet and have all the necessary nutrients in your daily food to get the utmost benefit of lip care products because it will push the product's efficacy! Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day and have fruits that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins!
You have to have a sound body and mind to attain your goal! You cannot get tensed every day and expect a sooner outcome by applying loads of a product in a single day! Believe in yourself and the product that you chose, keep the consistency at pace and you will surely get forward in your lip care journey!
What not to do while on the pathway to attaining healthy lips-
You must not bite, lick or pick your lips as Saliva is your lip's closest enemy! It dries out your lip skin and makes your condition much worse! Limit the salt and spice intake and try to drink hot beverages with care! Give your regime some time to show results and have a leap of faith just for the time being!
2. Cold Sores:
Cold sores are blisters that appear on the mouth or other skin surfaces due to a virus known as herpes simplex. They are contagious and can spread from person to person through close contact. They can last up to 2 weeks and can extend longer depending upon the severity. Although there is no permanent solution for them, certain drugs can prevent them from coming back and help in healing them! Most people who contract the virus never actually develop symptoms and while you may not know it, the virus can also spread by sharing- cosmetics, food and drink, lip balm, razors, toothbrushes, towels, utensils, and drinking glasses.
Generally, there are four to five stages of a cold sore:
Stage 1- At first, a tingling sensation for about 24 hours before blisters appear gets experienced! Usually feels like burning!
Stage 2- Blisters form with burning sensation and pain!
Stage 3- The blisters burst out and form painful sores varying in shades of red!
Stage 4- The sores dry out and scab over causing itching and cracking.
Stage 5- Eventually, The scab falls off and the cold sore heals.
How to treat Cold Sores?
NOTE- Always apply any Ointment/ Treatment/ Medication/ Home remedy with a cotton ball. Touching it with bare hands may or may not increase the chances of infection!
Look for lip masks containing exotic butter like shea and cocoa with wheat germ oil, and Actives like Palmitoyl Tripeptide and Pracaxi seed oil that deeply hydrate and nourish the lips! They can soothe the sores if they aren't bleeding during the initial stage! It can be eased with an ice towel! Although cold sores clear up after troubling you for a while, you should consult a doctor if the blisters are painful beyond tolerance.
There are pills and ointments prescribed by the doctor. Some of them include- Acyclovir (Zovirax), Valacyclovir (Valtrex), Famciclovir, Penciclovir (Denavir), etc.
Mostly, the pills work better than the creams. For extreme infections, some antiviral drugs can be given with an injection!
There are other Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen that can be taken to ease the pain as well! There are over-the-counter anesthetic ointments and creams available such as lidocaine or benzocaine.
3. Lip Swelling:
Lips may swell due to underlying inflammation or a buildup of fluid under the skin of your lips.
It is advised to try and find the cause of the swelling the reasons may range from-
- Allergies and skin conditions
- Muscle and Neurological Ailments
- Dental issues
A condition that tends to develop only in the lower lip is Cheilitis glandularis.
The one on the upper lip is called Granulomatous Cheilitis.
You can apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel. You can cure severe dryness and lip chaps with a mild nourishing lip balm or lip ButterMask! Do not exfoliate your lips if they are swollen! But take care of them by following other steps of your lip care regimen ! If the lip does not get any better you will have to consult a doctor.
4. Lip Infection
If the cracking around the corners of your mouth and small white patches appear suddenly out of nowhere, Congratulations! Your lips are infected with fungus!
This generally happens due to an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth.
The causes may range from-
- Excessive licking or rubbing of the corners of the mouth
- Asthma Inhalers are corticosteroid
- A high-sugar diet
- Chronic dry mouth
Fungal Infection on Lip Treatment
It is not as scary as it sounds, many times just an anti-fungal medication can cure it!
Doctors may prescribe anti-yeast medications and ointments can help clear up the redness. The cracking on the lips- mouthwashes, or lozenges can clear up any fungus inside the mouth.
Replace your toothbrush immediately before and after treatment for your fungal infection.
Avoid the infection by ensuring mouth appliances are clean, maintaining good oral health, following a lip-care regimen, and limiting smoking!
5. Lip Vitiligo
Leucoderma, also known as Lip Vitiligo is a skin condition that can affect any part of the body, including your hair and even the inner side of your mouth. White patches start appearing on the affected area!
How does it begin?
Generally, vitiligo on lips starts with small patches of discolored skin. Though they can appear anywhere on your lips, it usually does on the lower lip! You might just have white patches that appear only on your lip and fingertips- It is known as Lip-tip vitiligo!
The causes can range from-
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Neurogenic Factors
- Occupational Hazards
Lip Tip Vitiligo Treatment
When To Consult A Dermatologist About Vitiligo? From the start! Because it can trigger the thyroid as well! Although There is no cure for vitiligo, different methods can help prevent or camouflage them! From Home Remedies to Laser Therapy, everything is accessible to treat Vitiligo these days! Choose your suitable treatment according to the severity of your vitiligo!
Protecting your lips by wearing a lip balm with SPF may help prevent sun damage that can trigger new patches to form.
People believe that lemon and sweet basil extract and a mixture of turmeric and mustard oil can help reduce the spread of vitiligo. Ginkgo biloba- A herbal plant, its oral intake or application has shown a positive impact on vitiligo patients!
The Food part- Try including apples, bananas, leafy greens, chickpeas, and root vegetables such as beets, carrots, figs, and dates in your diet!
Vitamins like vitamin B-12, vitamin C, vitamin D, and beta carotene, and minerals like copper, iron, and zinc can help lessen skin discoloration.
6. Fordyce spots on lips
It is a skin condition where oil glands appear on the hairless areas of your body. These spots appear on and around your lips and sometimes on your genitals. They are non-cancerous and non-contagious.
Treatment for fordyce spots on lips:
To treat anything it is crucial to find out the cause behind it! What causes Fordyce spots? - the overgrowth of ectopic sebaceous glands! You may even have Fordyce spots at birth. They become more evident during puberty when your hormones start changing.
There are various treatments to heal Fordyce spots-
Topical creams, like retinoids, may reduce Fordyce spots. Cryotherapy is using extreme cold to freeze and destroy tissue. Other than this- Carbon dioxide laser skin resurfacing uses short-pulsed light to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage, and A pen-like instrument to "punch" your skin to remove tissue during Micro-punch surgery is also a common procedure to treat them!
The best suitable treatment must be advised and done under the guidance of a physician!
With endless options and everyone claiming for theirs to be superior to the others, it becomes quite challenging to decide what to opt for, for which concern!
For concerns that can be easily addressed at home like dry and dark lips, you can look for skin-friendly lip care products, pack them up with a good diet, and cut off on the habits that trigger them! For skincare and lip care diseases and allergies, it is advised to consult a dermatologist or a doctor depending upon the requirements of the particular concern!
Remember it is not the end of the world! Everything can be cured just with the right care and regime!