When it's cold and dry out, you likely find yourself dealing with chapped lips way more often. There's no denying that weather is a common culprit behind dry, peeling lips (and one you're probably very familiar with), but that's not the only possible reason for the flakes.
Not drinking enough water is a big one, obviously. Other habits like licking your lips too much or eating salty foods can also play a part. But the root cause can sometimes be an underlying health condition like sunburn, allergic reactions, or skin cancer. When that's the case, you need to check in with your doc instead of piling on the lip balm and hoping for the best.
That'll most likely not be necessary, though. “Most cases of chapped lips can be treated in just a few weeks without a dermatologist’s intervention,” says dermatologist Ife J. Rodney, MD, the founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics. And sometimes peeling is just a side effect of the physiological makeup of your lips, according to dermatologists Doris Day, MD, and Adam Friedman, MD. That means some people are just more prone to having cracked lips than others.
But it’s always a good idea to know how to tell if all you need is a simple lifestyle tweak or more intense medical help. Dermatologists break down some of the most common offenders for the dryness and how to fix the situation ASAP.