Everyone wants their lips to look attractive and smooth. They are not only erogenous organs during the act of intimacy but serve the purpose of articulating speech and help in opening the mouth. Unfortunately, exfoliative cheilitis is chronic disorder of lip which may compromise its normal function and its esthetic importance.
In exfoliative cheilitis the lips become dry, flaky, and peel constantly. The lips become red and develop cracks and fissures. It is a painful condition of lip. The cosmetic disfiguring may make life miserable and patients begin to avoid socializing; they want to remain secluded and become depressed.
In order to treat the condition effectively it is necessary to know the predisposing factors and treat them. The condition may resolve spontaneously but sometimes the exfoliative cheilitis is difficult to manage, especially when he is extremely tensed and stressed.
What Causes Exfoliative Cheilitis?
The exact cause of exfoliative cheilitis is uncertain but stress is considered to be a factor in triggering the condition. Stressful events may lead to self damaging behavior in a person. Lip picking and biting is a common phenomenon in such individuals. Persons who breathe through mouth or have poor oral hygiene or lick their lips frequently are at a risk of suffering from exfoliative cheilitis.With constant picking there is excessive build up of keratin which is the main cause for constant involuntary peeling of lip skin.
Candida infection is an opportunistic infection and may further exaggerate the condition. Some people also believe it to be associated with vitamin deficiency and hormonal problems. Men and women equally suffer from this condition. It mainly affects people below the age of 30. People known to suffer from HIV infection are also susceptible to exfoliative cheilits.
Symptoms Of Exfoliative Cheilitis
In exfoliative cheilitis there is constant peeling of outer layer of lip, usually one lip is affected.It is the vermilion border of lip which is affected. The lips become dry and flaky. They become inflamed and fiery red due to peeling. Cracks and fissures develop on them. They get chapped.
Patient may complain of burning and tingling sensation. The lips become discolored. The sores may bleed and form hemorrhagic crusts. Eating and speaking becomes difficult. He may also have tooth cavities with poor oral hygiene.
All this causes discomfort and makes the person to withdraw from social activities and spends most of the time at home. He also feels depressed.
Natural Remedies For Exfoliative Cheilitis
Exfoliative cheilitis mimic many other conditions. Therefore clinical tests may be required to exclude other conditions. Exfoliative cheilitis is therefore a diagnosis of exclusion. Patient’s behavioral and psychiatric history helps to ascertain the condition.
Exfoliative cheilitis may spontaneously regress after a period of time. However, in many cases the disease prolongs for a lengthy period.
- Application of lip balm helps to keep the lip moist. Apply it two times in a day. It alleviates itching and burning caused due to dryness.
- Often anti fungal creams help to treat the condition, especially when yeast germs are found on the swab taken from the lip.
- Applying cold compresses helps to heal the condition faster. You can add vinegar to cold water.
- Application of lactic acid lotion is known to alleviate burning and other symptoms of exfoliative cheilitis.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables as they provide necessary vitamins and nutrients for healing. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and tea as they all worsen already dry lips.
- Since the triggering factor is underlying stressful condition, attempts should be made to reduce stress. Meditation and yoga are beneficial in reducing stress.