Dehydration, contact dermatitis, the sun and lack of certain vitamins can cause dark lips and chapped lips.
Dehydration causes Chapped Lips
Water is necessary to keep the skin hydrated and remove toxins from the body. A person should drink at least 6 (200 ml) glasses of water a day. When our body does not get enough water our skin and lips become dry and chapped.
Contact Dermatitis can cause Chapped Lips and Dark lips
Contact dermatitis is a skin reaction resulting from 'contact of an external substance with the skin.' Cigarettes, lipstick, coffee and tea can cause contact dermatitis which in turn causes the lips to darken and chapped.
Sun Exposure can cause Dark Lips and Chapped Lips
Too much sun exposure can also cause the lips to darken and chap. The layer of skin on our lips is quite thin and lacks the pigment melanin. Melanin helps protect the skin from the sun. As the lips continuously get exposed to the sun it gets damaged. Lip care sunscreens are an ideal protection for lips against damage caused by too much sun exposure.
*Sunscreens come with the symbol SPF meaning Sun Protection Factor. SPF 21 is a recommended sunscreen since the number indicates how many times the lips are capable of being burnt by the sun if the sunscreen was not applied. Many advise to apply sunscreen an hour before going outside in order for it to be effective.
Lack of Vitamins can cause Dark Lips and Chapped Lips
When we don’t take enough B-complex vitamins and iron our lips can become dry and chapped.
If we don’t consume enough foods rich in vitamins A (carrots, tomatoes and green, leafy vegetables), Vitamins C, riboflavin, calcium and magnesium, it can cause our lips to darken.
Listed below are a few home remedies to treat Dark Lips and Chapped Lips
Mix equal amounts (1/2 teaspoon each) of lime juice, honey, and glycerin. Apply on lips. Leave the paste on for 30 minutes and gently wipe off with wet washcloth. Use this treatment every other day. It may take up to several weeks to see results depending on the severity of the dark discoloration on the lips.
Lemon juice, yoghurt and honey treatment for Dark Lips
Mix equal amounts (1/2 teaspoon each) of lemon juice, honey, and yoghurt. Apply on lips. Leave the paste on for 30 minutes and gently wipe off with wet washcloth. Use this treatment every other day. It may take up to several weeks to see results depending on the severity of the dark discoloration.
Vaseline, Olive oil or Shea butter to treat Chapped Lips
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline, Olive oil or Shea butter on your lips at night before going to bed as it will help moisturize your lips and protect it from dryness and chapping. If you’re uncomfortable with using any of the three products on your lips at night, then use a good lip balm sunscreen during the day to protect your lips.
© Suranee Perera 2012