Dermatology, Cosmetic Surgery, Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery & Laser Surgery

Lip Licker’s Dermatitis

Lip dryness is, at a minimum annoying, and, at worst, painful. Dry lips may crack, become scaly and even bleed. One way to keep the lips moist is by licking them. As the skin around the mouth gets irritated, many will begin to lick at it, which makes it even more red and irritated. This leads to the classic lip licker’s dermatitis we see often in the winter.

The most important treatment is to stop licking your lips. This sounds easy, but it is hard for someone with dry lips. Regularly applying a bland moisturizer, as often as hourly, is necessary so you won’t feel the need to lick your lips. At bed time, a larger amount is needed to lessen lip licking while sleeping. In some cases prescription medications are required. With proper treatment, lip licker’s dermatitis goes away in a couple of weeks with no scarring or permanent skin damage.

Tips for treating Lip Licker’s Dermatits:

1. Minimize licking of Lips (very difficult)

2. Apply over the counter hydrocortisone ointment to affected areas twice a day

3. Apply Aquaphor ointment hourly or whenever you have the urge to lick your lips


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