Licking Your Lips Does Not Always Make You Sexy

Here in the States, where the air is dry, especially in the winter months, I try my best to remember to apply lip balm as frequently as I can.  However, I also have a very bad habit of licking my lips when they are dry.  It is an almost instinctive action whenever I feel my lips getting dry, and potentially, I believe that was what caused my lips to dry out.  Vicious cycle and all.  Evidently, I contracted an awfully painful crack on the left corner of my lips as a result.

Thinking it was just a mild case of chapped lips, I applied more lip balm on the crack but the next day it became worse.  It also formed some sort of a whitish scab which had my itchy fingers fiddling with it, sometimes resulting in bleeding.

I didn’t know what to do then, because I did not know what I was suffering from.

Day in and day out, I suffered.  It was so painful to open my mouth even to eat, so much so that I lost my appetite.

Well, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I discovered what I was suffering from is called Angular Cheilitis (key-lai-tis).  Apparently this condition worsens itself when the said area is licked, or if the sufferer lacked a certain nutrient in the diet (iron, Vitamin B12 or folate). Not surprisingly, I had just about finished my bottle of prenatal vitamins a week before, so that could be the reason for contracting angular cheilitis too.

After upping on my nutrients and not seeing any improvements, I applied a host of products on the inflamed area.  However, I still woke up each morning barely able to brush my teeth properly.  It was excruciatingly painful.

If you don’t know exactly how painful Angular Cheilitis is, you can try looking it up for pictures, because frankly, it’s way to icky for me to post a picture here.  Just type in “Angular Cheilitis” as the search term and you’ll get plenty.

So finally, I read that some people have had success applying dabs of Bacitracin, an antibiotic ointment on the area overnight.  And because I happened to have a tube of Bacitracin at my disposal, I tried that.

I washed the area with soap and dried it thoroughly, then I applied salt directly on the wound.  It stung for a bit, but I had tried with salt water and it did not work, so I knew I had to try with salt.  Then I applied the Bacitracin in small dabs and let it sit overnight.

Well, whaddya know?  It was all better the next morning! 🙂

I did this ritual for just one more night and it was completely cured!

I don’t ever want to go through this pain again, so I am trying to be more vigilant and NOT lick my lips from now on.  I use lip balm and lipstick (sometimes), and I gently cleanse my lips with a gentle scrub about once a week.

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One Response to Licking Your Lips Does Not Always Make You Sexy

  1. Kit says:

    Ugh, been there, done that, loathe it. In the end, Kiehl’s lip balm was the best protection against chapped lips. Try it 🙂

    The Giddy Tigress says: Thanks for the rec, Kit!

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