Discussions By Condition: Mouth conditions

Peeling Lips

Posted In: Mouth conditions 120 Replies
  • Posted By: yalith
  • October 18, 2007
  • 09:36 PM

I am 25, and for several years I had a terrible habit of biting my lips. (Like actually biting the skin off of them). I have since managed to stop biting them (very difficult) but have been disapointed that they will never heal. I have this problem for a couple of years now: the skin grows back, hardens, and when it gets wet, turns white, and peels. It just wipes off if I touch it.

After searching on the internet, I found another forum where people have the EXACT problem as I do, only, one of them has to been to doctors, to no avail. He's baffled all kinds of doctors and tried all kinds of medications and nothing works.

The reason I used to bite my lips is because they constantly felt like they had something on them, like paper, and I had to get it off. Now I am wondering, if all along, the reason I was biting, was because of a problem with the skin?

Does anyone know what this is?

-There is no pain (unless I peel too soon, then skin underneath is raw)
-Skin dies every 2 to 3 days
-It's only half my lip, the half closer to the inside of my lip, and inside of my lip (the outer part of my lip is still normal type of skin)
-There is a distinct different in the two types of skin - one is hard and not stretchy, one is normal
-If I don't peel, the hard skin peels away from the normal skin... it looks ugly

What could this possibly be?

This is the other discussion I was referring to. My symptoms match the first poster and many of the replies:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Dermatology/messages/31789.html

I hope somebody can please help me get to the bottom of this I want my lips back!!! :( I'm 25 and this has been going on far too long!

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  • Hi, my name is Jenni, i am 14 going on 15. I have the exact same condition as you, i have had it since i was about 4 or 5. It just plain sucks! I have never bitten my lips or anything. i dont want to go to my doctor because i know he wont do anything. I hate this condition so much, it is ruining my life!! Please, if you find anything on how to treat this condition, tell me!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 6, 2007
    • 03:14 AM
    • 0
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  • Resolution! I found something very good! After MANY YEARS of peeling and biting my lips I decided it's time to stop. I have been reading a lot of "lip peeling" forums lately trying to figure out best solutions. First I was ready to see a dermatologist, then I was planing to buy steroid creams and such, but before that I decided to try something simple and cheap. And VOILA! This is my fourth day without peeling lips!!!:D I I am very excited and hope it will last! The remedy: Blistex Lip Medex. You can find it in any pharmacy stores. Here is the link so you can take a look at it: http://www.blistex.com/Lip%20Medex.htm . It is absolutely the best thing I have ever tried! I bought it four days ago and applied to my cracked, half-peeled, sore lips. Few minutes later lips felt wonderfully soft and hydrated. I applied it a few times more later that evening and just before going to bed. When I woke up next day - my lips were wonderful and smooth! No peeling, no flaking, no inflammation - NOTHING! So, the key is - apply a thin layer on dry lips, whenever you feel they are getting dry or scratchy, or after eating. TRY not to lick or touch them. Let the skin heel properly and you will see what I am talking about!:D Like I said - it's my fourth day with great looking, soft and KISSABLE lips!:) Keep doing that and maybe the problem will go away completely. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 11, 2008
    • 07:02 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi I'm 22 years old and im also facing EXACTLY i mean EXACTLY the same problem faced by yalith and jenny. I'm suffering from this for the past 2 years. Its really embarassing when we eat out. The color of the lip changes as soon as it gets wet.Its terrible and im searching for a solution all over the web .Pl Pl help us!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Put moisturising cream on your lips and fingertips . This is stop the dryness of your skin and automatically you will find that you have stopped bitting yourself.-------------------------------
    Sadie12 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I always thought that i was the Only person with this problem until i just looked this up looking for a solutioni am 19 years old and i always bite my lips and i feel i bite my lips because they peel and i thought my lips peeled because i would bite my lips.. it's also like that for me every morning i wake up my lips are hard and crackedwhen i brush my teeth they turn white and start peeling after i get out of the shower they feel raw and i continually bite themim constantly applying carmex and that does nothing but make them even more raw and they start to peel and i start biting.. i was even biting as i was reading this forumi dont let guys kiss me because of the fear that my peeling lips will get onto there's i would like to be able to kiss againi would like to hold a conversation without biting my lips and holding my head down so that whoever im talking to wont be disgusted and distracted by my white peeling lipsi thought that i had some type of disease or something until i just read thisim going to go out there and try something because i am soooooooooo sick of this!!! i really am!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the same problem, only mine is seasonal (mostly when the seasons change) and it started when I was 18 (24 now). The doctors didn't know what it was either so they put me on all kinds of medications that only made it worse. Then I asked my podiatrist brother-in-law and he said it just needs to be moisturized.....What works for me: mix Aquaphor (Healing ointment/Advanced therapy) and Cortaid (1% hydrocortisone) and massage for a few minutes onto lips and surrounding area after brushing/showering/washing face. Always apply to clean skin. I do this 2x a day. During the day I use Blistex or Curel intensive lotion--I massage these in for a minute or 2 also. Hope that helps!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had (and still every know and then have) the same exact problem. My lips would become raw and chapped then later the skin would harden (and look awful) and then it would start cracking and peeling. Also the skin around my lips started to darken drastically. I went to an expensive dermatologist and she told me its because I lick my lips too much. The ensembles in your saliva break down the sensitive skin around your mouth and cause it to become irritated, chapped, and eventually peel. She prescribed me a cortisone like cream called 'Desonide' to stop the itching and irritation (and also the licking of the lips because it tastes absolutely horrible) and told me to apply a great conditioner called Aquaphor when i felt my lips were becoming dry. This stuff works great. and when applied just right, looks like a high fashion lip gloss. (I just wouldnt suggest slathering it on all over your mouth unless you want to look like you just dove face first into a bucket of KFC :-) I hope this helps
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 13, 2008
    • 06:04 AM
    • 0
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  • IQUOTE]Id just like to say that i developed exacly the same problem 2 years ago and the skin litterally falls off my inner lips like pieces of disgusting cornflakes once the skin has dried out. And the softer pink raw skin exposed underneath is tender but not sore. My outer lips remain perfecly intact and with the normal darker pigment. The only thing that i can attribute to this cycle is that 2 yrs a go i was really stressed and anxious therefor biting my lips a little more. I was also exposed to a lot of cold harsh weather and often let my lips completely dry out. I had also started a new medication Lamotrogine for depression and I have a slightly low blood white count. Oh yes and i was eating loads of chillies and Cayene pepper to the point that my throught was on fire and lips burned from the chillies in the spicy dishes. I then noticed in the 2nd yr it gradually got worse and hit its ultimate worse when i went away to Africa and got quite bad sunburn and my lips for the first time started to blister and bleed. I returned back and there has never ever been blistering since that once but the skin cells on my lips reproduce at an unaturally fast rate ever since. The good news is that iv possibly found a cure- bepanthene. Its an ointment my mother used to use on me when i was a baby. Its a nappy care ointment and its produced here in the UK by Bayer PlC, Bayer House,Strawberry Hill,Newbury,Berkshire,RG14 1JA. ive been on it for a week now and my lips have stayed moist and soft with no peeling for the first time in 2 yrs.its a miracale,it really is and its cheap. I rekon a culmination of all the things above caused my lip problem and possibly a lowered immune system but i have no proof just feeling. Ive just had tests to see if i also have thyroid disfunction as thats associated with the way the body can repair its self.I hope this all works for you too. -
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 12, 2008
    • 01:36 PM
    • 0
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  • Hello friends. I'm 22, and I've been having the same problems as you for years. It's terrible. My lips are just a mess. The skin peels off in patches over and over again. White junk often develops on them at random times, though most often after a shower, while eating/drinking, or after talking at length. It's very embarrassing. Many times I've been out in public with people, only to get back in my car, look in the rear view mirror and realize my lips looked nasty. It's so frustrating because there's nothing I can do before going out to prevent this from happening. I carry a small mirror in my pocket just to do "lip checks" once in a while. Though that's not always available since I'm a guy and don't want others to see me pull out a mirror in public.When I was younger, I had assumed I had this problem just because my lips were chapped from weather and/or licking, but I've realized that's definitely not the case. I don't lick my lips. They are rarely exposed to cold weather or the sun and I take good care of my skin/lips, often using lip balms. At one point I thought the white junk was residual chap stick, but even after long boycotts of lip products I still had the problems.I decided to try a non-petroleum chap stick... Things looked better for a while and I thought I had cure, but the symptoms returned. I've noticed that any body product, not just for lips, seems to work well for a while but then I get "immune" to it. I recently heard of a product called "lip exfoliator". I figured this would help, reasoning that it would gradually remove dead outer skin microscopically from my lips in a controlled way so that it wouldn't need to peel off in chunks later.... But I was WRONG! I've been absolutely disgusted with this problem. In my room I have 9 different lip balms laying around with every imaginable ingredient it it, which all represent failed attempts to fix this problem. I saw someone here recommended lip medex, but I've tried that too so don't bother. (In fact, FYI, I was also investigating another issue I had with my lips, "fordyce spots" on the upper lip. When browsing the internet I saw someone say blistex lip medex cured them magically too. I suspect that blistex is systematically spreading false praise about their products to boost sales, so beware.)I haven't bothered to go through the hassle of seeing doctors, since unless you're dying, all they know how to say is "it's best to leave it alone," "don't worry about it," etc...But just a few minutes ago I came across this article:http://curezone.org/forums/fm.asp?i=1050295The article points to the problem called Exfoliative Chelitis:http://www.wikihow.com/Cure-Exfoliative-CheilitisIt seems like I'm onto something because these are my symptoms exactly. What we have must be some medical condition because I know this can't be happening to everyone. The good news is that we may finally know what's wrong with us. The bad news is, however, the solution- "detoxifying the whole body" - is quite vague and sounds cumbersome. There's no concrete set of procedures we can follow, and I'm surprised I could have an internal problem like this since I'm otherwise very healthy.But I'm going to continue browsing and look more into this. Hopefully this helps you. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 8, 2009
    • 11:05 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have exactly the same symptoms described in this thread. I'm 28 and have had this condition as far back as I can remember (4 yrs old).There are lots of childhood pictures of me with my mouth bleeding from the corner because I couldn’t resist biting the peeling skin off…I’m seeing a lot of suggestions in previous posts about taking care of the aesthetic aspect, but I’m actually more interested in what’s causing it so I can find a long-term solution. I’m tired of having to apply lip balm throughout the day & night (my purse has approx 7 – 10 different kinds of lip care products at any given time). Every time I forget, it’s peel-o-rama and cracked – sometimes bleeding – lips in the morning.Some say vitamin / mineral deficiencies can cause this. I’ve been taking supplements (either multivitamins or just a cocktail of single supplements of particular vits – Complex B vitamins, Zinc, C, etc – regular doses. I don’t mega-dose) and have noticed that the peeling has all but stopped (even during Winter). I’ve also taken to drinking Green and/or Red (Rooiboss/RedBush (tea) as well as lots of water. I used to apply either petroleum jelly, olive oil, or Nivea intensive night before going to bed. Balms containing Hyaluronic Acid are also pretty good.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 12, 2009
    • 10:56 AM
    • 0
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  • Greetings,My research on this has lead to a conclusion is that this isn't a matter of "letting the lips heal", as my dermatologist told me after having me try a number of steroids, tropical creams, and a waste of a biopsy that left me with a NASTY scar on my lip... but rather there is an underlying disorder of the body here... Something is lacking or is excessive that is causing the skin of the lips to grow, flake, and eventually scab over.The are several other conditions that involve the excessive growth or inflammation of a certain layer of the skin, the most popular probably being eczema.I am currently doing research on this condition and I would like everybody here who is looking for answers such as myself to e-mail me at Young616 at gmail dot com describing (briefly and not too personally) their:* basic background info (nationality, city/suburb?, high stress lifestyle?, depression?)* experience with this condition (how long you've had it, what it looks like, optionally a picture)I have a few very reasonable theories in the works, and right now I need data.Thanks,Young
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 18, 2009
    • 09:40 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • Hello again, this is Mike C from a few posts ago. I actually have some very good news for you all. EPICERAM cream is a new prescription product on the market and it has substantially helped my exfoliative cheilitis condition!!! Here's the tale of my quest for a cure...As I mentioned, over the years I've tried a huge assortment of lip products and nothing has stopped the peeling.When I first began researching E.C., the few websites that referenced EC said the primary cause was candida yeast overgrowth, and that it should be addressed by "detoxing the body." I looked into detox extensively, even bought the "idiots guide" detox book, but most of it seemed nonsensical, and in fact, most doctors say detox is a scam. I bought an OTC detox liquid and it did nothing to suggest it cleaned my body... didn't even have a laxative effect. My doctor tested my saliva for yeast and it was negative. I also began taking caprylic acid, an anti-yeast supplement, just in case. After all this, nothing changed in terms of my lips. For my overall health, I started drinking organic milk (since I drink 2 gallons a week) and filtering my water to reduce the number of toxins I'm ingesting, but I doubt this helped my lips.The doc sent me to the dermatologist. I happened to see him on a day when my lips were at the worst of their peeling cycle. And he said all the worthless things I expected a doctor to say. "Oh it's harmless.""It's harmful to my appearance.""Nothing you really can do, you're just genetically predisposed to chapped lips.""Nobody in my familiy suffers from this. Nobody else has to peel skin off their lips all day.""Don't peel it off!!""Wait, are you telling me you'd be OK walking around looking like this all day." (There were crusty sheets of skin folding up off all over my lips.) "I only left this on to show you.""Ok maybe I wouldn't. I'll write you a prescription for hydrocortizone 2.5%, on and wait here is a sample of some new ointment out there. If this helps you let me know and I'll get you more."He handed me a sample of "EpiCeram" and told me to put it on twice a day, and to top it off with Aquaphor, which is basically vasaline with a few extra ingredients to make it less sloppy... it just helps keep the lips moist like any chap stick would. If you put EpiCeram on by itself, your lips may feel dry.So I tried the EpiCeram first, instead of the hydrocortizone, since the latter is a steriod and I wanted to avoid that. I had no confidence this would do anything. My lips were about to peel the first time I put it on, and I noticed that the skin did not peel off later that day like I expected it to. My lips were still a bit messy the first few days, but nothing peeled off!!! After about a week, my lips had improved substantially. I've been using that everyday since and it's been a miracle. Once in a while when I wake up I have a little bit of crusty skin, but that's probably because I've been without the cream for 16-ish hours. Also, make sure you give the cream a few minutes to absorb before you drink anyting, take a shower, or otherwise get the lips wet or it could wash off.I'm running low on the 5g sample, so I just ordered a prescription size of it to pick up tomorrow. I don't know yet how much it'll cost, but even if it's a bit pricey, the 90g size tube should last a very long time. I hope my 2 insurances cover most of it. (Side note: In my original post I also complained about some "white gunk" that sometiems develops where the 2 lips meet. You may have had this, or seen people with this sometimes. I'm pretty sure this is a separate condition from EC. I think they're disjoint. I'm still trying to figure out the gunk problem, but the EpiCeram doesn't fix that. It only stops the peeling. Lately I've tried using a washrag to wipe the inside of my mouth around the lips (daily) to get any residue out, thinking this may be what's building up on my lips... I think this might be helping, but the jury is still out.)Overall, I'd recommend to all of you to give EpiCeram a try. From what I read on their website, it seems safe. It's not a steriod. I'm hoping it's safe for long term use, and that I wont develop a tolerance to it. I don't know how my EC compares to yours, but if your case is worse than mine (trust me mine was pretty bad), maybe 3x a day would be better for you. I hope the word spreads about EpiCeram, because I've been trying to resolve this EC for years and nobody should have to deal with this. I really believe EpiCeram is the cure for most, if not all cases of EC.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 21, 2009
    • 11:07 AM
    • 0
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  • I have had this problem aswell, i however got it by using acutane. This is one of its side effects.I have found a way to heal it permanently just follow 3 simple steps for a month:1. Peel as much of the existing dryed out skin as possible off your lips, bleeding is fine, just make sure your on the first or second layer of skin(should be really moist and when you touch it you should feel a burning sensation).2. Get some vitamin E supplaments from your drug store and cut them, apply the vitamin E directly to your lips amply , spread it around. Do this twice a day, once when you wake up, once when you go to sleep.3.Drink atleast 5 cups of water a day. This makes a huge difference in how dry your lips are.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've been struggling with dry, peeling, bleeding lips for a couple of years. Several things I thought were helping like Zinc and Probiotics, but nothing was completely working. I would take an Iron supplement occasionally, but not every day. I've been out for awhile and my lips were getting worse. I started using Natural Factors Easy Iron High Bio-Availability 20mg chewable tablets. It started helping within a few days. They still get dry at times and peel a little, but nothing like before. I can actually use lip balm to help with the dryness; whereas before it made them worse. I'm using Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have had this problem of peeling lips as well.I have asked doctors about it to no avail.The condition started after I began acting in local theater. I began to think that it could possibly be the result of using the theater make-up/lipsticks. Maybe I contracted a fungusfrom that. Just like one would get from a nail salon.Anyway, try using a cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar applied to the lips for 20. Three times a day. Some others have tried applying Vicks Vaporub.Good Luck.J.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi everyone..i have been peeling my lips for a while now, like years, so i got tired of it and decided to stop. i tried sooo many things on how i can heal my lips because every time i would stop picking and peeling at them they would peel their selves.. well i stopped peeling 5 days ago and NO little flakes or anything, and no peeling, i haven't even been tempted to peel or nibble at all, they are almost healed and look great. so i tried to figure out what i was doing now that made them heal now. like why now? what's so different? well over the years ive tried many different chap sticks and none of them worked i've tried vasaline too and that SUCKED but it wasn't because of the vasaline or the chap sticks i was using. The day i stopped peeling my lips i started using CARMEX, just the original kind but i don't think it was because of that because ive used it before, in the past and it didn't help. But it was because i wasnt getting enough protein..ive read online that dry chapped and peeling lips is a result of a protein or vitemin defficiuncy or whatever so lately ive been eating lots of good things with a lot of protein and calcium and NO GLUTEN. things that have vitamin a,c d e and all those other good things..i suggest getting multi-vitamin and mineral supplement pills those would help. they are not prescritioned..and also drink A LOT of water, for the past 2 weeks i have been drinking nothing but water and its helped a lot and now every time i'm thristy for something i only crave water nothing else, its really weird.. im sure a lot of you have heard this before but your lips get cracked and chapped and peel because you are not hydrated so drink water! i know how annoying this bad habit is, and ive looked EVERYWHERE and have done EVERYTHING but i really think this will help. Whatever you do, DO NOT PEEL OR NIBBLE AT YOUR LIPS, IF YOU DO THEY WILL NEVER HEAL. Good Luck, i'll keep you all updated.
    Kelly378 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've had peeling lips for about 8 years now. I orginally thought it was an allergy to lip balms (possibly the lanolin in them), but even using just plain vasoline causes issues. My problem is only on my upper lip, and mostly in the center. It does occasionally go away, but it always returns. I used to use cortizone (otc) with aquaphor on top, then i just used plain aquaphor. This helped some, but never completely fixed the problem. I also have had the issue of the white gunk that appears around the corners of the mouth. The best that I can tell, this is a dehydration issue. If you drink more water during the day, it should go away. I started drinking a lot more water than i used to, and the white gunk is gone.I will definitely try using supplements to see if this helps my peeling lips...i'm willing to try anything. and if i come across any miracle cures i will let you all know. i'm glad to know i'm not the only one that suffers from this.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Dear all,By applying steroids (hydrocort 1%) is not advisable at lips. Menthol + camphor is not advisable for infants coz menthol + camphor may caused toxicity to them. The underlying of the problem should be addressed. Get rid of biting your lips if you always do it. Get rid of the air-condition if you work under air-conditioned environment. Most of the time, by giving lips moisturizer able to improve crack dryness lips. Lips moisturizer Vaseline / glycerol or lip balm would definitely be handy in such situation. Apply lips moisturizer whenever your lips get dry. I have been using Aloe vera gel to treat dry lips too. Possible to add in another anti-histamine to prevent itchiness or swollen. Lastly, by adding Vit B complex daily may be able to improve the condition.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Over the years I've found that when my lips begin to peel aggressively, it's a symptom of a whole-body issue like vitamin deficency, stress, etc. Answers like slathering on vaseline every 5 minutes only treats the symptom, not the underlying cause.What I've found works for me is approaching it the same way I would if I had a cold or something, that primarily being eating better. Drinking less tea/coffee/alcohol and more water helps. Cutting out junk food helps. Eating more vegetables helps (dark leafy greens, b-vitamins). I think fish helps too, the oils I suppose? Taking care of the inside your body really does show on the outside.As far as treating the lips topically, I like using a sea salt or brown sugar scrub (a tablespoon of salt or sugar, mixed with a bit of oil and a bit of honey till it forms a loose paste, rub in small circular motions along lips, gently rinse off and pat dry with a clean towel) once every couple of days, followed by a natural oil on top (I'm partial to olive oil because I always got it in the house and I like the smell of it, but cocoa butter, almond oil, etc works too). I do not use lip balm any more! This is very important. Lip balms have so many ingredients in them that you really don't need, and if you have sensitive skin, it just irritates, dries out, causes redness or peeling. Since I stopped (at the behest of my allergist!) my lips have gotten much better. I use a natural oil, Cetaphl lotion or unscented base cream on my face and lips every morning and night, and usually after I eat. When I've finally got my lips soft again, I usually put a wax sealer on top (getting plain soy wax works great for this, rub it till it melts with body heat then rub on your lips).I used to peel and bite my lips a lot, and I still do on occasion, but as soon as I stop doing that (even if it means I have gross flaky lips for a few days), my lips heal so much faster and more throughly: think of it like picking at a scab.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • So i finally went to the dermatologist and asked about my lips. He was in a rush and running over an hour behind so he pretty much didn't listen and didn't investigate. He didn't even give me any type of explanation for it (other than i should be using an spf lip balm).He did however write me a prescription and it is a MIRACLE! Within 2 days my lips were completely back to normal and have not relapsed since. The prescription is Desonide/aquaphor compound. I realize this is a steroid and not a long term solution, but it is definitely a good option until i figure out a longer term solution.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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