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Don't Pout About Irritated Lips: Dermatologists Can Offer Top Tips to Help Keep Lips in Tip-Top Shape
Date:2/1/2008

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- While winter's harsh, windy weather is often to blame for dry, cracked lips, sometimes the cause of lip irritation is harder to pinpoint. In fact, several types of foods, cosmetic products, medications or even bad habits have been linked to dry lips. The key is determining the source of the irritation and modifying your daily regimen to eliminate the problem.

Speaking today at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologist Margaret E. Parsons, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California at Davis, discussed the most common causes of lip irritation, available treatments and preventative measures to keep lips healthy.

"When I treat a patient for dry lips, the first thing I try to determine is what this patient might be doing or not doing that could be contributing to the problem," said Dr. Parsons. "In some cases, it might be a new lipstick that contains an ingredient irritating to the skin or an anti-aging facial product that inadvertently comes in contact with the lips that could be the culprit. Or, someone might be working outdoors or participating in sports and not protecting their lips from wind and sun damage with a lip balm, especially one with sunscreen. Once we determine the cause, there are some simple, tried-and-true treatments that work well for most patients."

Mother Nature

Dr. Parsons noted that not only can winter's outdoor elements contribute to dry, cracked lips, but the conditions indoors during this season can play a role in irritating the lips. Heat used to warm the indoor temperature dries out the air and lowers the humidity level, which can lead to dry skin and lips. At the other end of the weather spectrum, the intense summer sun can lead to sunburned or sun-irritated lips.

"When working outdoors or engaging in sports, men and women should apply a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher year-round to
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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