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Lip Balm Use Can Become Addictive

From expert's mouth to your ears: Be sensible to avoid skin irritation

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Some people use lip balm so often that it's almost like an addiction.

"For many people, it is quite difficult for them to stop using lip balm because they've become so used to their lips having more moisture content than they had in the past," Dr. Lisa Garner, a dermatologist at Baylor Medical Center in Garland, Texas, said in a prepared statement.

This lip balm "addiction" isn't a problem as long as you don't develop an allergy to any of the ingredients.

"On occasion, you may develop an irritation or sensitivity to one of the ingredients that may make your lips feel dry, because you're actually having a reaction to the lip balm," Garner said.

Flavoring, fragrances or added preservatives may be the source of the problem if you do have problems with a lip balm. Switching to an unflavored or unscented type of lip balm may solve the problem, Garner said.

Lip balms work by sealing in natural moisture and, in terms of effectiveness, there isn't much difference between a 99-cent lip balm and more expensive brands, experts say.

More information

For more on addictions, visit The University of Utah.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Baylor Health Care System, news release, Aug. 13, 2007

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