Do you have itchy, swollen, bumpy or dry lips? What might be the cause and how can you get rid of this lip conditions? Get more as we explore on the causes of swollen, burning, dry and itchy lips. You will also learn how to get rid of these lip conditions.
Itchy Lips Causes
Itchy lips may not be a serious condition although it can become swollen, dry and bumpy. It can also be characterized with other symptoms like rash, blistering, hives, redness, dryness and peeling. However, it should worry your when the itchiness results from an infection or an allergic reaction. There are various causes that may result to this lip condition. Some of them includes the following:
- Allergic reaction
Itchy and swollen lips commonly results from an allergic reaction from various allergens found in the lip care products, oral care products, food, pollen grain and medication. An allergic reaction is characterized with other symptoms that includes sneezing, runny nose, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and hives.
Apart from the lips, an allergic reaction symptoms can also affect other parts of your body especially inside the cheeks, tongue, mouth, face, eyes, nose and throat. The common foods that may result to an allergic reaction includes mushrooms, eggs, strawberries, fish and nuts among others.
Some chemicals found in lip care products such as lipstick, Chap Stick, lip gloss and lip balm may also results to an allergic reaction when applied on the lips. Some people are also allergic to medicines like penicillin and can develop severe allergic reaction condition known as anaphylaxis that requires a medical treatment.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
Deficiency or inadequate vitamin B12 into your body can result to various symptoms like lip itching, soreness, cracking and easy bleeding, sore tongue and bleeding gums. Although these type of vitamin is found in most of foods we take, they can be destroyed due to overcooking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Poor digestive system and other autoimmune disorders can lead to poor absorption of vitamins and minerals into your body. To avoid deficiencies, take plenty of foods rich in vitamin B12 like poultry, fish, meat, dairy products and other sea foods. You may be required to take vitamin b12 supplements or injection when having severe deficiency.
- Itchy lips infections
There are different bacterial, fungal and viral infections that can result to lip itching and swelling. They results to various symptoms like itchiness, rash, swelling, blistering, dryness, cracking and peeling of lips. Some of the infections includes the following:
- Cold sores
Cold sores are also referred to as fever blisters. It is a viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. It causes itchiness around your lips prior to the appearance of fluid-filled blisters. It is a highly contagious infection that spreads from one person to the other through direct contact with blisters during kissing or when having oral sex
The sores normally heals on their own within 7-10 days. This infection has no treatment, however taking anti-viral medicines like acyclovir helps to alleviate the symptoms and speeds up the healing process.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that can also affect your lips. This infection is characterized by itchy lips, redness, tenderness of the skin and swollen lips
- Kawasaki disease
This is a condition that causes inflammation in the walls of medium sized arteries in the whole body. It is characterized with various symptoms like high fever, itchiness and peeling of lips. Children are prone to this condition although it can affect anybody.
- Sun damage
Over-exposure of your lips and skin to sunlight can lead to sun poisoning that causes itchy, dry and cracked lips. This condition normally affects the lower lips most as compared to the upper lips. It is important to protect your lips from the harmful sun rays by wearing a lip balm containing sunscreen.
- Dry and windy weather conditions
Moving from a cool to dry and windy weather and vice versa can lead to itchy lips. This mainly occurs as a result of inadequate moisture on your lips. Moisture plays a very important role in softening and smoothening of your lips and skin.
It is important to apply your moisturizing lip balm 3 times a day when in a dry and windy weather. You can also use natural moisturizers like olive oil, jojoba oil, coco butter and aloe Vera gel among others to keep your lips moist.
- Stings and bites from insects and animals
Itchy and swollen lips can also result from insects and animal bites. They inject venom into your body that triggers itchiness and other symptoms. The common insects that can cause this condition includes bees, red ants, mosquitos and spiders.
- Exposure to environmental irritants
Does your lips itch after coming in contact with certain chemicals? Exposing your lips to environmental irritants like chemicals, pollutants, smoke and dust can result to itchiness. Some of the irritants like chemicals cause physical burning of your lips while others like dust causes excessive dehydration.
- Itchy lips cancer
Suffering from oral cancer can also result to itchiness of your lips. Oral cancer is characterized with other symptoms like easy bleeding, soreness and redness. Consult your doctor immediately for screening when you notice the above symptoms. The chances of a successful treatment are higher when this condition is discovered early
- Trauma or injuries to the lips
Physical injuries to the lips can cause them to become itchy. The common injuries normally results burns from eating hot foods without checking the temperature, lip biting and irritations from ill-fitting dentures.
- Other causes of itchy dry lips includes
Medical conditions, vitamin A toxicity, medication and medical conditions. Remember to visit your doctor for treatment when the itchiness becomes persistence or is accompanied with other symptoms like redness, swellings, hives and excessive dryness.
Itchy Dry Lips
Itchy lips and dryness are mainly due to dehydration or over exposure to sun, wind or cold air. Lips are more sensitive as compared to other parts of your body. They may lose more moisture as compared to other parts of your body exposed to sunny, windy or cold air weather.
The skin covering your lips becomes tight, dry and may crack when exposed to dry and windy weather. However, it is important to avoid picking off the dry or flaky skin as it may worsen your condition or cause your lips to bleed.
Licking your lips with tongue also causes dehydration. Saliva evaporates faster and leaves your lips more dehydrated than before. Instead you should take plenty of water to keep your body including the lips hydrated. Take at least eight glasses of water a day.
It is also important to apply a lip balm when having itchy dry lips. It helps in moisturizing and restoring your soft lips. Use a lip balm that contains petroleum, bees wax or natural oils like jojoba oil, olive oil, coco butter. Natural remedies like aloe Vera and milk cream are also effective in moisturizing dry lips.
Apply a lip balm containing sun protection factor of at least 15 to protect your lips against the damage from ultra violet rays. However, it is not recommended to use a lip balm containing fragrance, flavor or dye as it can cause irritation to your lips.
Itchy Lips with Bumps
Itchy and bumpy lips are discomforting and can make it difficult to eat or drink. The itchy bumps can appear on the lower lip, upper lip or both lips. The bumps usually vary in size from tiny lesions to relatively large depending on the cause. There are several things that can result to itchy and bumpy lips, they include the following:
- Cold sores
Cold sores are also known as fever blisters, it is a viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus 1. This infection causes tiny, itchy fluid-filled blisters to appear on your lips. It can occur as a single blister but usually appears as a group of small blisters in one center. The blisters normally breaks, forms a crusting and heals within 1-2 weeks without scarring.
This is a highly contagious infection that easily spreads from one person to the other through direct body contact with blisters when kissing or sharing utensils. It is characterized with tingling and itching of the affected area prior to appearance of blisters that normally oozes and form crusting. The other symptoms includes fever, headache, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, painful gums and muscle aches.
Itchy lips with a bump can also be an indication of a pimple. Poor skin care practices can lead to clogged pores that results into a pimple. Other factors like hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause can lead to pimples on your lip line.
Popping such premature pimples can lead to other symptoms like irritation, inflammation, itchiness and redness among others. It is therefore important to avoid popping them when they are still premature. Consider cleaning your skin and using natural remedies to cure the pimples.
- Bacterial infections
Given that your mouth contains numerous bacteria and other pathogenic micro-organisms, they can enter into your lips through the cracks to cause an infection. Other sources of bacterial infections includes using infected chapstick tubes and sharing or lip care products between several people. The infection can lead to itchy bumps and other symptoms to appear on your lips.
Over-exposure of your lips to sunrays can lead to sunburn lip blisters. This happens especially when you expose your lips to the sun rays without wearing a lip balm containing sunscreen or other protections like a hat. Sunburn blisters normally results to peeling of your lips.
- Allergic reactions
Lip care products like lip stick, gloss and balm that contains fragrance, flavor, dry, harsh chemicals and other allergens can trigger an allergic reaction that can result to itchy and bumpy lips. Many people are allergic to lip sticks that contains mica and titanium. When shopping for lip care products, check the ingredients to avoid those that causes an allergic reaction.
Swollen Itchy Lips
Itchy and swollen lips can result from various conditions. Injury is the main cause of lip swelling and itchiness. Lip biting or eating hot foods and drinks without checking the temperature can cause injuries or trauma to your lips.
Allergic reaction from foods, lip care products and medicines is also characterized with itchy and swollen lips. Avoid eating foods and using products that contains an allergen. A severe allergic reaction may require a medical treatment.
Angioedema is also a condition that is characterized by swelling of the tissues under the skin including the lips. This condition can also affect other parts of your body including around the eyes, feet, hands or genitals. Angioedema is caused by an allergic reaction with foods and other allergens.
Stomatitis and lip infections can cause your mouth and lips to become swollen, inflamed and itchy. This can cause discomfort when eating and talking. Most of the lip infections are caused by bacteria, fungi and virus. Such infections includes fever blisters or cold sores, canker sores, cellulitis an angular stomatitis.
Sunburned lips is also among the major causes of swollen and chapped lips. overexposure to the ultra violet rays from the sun causes damage to your lips and also increases the chances of developing life threatening conditions like lip cancer.
Swollen and itchy lips can also result from deficiency of vitamins and minerals into your body. Swollen lip corners is a sign of severe deficiency of vitamin B12 in your body. Although most of the foods that we eat contains this type of vitamin, they are destroyed by overcooking and excessive consumption of alcohol. Digestive track disorders can also lead to poor absorption of this vitamins.
Yeast Infection Lips
Oral thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by candida fungus or yeast. Apart from the lips or mouth, it can also affect other parts of your body like vaginal yeast infection in women. Although this infection can affect anyone, it’s commonly experienced by young children (infants, toddlers and babies), older people and individuals with weak body immune system.
It is normal for your moth to contain small amount of candida fungus and other bacteria. These fungus and bacteria are normally controlled by your body when you are healthy.
However, your body immune system can become weakened by certain medical conditions, medications and stress. This may give the fungus candida an ample time to overgrow in your mouth and spread up your lips. It is characterized by the following symptoms:
- White patches or plaques and sores on the corners of the mouth
- Itchy lips and burning of the affected areas
- Dryness or lack of moisture on the lips
- Mild yeast infection is painless while severe infection may cause difficulties when eating and drinking.
- Severe infection can affect the taste
The following factors increases the risk of developing yeast infection on your lips:
- Wearing dentures that are not kept clean, ill-fitting or not removed during the night.
- Being a baby due to weak immune system.
- Long term use of anti-biotic medicines that weakens your immune system.
- Having body conditions like diabetes and HIV aids.
- Lack of certain vitamins and minerals.
- Smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol.
- Overuse of anti-bacterial mouthwash.
- Severe body conditions like anemia.
- Use of steroids or inhalers.
- Weak immune system
Yeast infection is easily treated by using antifungal medicines, however it can be difficult to control the symptoms when having a weak immune system. The antifungal medicines are usually taken for 1 to 2 weeks to treat this infection. The doctor may have a different treatment approach depending on the cause and severity of the infection.
How to Get Rid of Itchy Lips Remedy
Before trying to get rid of itchy or scaly lips, it is important to find out the cause for effective treatment. The following tips and treatments are effective in preventing and treating this lip condition depending on the cause:
- Drink enough of water
Water plays an important role of hydrating and removing impurities from your body including the lips. Having enough water in your body helps your lips to retain moisture that helps to prevent dryness that can result to itchiness. Ensure to take at least eight glasses of water or more a day.
- Change your lip care products
Using lip care products like lip stick, gloss or balm that contain harsh chemicals, fragrance, flavor or dye can lead to dryness and itchiness of your lips. Such products can also lead to an allergic reaction that can trigger the itchiness. Discontinue the use of such products and go for natural products like olive oil, coco butter and jojoba oil among others.
- Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet helps to prevent and treat dry itchy lips vitamin deficiency. Deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic are the major causes of itchy and dry lips. Ensure that your diet contains plenty of vegetables, fruits, poultry, meat, eggs, milk and milk products, fish, shellfish and cheese to prevent deficiencies.
- Apply sunscreen before going outdoors
Apply a lip balm containing sunscreen when going to spend several hours outdoors on a sunny day. Alternatively, you can wear a hat to prevent your face and lips from sun poisoning. It is also a better option to minimize the time you spend outdoors especially on a sunny day.
- Apply aloe Vera on your lips
Aloe Vera is an effective remedy for itchy burning lips. It helps to moisturize your lips as well as alleviating the itchiness. Extract a gel from an aloe Vera leaf and apply directly to your lips. Use this remedy 2-3 times a day until the itchiness is relieved.
- Petroleum jelly for itchy lips
Itchy and dry lips as a result of dry and windy weather can be treated and prevented by applying a petroleum jelly like Vaseline. It helps to retain your moist lips by preventing evaporation. This treatment is also effective on how to get soft lips.
- Avoid foods that triggers an allergic reaction
Stay away from foods that triggers an allergic reaction. Foods like milk, peanuts, eggs, soy, tree nuts, wheat, fish and shellfish causes most of the allergic reaction. If the reaction is severe or caused by insects or animal bites, take antihistamine medicines to rectify your problem.
- Avoid alcohol consumption
Alcohol causes dehydration of your body and lips. As you read earlier, dehydration is among the major cause of itchy, dry or cracked lips. Alcohol also contain harmful chemicals that can damage your lips and other body organs. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also interfere with absorption of certain vitamins into your body.
- Clean your lips when you come from outdoors
Wash your face and lips with clean water after coming in from outdoors. It helps to remove environmental pollutants like dust and other irritants that can cause itchiness. After cleaning your lips, apply a moisturizer to keep them moist.
- Avoid smoking tobacco
Smoking tobacco causes excessive dryness of your lips. Tobacco smoke also contains toxins that can irritate your lips, it also increases the chances of developing life threatening conditions like oral cancer that causes itchiness.
- A mixture of honey and almond oil for itchy lips
Before going to bed, apply a mixture of honey and almond oil on your lips. Honey has a natural soothing effect that will help to relieve the itchiness while almond oil helps to moisturize. To use this remedy, mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 3 drops of almond oil and mix well before applying on your lips.
- Consult your doctor for treatment
In case of a lip infection, consult your healthcare provider for treatment. He or she will diagnose your condition to determine the exact cause of your infection. You may be required to use antibacterial, antifungal or antifungal drugs to cure your condition.
- Itchy lips, causes and treatment: http://www.md-health.com/Itchy-Lips.html
- Itching or burning, swelling and swollen lips: http://symptomchecker.webmd.com/multiple-symptoms?symptoms=itching-or-burning%7Cswelling%7Cswollen-lips&symptomids=129%7C5%7C326&locations=7%7C7%7C7
- Allergies causing lips to itch: http://www.livestrong.com/article/260688-allergies-causing-lips-to-itch/
- Sore or dry lips: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-lips/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- Home remedies for itchy skin and lips: http://www.simple-remedies.com/home-remedies/itching/itchy-lips-causes-remedies.html