Chapped Lips (cheilitis)

Below you will find more information about Chapped Lips (cheilitis) from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Chapped Lips (cheilitis) it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Chapped Lips (cheilitis) and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Chapped Lips (cheilitis) comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


Lips that appear scaly, dry and may have one or more small cracks (fissures) are called chapped lips (cheilitis). They are often painful and there may or may not be swelling and redness.


Topical antifungals such as nystatin, econazole and clotrimazole are the usual treatment for lesions at the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis). The best treatment for lip-licking cheilitis is to avoid licking the lips. The treatment for drug-induced cheilitis is by avoiding the drug causing the condition, and if this is not possible, by frequent application of petrolatum or Vaseline. Possible therapies include treatment with topical chemotherapy such as fluorouracil, freezing with liquid nitrogen, or treatment with a topical drug that affects the immune system (immunomodulator) called imiquimod, if lesions at the inner border of the lower lip (actinic cheilitis) is present.

Symptoms and Signs

The signs and symptoms of chapped lips appear as mild-to-moderate swelling of the lips and surface skin patches (scaling) with or without cracks (fissures).


One cause of chapped lips is by repeated licking of the lips usually seen in 7-15 year olds and appears as a scaling, pink band around the mouth. High fevers, environmental conditions such as cold weather, dehydration and certain vitamin deficiencies are other possible causes of chapped lips.

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