One of the most embarrassing and uncomfortable places to have sores or other symptoms is on your lips. But what are the different reasons and causes for these symptoms and what can you do to treat them?
Incidentally, any type of symptoms on your lips should be protected from the sun and wind during treatment.
If you think allergies must be responsible for sores or rashes on your lips, be careful what you use in that area, remembering that whatever you put onto your skin is quickly absorbed. Some are allergic to products containing petroleum such as Vaseline while others suffer when they use certain lipsticks, lip balms or even toothpaste. Fortunately, there are natural versions
available for all of these products. While you recover from a particular allergy, consider using a homeopathic remedy to help detox the body. Of course an allergic reaction may be because of something you are eating.
These can be responsible for little sores on the outside corners of the mouth and various vitamin B deficiencies top the list of culprits. Canker sores are often confused with cold sores as they can be just as painful, affecting your ability to eat or even talk. These mouth sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are more common in women and those with a family history of them. Apart from a vitamin deficiency, an immune dysfunction, stress, bacteria or mouth injuries could be the cause. Even a mild vitamin deficiency can put you at risk and these include niacin, also known as vitamin B3; folic acid or vitamin B9; and vitamin B12. Vitamin deficiencies of course may signal poor nutrition, which can compromise your immune system. Minor and occasional canker sores typically do not require medical intervention but avoiding anything that can cause irritation (such as spicy foods) will help. Recurring canker sores means the need to be tested for vitamin deficiency and the necessary supplementation and improved diet.
These are one of the most painful of all the symptoms on your lips. Caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores
are highly contagious and have a roughly 10 day cycle from start to finish. A tingling sensation will alert you to the start of a cold sore which is helpful because it is then possible to treat the cold sore immediately to prevent it from taking a hold by starting a course of cold sore herpes treatment - preferably with an all natural medication. At the same time, remember to resist the temptation to lick or touch the area, while keeping it as dry and clean as possible. Wrap some ice in a damp, clean cloth and apply this to the cold sore frequently as the herpes virus really dislikes cold or you can press a moistened tea bag on the cold sore regularly as the tannic acid in the tea has anti-viral properties. Once the virus is in the system, it is usually there for life and cold sores can appear when the immune system is weakened for whatever reason.
White sores on the mouth
These are usually caused by yeast infections or Candida. Again, a natural treatment is advised along with incorporating lifestyle changes to overcome the yeast inside your system and most importantly, to improve your gut health. Remember that Candida feeds on sugar and you can find out much more about dealing with Candida in our earlier post here.
Lips can become chapped or dry when they are exposed to extremes in temperature. A natural lip balm
or beeswax will help by providing a barrier and sealing in valuable moisture. If that moisture is lost, the skin covering the lips can become tight and start to split. Don't be tempted to pick and bite off flakes of dried skin on the lips nor to keep licking them as this will only make the symptoms much worse. If lips start to bleed, they will take much longer to heal while saliva on the lips causes them to dry even more. Cracked lips can easily become infected and inflamed when dirt, bacteria or fungi enter those cracks.
Inflamed lips or cheilitis
Sometimes, dry lips can become inflamed and feel sore. The medical term for inflamed lips is cheilitis. Angular cheilitis can be a symptom of a type of eczema
known as contact dermatitis which is more common in people who wear dentures. The condition is often caused by bacteria or fungi so that an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal medication is needed.
Strengthen your immune system
As with any condition, avoiding symptoms on the lips means strengthening your immune system while adopting a healthy lifestyle with good eating habits including cutting out processed, refined foods and sugar; getting plenty of good quality sleep; taking regular exercise; quitting smoking; checking your vitamin D levels
to ensure you are not deficient; and avoiding too much stress.
Making such changes will boost your immune system while reducing the likelihood of sores and other discomfort affecting your lips.
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.