chapped lips from a cold

Why do our (or at least my) lips get dry and chapped when we have a cold? It has nothing to do with the blistering, cold weather of the winter; I’m speaking about right now, in August. And they’re not sunburned; I haven’t been outside much. They get dried out, and the lip line, particularly above the upper lip, stings.

I don’t know who first said “everyone’s a critic,” but I think it’s a really stupid saying.

It could be that, because your nose is stuffed up, you’re breathing through your mouth. This will hasten the drying of your lips and lead to chapping.

Are you taking any decongestants? This can also contribute to dry lip syndrome, or DLS.

Mine always hurts because I’m blowing my nose so damn much. Also, you tend to be breathing through your mouth more, which dries out your lips. JMO.

“For chapped lips, they always told me to kiss a mule in the ass!”

Water. Drink plenty of it. Doctors always say drink plenty of fluids. This is so you will not dry out from all of the antihistimines in the meds you take to alleviate the running noses. I have noticed that if I drink plenty of water during the winter months I don’t get chapped lips from the winter weather.

“Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.’”
E A Poe

As stated, decongestants, dehydration, and mouth-breathing are the culprits. (Not to mention winter’s dry wind and summer’s sunburn.)

Hydration and moisturizers (that simply moisturize – no need for ‘medicated’ or tingly s***) are the solutions.

On a related note: The sore nose is from the rubbing and scraping action of tissues. The decongestants and dehydration that create chapped lips add to the damage. The solutions:

  1. Tissues that are coated with a softener (usually an oil-based moisturizer) can help reduce abrasion.

  2. Moisturize the skin around the nostrils like you would your lips. (Petroleum jelly works well both on both areas.)

  3. Don’t rub the tissue against your nose! When you blow, press and release without rubbing. At the end, pat dry. If you must rub, then save the rub at the end of the blowing session – don’t rub after each short blow.
    Wash your hands often, especially if they touched anything moist – this is to prevent you spreading your cold. Don’t touch or rub your eyes unless you thoroughly wash your hands first, otherwise you’ll spread your cold to your eyes and get a viral conjuctivitis (aka ‘pink eye’). Of course, this will probably mean you’ll have to also start moisturizing your hands.
    {And now, for my really big pet peeve, since no one asked – )

And for Pete’s sake (and the world’s) if you don’t have any serious complications or an immune deficiency disorder – don’t ask your doctor for an antibiotic for the common cold. It does nothing, absolutely nothing to ‘cure’ the cold or alleviate any symptoms. It’s just a placebo for you and a placating tool for the doctor and the reason for the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

If you want a placebo, take a vitamin C pill. Cold sufferers rapidly deplete their vitamin C stores so much so, that they sometimes are suffering from a mild scurvy. (Oh, and megadoses don’t cure you.)

Ummm… I guess that finishes my rant on colds. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the advice, Moriah.

I agree with you, so I’m asking this out of curiosity:

Are you a doctor, or have you had any medical/biological training?

And while you’re at it, I’ve been having this argument (mild one, but an argument nonetheless, by definition): he says taking 400-500 mg of Vitamin C over a few hours will help cure the cold. I say 100 mg is more than enough; don’t use too much of a good thing.

Do you have any reports or studies that prove your claim?

I don’t know who first said “everyone’s a critic,” but I think it’s a really stupid saying.

Not a doc, just an amateur science geek who’s gone out of my way to read about and investigate such things so that I know what the best thing to do is for a cold. Also, I’ve been watching a lot of the Health Channel (before it started getting goofy <sigh>).

As for the Vitamin C, please, please, don’t use the word ‘cure.’ C doesn’t cure the cold. Only your own immune system can defeat a virus (although, there’s been some breakthroughs with anti-viral medications which can inhibit specific viruses – but not cure). Your immune system utilizes C; even moreso when you have a cold. That’s why you should take C supplements when you have a cold or may be exposed to one of the 75 or more cold viruses (or, just make sure you eat plenty of citrus fruits and dark green vegetables – which you should be doing anyway all the time for good nutrition).

How much? That I don’t know off hand. Your body naturally secretes excess C (since it is water soluble) so megadoses are literally a waste of C and money – your body flushes all the extra away.

So, if we can pull up a study that shows just how much C the body can retain, and figure our how much C we’d have to take to reach the saturation point without going over – then that would be the ideal amount.