What causes eczema on your lips? Is it contagious? Get insights into the possible trigger, symptoms treat options as well as how remedies can deal with the effects of eczema on lips.
What is lip eczema? – meaning
Lip eczema is definitive on specific symptoms and the changes likely to occur in terms of the symptoms experienced. Therefore, we can say eczema or lip dermatitis is an inflammation of the lips that is presented as redness with dryness and scaly appearance.
This is influenced by hereditary factors such as inherited genes. The external factors or changes environment conditions can also factor in unfavorably leading to chronic. Affected areas may go beyond the lip surface when eczema symptoms flare up or worsen.
Signs and Symptoms to help Identify Lip Eczema
Lip eczema is often identified as an inflammatory skin condition. A few symptoms may accompany eczema. These signs are important in helping you identify possible eczema on the lip.
Redness on lip
Redness is a common sign of eczema on lips. It is more noticeable in people with fair skin or complexion. However, it can show up on anyone.
Thickened lip skin
Thickening is one of the protective mechanisms of skin when there is chronic inflammation. This symptom is culpable when felt by the tongue.
Another symptom of lip eczema that can be frustrating sometimes is itchy feeling or really itching. If your lip skin is also dry, it could lead to peeling.
Dryness, scaling and cracks
Eczema is also signaled by lip dryness. Your lips may become literally dry or look dried out especially if the condition associated with lip eczema is chronic. Sometimes a thin section of the (mucosal) lip area may be affected.
If not well diagnosed and treated, your lips may appear to be scaly with small fissures or cracks.
NOTE: Always remember that these are only expected symptoms but some health conditions and infections can possibly produce similar symptoms. For instance, a cold sore can be signaled by a burning, itchy sensation when the infection starts.
For proper identifying of eczema on your lips, you would see a physician. Again, tests, careful examination and diagnosis are crucial in revealing clinical features such as allergic reactions or lip eczema types.
Fortunately, having eczema lips is not contagious.
Lip Eczema Causes or Triggers
Below is a breakdown of possible causes and factors for the occurrence of eczema on the lips.
Endogenous or internal causes
A few factors that cause eczema include atopic dermatitis and having naturally dry skin.
Atopic dermatitis is one of the common types of eczema affecting sensitive areas of the skin. It is normally characterized by itching and long-lasting rash. The exact cause is unknown. However, dermatologists think its occurrence is due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.
Endogenous or External triggers
There are several environmental factors associated with the occurrence of eczema. In most cases, external factors can trigger lip eczema. These are as follows.
As an external factor and trigger of lip eczema, contact dermatitis is attributed to contact with skin by an irritating or allergic substance.
Common irritant (contact dermatitis) substances include
- Harmful substances in lip products such as lip balm
- Food additives
On the other hand, allergic contact dermatitis is an immune initiated response to specific substances such as:
- Lip care products like sunscreen
- Dental treatments
- Medication for acne
- Nail polish or varnish
Allergic contact cheilitis
Allergic contact cheilitis or eczematous cheilitis is contact dermatitis that affects mainly the lip borders or vermillion margin on lips. Dermatologists identify it as a kind of hypersensitivity reaction due to certain allergen sources.
Common allergen sources include lip care products such as lipsticks, the lip care metal casing (Nickel) toothpastes, certain foods, medications, nail varnish, denture cleaner, and latex.
Eczema on Baby’s lips
Eczema on lips can feature in babies and young children in various ways. One of the common causes of this is contact dermatitis. Some of the causes we have highlighted can be responsible for eczema on your baby’s lips.
More often, saliva form drooling is a culprit in babies. There is irritation if saliva is continuously let out of the mouth and left to stay on lips and vermillion. Prolonged contact and irritation is what leads to a dry, irritating rash around the mouth in babies and young children who habitually lick their lips (lip licker’s dermatitis).
Other environmental conditions such as dry climate can prompt one to start licking their lips in order to try moisten the lips. In children particularly, symptoms may appear to worsen in such environmental conditions. Lip and thump licking will become excessive. This could lead to dry chapped lips with cracks. These symptoms cause soreness and are painful.
Young children who get an upper respiratory infection, or are sensitive to cold are likely to have eczematous symptoms on their lips.
Some forms of eczema may luckily resolve after the change in environmental triggers comes to an end.
Lip Eczema Treatment or how to cure it
Treatment for lip eczema is cause-dependent but may lack an exact cure. Sometimes finding the curative solution requires one to take down notes on trigger substances used over time and then eliminating them in a systematic manner.
Specific treatment options for eczema on your lips
Below are some of the recommended treatments for known causes or triggers more so environmental or external causes.
As noted from the symptoms, some types of eczema can dry out the lip skin and mouth. The selection and use of moisturizers should be more cautious. Recommended moisturizers should be flavor-free and non-scented. Pure petroleum jelly is amongst the best bets.
Choose a moisturizer with protective quality such as those with deep oils to prevent your lips from forming cracks.
In most cases, if reliance on moisturizer does not improve the dryness on lips then you should check with your GP for another option or evaluate the cause.
2. Topical corticosteroids
Another common treatment form for eczema is applying a prescription corticosteroid to deal with redness or inflammation due to itching. These medicines are of worth when it comes to dealing with atopic cheilitis.
3. Antibiotic medicines
Basically, antibiotics are meant to prevent disease-causing micro-organisms from accumulating the affected areas of the lip or around the mouth. You are more likely to suffer more or get additional symptoms if an infection occurs.
Another medication is immunosuppressant to counter the potentially harmful side effects of the allergic responses of your immune system.
5. Use of lip balm and creams
There are creams and lip balms made for the purpose of relieving symptoms such as inflammation and itching around the lips. Sample lip balm brands include Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, Sooth It Balm, etc.
The application of lip balm or eczema face creams is recommended after the problem has resolved.
6. Keep your hands and face off triggers
Learn to be strict with your favorite products or things you love doing. For instance, while buying or acquiring a new pack of facial, hair or lip products, ensure that they are free of chemicals like Sodium Laurel Sulfate or parabens.
- Avoid harsh soap solutions during facial cleansing and opt for mild, organic natural products.
- Avoid prolonged stay in the sun
- Find a therapeutic remedy for lip licking
- Change your mouthwash or toothpaste after consultation from a dentist
Always protect your face sufficiently during hot or cold weather to prevent symptoms from accelerating.
DIY or home remedies to deal with eczema on the lip
You can also use remedies to deal with various symptoms. Below are some of the home remedies and top products that you should be using on eczema lips.
Shea butter an effective way to treat lip eczema accompanied by lip dryness. It is one of the moisturizing natural products you should have at home.
Simply massage regularly into your lips especially before you sleep. You probably have to leave it to stay overnight but remember to wash with plain water after you wake up.
Shea butter can be used and applied to affected areas whenever your lips feel dry or as it necessitates.
Flax seeds are an excellent omega 3 fatty acid remedy for eczema lips. Fatty acids are effective means of dealing with nutrition and will fight and prevent exacerbation. Keep having 3-5 teaspoons of roasted seeds on a daily basis.
These include carrot seed oil, lavender oil and chamomile oil. These oils offer super protection against dryness and can be used for lip therapy. In addition, most essential oils have healing and soothing properties.
Apply this frequently especially when they begin to irritate.
IMPORTANT: Individuals with allergic concerns should avoid avocado oil for the same purposes.
Other helpful tips
Here are some of the changes and alterations you have to consider in order to deal with eczema on your lips if the symptom shows up.
- Consider the allergen sources of food that are more likely triggers of lip eczema
- If you have chronic dry lips, stop smoking or use of alcoholic drinks. Instead, drink enough water to keep your body hydrated
- Incorporate foods with vitamins A to enhance healing and discourage infections on your skin
- Talk to a doctor or nutritionist who can help address your dietary deficiencies
- In severe symptoms, avoid spicy foods or acidic foods
- Avoid where possible landing yourself in stress or such occasions