Chapped lips can not only be unsightly, but they can also be extremely painful. What starts out often as simply dry skin can turn into deep cracks and cuts, making it difficult to eat, drink and even smile. If you want your lips to heal but don't want to spend time and money at the doctor's office to get some help, there are some home remedies you can try that are very effective.
One of the problems with cracks or cuts in the skin is the risk of them becoming infected with outside bacteria. To soften the skin and lower infection risk at the same time, rub a dab of honey on your lips. The November 2009 issue of "Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery" reports that pure honey holds antibacterial properties and has been found to be effective on various strains of bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics. It has also been used for years as an agent in wound healing, as it promotes regeneration of the skin. While the honey in the grocery store is a different grade than the honey used in medical facilities, it still contains wound-healing and antibacterial properties, although to a lesser degree. Purchase pure honey, and apply a thin layer of it to clean lips in the morning and evening.
Aloe vera can do more than soothe a sunburn. Aloe vera contains a type of carbohydrate called polysaccharides, and according to a study in the March 2010 issue of the "Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine," aloe polysaccharides promote skin healing by increasing the production of collagen and new skin cells and slowing the damage to existing cells. The study, conducted at the Provincial Burns Institute at Fujian Medical University in China, concludes that aloe plays an important role in the remodeling of skin during wound healing. For additional protection, aloe gel also has antibacterial properties, as reported in the November 2009 issue of "European Review For Medical And Pharmacological Sciences." Break a piece off a leaf of an aloe plant, squeeze the gel out from the inside, and apply a thin layer to clean lips. For best results, repeat the application at least three times per day
Vitamin E can be just as good for you when applied topically as it can if you take it internally. To apply vitamin E, take a gel cap and poke a sterile safety pin in the bottom of it. Squeeze some of the vitamin E gel out onto your finger, and apply it to clean lips. Vitamin E is so effective at wound healing that researchers at the Department of Surgical Sciences at University of Verona in Italy recommend that it be applied before and after surgical procedures to stimulate wound healing and prevent surgical scarring. The researchers focused their study on children undergoing surgery, and the results, published in the September 17, 2009 issue of the "Journal of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery," revealed that along with accelerated wound healing and reduced scarring, vitamin E also appeared to help prevent infection, as none of the patients got an infection. If you do not have vitamin E capsules, rub some cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil or corn oil on your lips several times a day, as both of these oils are good sources of vitamin E.
- PubMed: Abstract: Recent Patents On Anti-infective Drug Discovery: Rediscovering the Antibiotics of the Hive
- PubMed: Abstract: Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine: Influence of Aloe Polysaccharide
- PubMed: Abstract: European Review For Medical And Pharmacological Sciences: Susceptibilities of Bacteria to Aloe
- PubMed: Abstract: Journal of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery: Pre- and Post-surgery Use of Vitamin E
A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."