Q:

What causes bleeding lips?

A:

Quick Answer

Bleeding of the lips typically occurs when the lips are overly dry and become cracked due to excess sun exposure, cold weather or habitual lip-licking, according to Healthline. Nutritional deficiencies can also cause dry lips.

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Full Answer

Cracked, bleeding lips can also be a sign of dehydration, according to Healthgrades. While increasing water intake often remedies mild dehydration, severe hydration can lead to serious conditions such as shock or coma, which can be life-threatening in certain cases. It is important for individuals to seek immediate medical attention if cold skin, low urine output or disorientation accompany cracked or bleeding lips.

Additional factors that can cause dry, cracked lips include allergic reactions to red dyes in oral rinses or candy, toothpastes that contain the ingredient guaiazulene, blood pressure medications, and yeast infections, explains Audry Kunin, M.D. writing on the Dr. Oz Show website. Excessive intake of vitamin A through supplements, prescription medications or foods can also cause chapped, peeling lips. Individuals with diabetes are at risk for developing perleche, a yeast infection of the skin that causes cracks and scales on the sides of the mouth. It is best for individuals with unexplained, chronically chapped lips to consult with a dermatologist to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

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