What Causes Chapped Lips?

Causes of chapped lips include exposure to air that has no humidity, such as during winter; repeated exposure to the sun, such as during summer; certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and constant licking of lips, according to Healthline. Other more serious causes of chapped lips require medical treatment and include dehydration, malnutrition and conditions as cheilitis.

Chapped or cracked lips are a common condition that affects men and women of all ages, although it is more likely to affect those with dry skin, states Healthline. Unlike other skin parts, lips do not have oil glands and are thus more vulnerable to drying under certain conditions. Symptoms of chapped lips include dryness, bleeding and scales, sores and cracks on the lips.

Treatment and prevention of chapped lips usually involves self-care measures that counter dryness by giving lips the moisture they need, suggests Healthline. These measures include drinking more water, applying lip balm as needed, using a humidifier at home and wrapping the lips in a scarf during cold weather conditions. For the outdoors, a lip balm that contains a minimum of SPF 15 is effective as it both protects and moisturizes the lips. If the chapped lips condition does not improve after the home treatment, consult a dermatologist. However, chapped lips that are a result of serious conditions such as dehydration require immediate medical attention.