Categorized | Skin Care

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How Do Allergies Affect Chapped Lips?

We can all agree that allergies are not at all fun. But in case you didn’t love them enough already, they can also be a cause of chapped lips. Sometimes certain foods and substances that gain contact to the lips can cause a reaction that results in dry, cracked lips. Lets take a look at just how this can happen.

There are some foods and products that can cause a reaction when they contact the skin. This applies to the lips as well. If you eat foods such as figs, citrus fruits, nuts, or foods that contain spices or red dyes, you may be allergic to those foods if you get chapped lips soon after eating them.

It is also worth noting that some allergies react only when in the presence of sunlight. These are called photo-toxins. Photo-toxins are more difficult to deal with, because an allergen can remain on the lips for quite a while before it is exposed to sunlight. If a reaction is caused this way, it can feel like it came out of nowhere, when in reality the culprit may have been ingested several hours beforehand!

A simple experiment can be done to see if a photo-toxin is causing your lips to chap. Simply use/eat/whatever the suspected food/product, then after a few minutes if a reaction hasn’t occurred, simply go outside in the sun for 5-10 minutes. If a reaction occurs then, you have your answer. Simply try to avoid that substance from then on to fix the problem.

Toothpastes also contain ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Some brands contain ingredients like guiazuline, sodium lauryl sulfate, red dyes, and cinnamon. These are common and known skin irritants. So if you experience tightening, peeling, or drying of the lips after using a brand of toothpaste with these ingredients in them, it may be wise to stop using that particular toothpaste.

Allergies to nickel can also cause chapped lips. Playing with paper clips and/or pens in or around the mouth is a common habit for a lot of people, but for those with an allergy to nickel it can easily cause chapped lips. It’s generally not a good idea to do this anyway, as you’ll be aggravating the protective barriers of the skin, making it more vulnerable to drying out.

If you believe that you may be allergic to a particular food or product, the easiest answer is to avoid that food or product. Hopefully you have a better understanding of how allergies can cause chapped lips, and even better, how to get rid of chapped lips as well.

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