Chapped, bleeding lips are often a sign dehydration, as your body requires moisture replenishment to keep your lips soft and supple. While licking your lips may seem like a temporary solution to chapped lips, licking actually worsens the condition of your lips once the saliva dries. Lip balms aid in restoring lip health and should be used frequently to speed up the healing process and reduce irritation. According to Mayo Clinic dermatologist Lawrence E. Gibson, MD, severely dry lips require professional medical treatment.
Apply a thin coat of oil-based lip cream or petroleum-based lip balm. Use the lip treatment three to four times a day to keep your lips hydrated, and apply more of the lip treatment when outside. Use a lip balm that contains SPF to protect your lips from sun exposure while outdoors. Wash your hands with soapy water before touching them to avoid spreading germs.
Cover your mouth with a scarf during the winter. The harsh, bitter wind in the winter saps your lips of moisture and exacerbates cracking and bleeding. A thick, heavy scarf acts as a barrier to reduce exposure to extreme temperatures and maintain your lip health.
Drink water every two to three hours. Your body continuously loses water and needs replenishment to keep your skin, including your lips, hydrated and smooth. Avoid caffeinated drinks including tea, coffee and carbonated soda as they are diuretics that reduce hydration rather than contribute to it.
Discontinue use of lip products with dyes or perfumes, as these products irritate the skin and can cause an allergic reaction when used on sensitive lips.
SPF levels in lip balm range from 15 to 50, and vary in price. Breathe through your nose rather than your mouth, as breathing through your mouth evaporates lip moisture. Use a warm-mist humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air, which improves the condition of your skin.