What causes eczema on lips? Is eczema a contagious medical condition? Below are insights as captured by different authorities in the field of dermatology on eczema.
Eczema on lips is also known as atopic dermatitis; it is a chronic skin condition that normally develops during childhood. According to America Academy of dermatology 30% of the world population suffers from some form of eczema. The cause of eczema is not known, but the disorder tends to run in families and is more common in those with allergies and asthma.
Lip eczema which is a kind of eczema that occurs on or near the lips, leads to redness, cracking, inflammation and severe itching. While there is no 99% proven cure of eczema, the condition is usually manageable with over the counter medications and avoidance of allergens and other triggers.
Symptoms of Eczema on lips
When your lips become chapped and scaly, the following signs and symptoms should help you to establish whether you are dealing with eczema or a different medical condition. Eczema on lips is usually accompanied by;
- Dryness, cracking and scaling- Lip dryness is one of the common lip eczema symptoms you need not to ignore. Your lips are likely to appear dried out especially when the eczema is chronic. At a times, skinny sections of your lips may become affected and begin cracking and scaling.
- Itchiness-it is one of the most disturbing symptoms associated with skin condition. Aside from experiencing the itchy feeling, your skin could also start peeling off in case your skin is dry.
- Redness on your lips-eczema on your lips is normally characterized by redness on your lips and this is the best way eczema could easily be identified. This symptom is easily and highly noticeable among persons who have a fair complexion or skin, though it is observable on any person with eczema.
- Thickened lip skin-whenever you have chronic inflammation, your skin protects itself by thickening. it is a symptom that is easily felt or observable especially when you use your tongue to feel it.
However, please note that these are mere symptoms. There are other diseases and conditions which may produce similar symptoms to those of lip eczema, example is cold sore. Cold sore is signaled by experiencing a burn and itchy feeling when your infection is just starting out. It is advisable to consult your dermatologist doctor for appropriate verdict.
Causes of Eczema on Lips
The following are possible causes of eczema as per the America institute of Dermatological Studies
- Endogenous or internal causes.
Atopic dermatitis is one of the common types of eczema affecting sensitive areas of the skin. It is normally characterized by itching and long-lasting rash. The exact cause is unknown. However, dermatologist thinks its occurrence is due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.
- Exogenous or external triggers
There are several environmental factors associated with occurrence of eczema. In most cases external factors can trigger this problem. These are as follows.
- Contact dermatitis as an external factor and a trigger of this condition, contact dermatitis is attributed to the contact with the skin by an irritating or allergic substance. The common irritants or allergic substances include: Saliva, harmful substances in lip care products such as balm, and food additives
On the other hand, allergic contact dermatitis is an immune initiated response to specific substances such as: lipstick, pollen, sunscreen, toothpaste, food, dental treatments, medication for acne, and nail polish or vanish.
- Allergic contact cheilitis. Allergic contact cheilitis or eczematous affects mainly the border areas or vermillion margin on the lips. Dermatologists identify it as a kind of hypersensitivity reaction with due to certain allergen sources.
Common allergen sources include lip care products and metal casing, nickel toothpaste, certain foods, medications, nail varnish denture cleaner and latex.
Upper Lip Eczema Meaning
Saliva is one of the most common rash causes in infants and children around the lips and on chest. If you look at any pictures showing upper lip eczema or eczema around lips, you will notice that the problem will have been caused by constant lip licking.
A rash is defined as any change in the color look or texture of your skin. When you have upper lip eczema you are likely to notice swelling, redness, irritation and you may also experience some pain. Upper lip eczema can affect any person regardless of race, age or gender, even though it is likely to be less visible in people who have very dark skin.
On the other hand, lower lip eczema according to the statistics of CDC, it affects between 9% to 20% of all infants, and around 3% of the adult population. In infants, the condition can cause crusting and oozing and parents, therefore, need to be on the lookout for the symptoms mentioned earlier.
How to Get Rid of Eczema on Lips-Home remedies
Even though there are a number of commercial products that can provide the much needed relief, it is also important to try home remedies. According to doctors on WebMD and Mayo clinic, the following are I2 home remedies that can be applied to get rid of eczema:
Sugar is recommended as it assists in exfoliating all dead skin cells, paving the way for new cells to regenerate.
To use sugar:
- Combine a single tablespoon of honey with two tablespoon of sugar and apply this paste on your scarily lips and allow it five minutes to sit here undisturbed.
- You should then use your fingers to rub the mixture all over your dead lips gently. By doing so, you will be loosening all the dead skin cells, making sure that they will be easy to remove.
- Use warm water to wash off the sugar scrub.
- Rose petals
When your lips become cracked, you can try rose petals. It is a natural treatment which will assist your lips to remain moisturized throughout the day, while also enhancing their natural beauty.
To use Rose petals:
- Pick a handful of rose petals and use cold water to wash them thoroughly. Once clean, soak them in milk for between two and three hours. If you have a problem or are allergic to dairy products, soak them in glycerin instead of milk.
- Take the petals soaked earlier and mash gently to obtain a paste.
- Take this paste and apply it at least three times each day. You will also have to do this before going to bed in the evening.
- Coconut oil
This is a natural treatment which can assist in treating cracked lips that have been caused by dry weather, eczema on lips or by a cold sore. The remedy is simple to use as all that is required of you is to apply pure coconut oil on your upper and lower lip a few times each day in a bid to ensure that they remain moist. Olive oil is a great alternative to coconut oil.
Honey is a great moisturizer and also contains antibacterial and healing properties, which are needed when a person has eczema on lips.
How to use honey;
- Obtain pure organic honey and then apply it to your lips throughout the course of the day. You have to make sure that you apply it more than once or twice.
- Alternatively, you could prepare a paste using glycerin and honey. Apply this paste around lips each night before going to sleep. In the morning, you will get to enjoy lips that are much softer and aesthetically appealing.
- Castor oil
This is yet another effective home remedy that can be used in restoring your lips natural beauty.
How to use castor oil:
- Smear a few droplets of castor oil to the affected lip a few times a day.
- Alternatively, prepare a soothing treatment for your lips using a single teaspoon of glycerin, one tablespoon of castor oil, and combine them with three drops of fresh lime juice. Make sure they are appropriately combined before you can apply them on cracked lips. When you wake up the following day, use lukewarm water and a cotton ball to wash off the solution.
- Application should be repeated each day until your lips become fully healed.
- Milk Cream
Milk Cream has a very high fat content, which makes it a very good moisturizer for your lips.
How to use milk cream:
- Obtain fresh cream and slowly apply it on your affected upper lip. You need to leave it there for at least ten minutes, before using warm water and a cotton ball to clean off the milk cream.
- When dealing with eczema on lips, you must make sure that you repeat application each day to hasten the healing process.
- Aloe Vera gel
Aloe Vera gel has well-known medicinal qualities which can be relied upon to treat a number of different skin conditions. You can extract the gel from a fresh aloe leaf, which you will then need to apply each day on your lips to get rid of the symptoms. The gel assists in healing and relieving any pain or discomfort that you could be experiencing. Even though the gel has a very unpleasant taste, its qualities are amazing and effective.
- Petroleum jelly
The jelly is very efficient in treating chapped lips and gets rid of all symptoms related to lip eczema. You will need to:
- Apply a small amount of the jelly over the affected lips a few times each day to make sure that they will remain properly before you can go to bed, reapply the jelly to keep the nourished throughout the night.
- Alternatively, you can begin by applying a small amount of honey on lips. Allow it a few seconds for it to become dry, before applying the jelly. You had better pause for couple of minutes before using a cotton ball that has been dipped in hot water. It is best to ensure that you repeat the remedy at least two times a day.
For it to be effective, you need to make sure that you apply it as often as you can.
- Cut a cucumber into tiny slices.
- Grab a single slice and rub it across the chapped lips very gently. This will allow its juices to find their way into skin.
- Allow the cucumber juice to sit on your lips for between fifteen and twenty minutes before using warm water to wash the juices off.
- For faster healing, you will need to apply it as many times as possible.
- Flax seeds
Flax seeds have excellent omega 3 fatty acid. Fatty acids are effective means of dealing with nutrition and will fight and prevent exacerbation. Keep having 3-5 teaspoons of roasted seeds on a daily basis.
- Essential oils
These include carrot seed oil, lavender oil and chamomile oil. These oils offer a super protection against dryness and can be used for lip therapy. In addition, most essential oils have healing and soothing properties.
Apply this frequently especially when they begin to irritate.
- Shea Butter
Shea butter an effective way to treat this problem accompanied with lip dryness. It is one of the moisturizing natural products you should have at home.
Simply massage regularly especially before you sleep. You probably have to leave it to stay overnight but remember to wash with distilled water when you wake up.
Eczema on Lips Treatment
Treatment of eczema on lips in based on causative agent. However, there is always a chance that the correct cure may not be available. At a time you need to identify the factors that triggered the eczema for the curative solutions to be known, which will assist you to get rid of this problem. Once they have been noted down they will need to be eliminated in a systematic manner. America Academy of dermatology recommends the following treatments:
- Topical corticosteroids- Topical corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone creams are the common treatment forms for eczema; it is used by applying prescription corticosteroids to deal with redness or inflammation due to itching. Over the counter corticosteroids are powerfully effective when it comes to dealing with atopic cheilitis.
- Eczema lip balm- There are number of lip balms brands such as Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, Sooth it balm, and many others that have been manufactured to assist people dealing with eczema to relieve their symptoms. The balm assists to relieve itching and inflammation which are very likely to be on your lips and mouth.
- Immunosuppressant- immunosuppressant are meant or designed to counter the harmful side effects which could arise if your immune system responded to an allergic substance
- Stay away from the triggers-Learn to be keen with the products you love most. For instance, while buying or acquiring a new pack of facial, hair or lip product, ensure that they are free from chemicals like sodium laurel sulfate or parabens.
Other triggers to avoid or things to do include:
- Avoid prolonged stay in the sun.
- Find a therapeutic remedy for licking.
- Change your mouthwash or toothpaste after consultation from a dentist.
- Avoid strong soap solutions during facial cleansing and opt for mild, organic natural products.
- Antibiotic ointment-antibiotics are very efficient when it comes to preventing against disease causing microorganisms. If left to accumulate around your mouth they could lead to emergency of an infection, which may end up making the eczema reach worse levels.
Broken, inflamed eczema is prone to bacterial infections. This risk is especially high in younger children who are constantly touching their mouth chewing on objects. An over the counter ointment can help reduce the risk of bacterial infection when applied frequently to broken skin on the lips. According to theThe Nemours foundation, signs of serious skin infection such as increased warmth or redness, blisters, pus-filled bumps or fever, require medical attention to prevent serious complications.
- Moisturizers- Some types of eczema can dry out the lip skin and mouth. Selection and use of moisturizer should be more cautious. Choose a moisturizer with protective quality such as those with deep oil to prevent cracks. In most cases, if reliance on moisturizer does not improve the dryness on lips then you should check with your GP for another option or evaluate the cause. The America academy of family Physicians recommends using the moisturizer within three minutes of getting out of bath and avoiding moisturizer that contain fragrance or other unnecessary ingredients. Plain petroleum jelly is easy to apply to the lips throughout the day and is resistant to lip licking.
- Oatmeal bath products- Oatmeal bath products can provide relief from extreme itching associated with eczema. The mayo clinic recommends using finely ground oatmeal designed for use in the bathtub. These bath products are available at most pharmacies and grocery stores. According to National Eczema society, you can also make your own oatmeal bath by grinding 2 to 3 cups of oat into powder and then mixing it with a tub full of warm water.
- Antihistamine Medication eczema is extremely itchy and scratching often makes the itch more severe. Moreover, scratching can damage the skin and make it more vulnerable to bacterial infections. Over the counter antihistamine can help relieve itching and improve sleep, especially in children. The America Academy of Dermatology recommends using an oral antihistamine at night to control itching, relieve restlessness and prevent scratching.
- Soap brands– many soaps and facial cleansers make lip eczema worse. Use plain water to clean the lip area, when possible and use a soap substitute when cleaning mouth areas that requires deeper cleaning. Regular soaps can increase dryness and inflammation. According to the National eczema society emollient soap substitutes are just as effective at cleaning the skin as soap, but they do not cause same degree of drying as traditional soaps.