Also referred as Atopic dermatitis, Eczema is a medical condition that is characterized by a pattern of tiny red blisters that have clear fluid on the skin. In the US, Eczema affects about 3% of adults and 10% to 20% of infants.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, as many as 20 percent of the world’s population suffers from some form of eczema.
According to dermatologists, there is no known cause for eczema, However, the condition can be inherited from one’s parents and is common in people who suffer from asthma and hay fever.
What Causes Eczema on Lips?
Lip eczema occurs near or on the lips. Lip eczema is caused by:
- Allergic reactions to sunscreen, toothpaste, medication for acne, lipstick, food additives, varnish, or dental treatments.
- Natural dry skin- this is characterized by prolonged rash and itching.
- In babies, lip eczema is caused by drooling and thumb-sucking. If the saliva goes for long without being wiped, it will irritate the skin around the lips.
- In younger children, lip eczema can be caused by a cold or respiratory infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Eczema on Lips
This inflammatory skin condition has different signs and symptoms in different individuals. However, in the list below are some of the most common signs and symptoms that are consistent with people suffering from eczema on lips.
- Itchiness- eczema on lips is not fatal, but it is probably very itchy. The dryness on your skin could lead to peeling.
- Redness- This is the most common sign on people suffering from eczema on lips.
- Thick lip skin- the skin protects itself from inflammation diseases by thickening.
- Other signs and symptoms include scaling, skin crust, angular cheilitis, dry skin, papule, and fissures on the skin.
Dermatologists have established that eczema on lips is not contagious. You can only inherit it.
There is no known cure for lip eczema, but there are over-the-counter medications and home remedies that you can use to manage this inflammatory disease.
Over-the-Counter Treatments for Eczema on Lips
The affected area on your lip is prone to bacterial infection. Take over-the-counter antibiotic treatment to fight this infection and apply antibiotic ointments. Consult your doctor immediately if there is increased redness, fever or pus-filled bumps.
Eczema on the lips results in cracking and dryness around the mouth. You can use petroleum jelly or an over-the-counter moisturizer (Aquaphor, Eucerin, Lubriderm, and others) to combat this dryness. Avoid moisturizers with fragrances.
These medications will stop your immune system from attacking your body. This will, in turn, help your lips to heal faster.
4. Soap substitute
A majority of facial cleansers and soaps are known to catalyze eczema on lips. You should use plain water to clean your lip area and a soap substitute when deep cleaning. The National Eczema Society has endorsed emollient soap substitutes.
5. Oatmeal products
Oatmeal baths products are known to reduce the itching brought by eczema. You can purchase these products from a grocery store or grind them yourself. Mix it with your warm bath water.
6. Antihistamine medication
One of the most frustrating signs of eczema on lips is itchiness. If you succumb to this feeling and scratch your skin, you could damage your skin and make it susceptible to bacterial infection. The American Academy of Dermatologists advices people suffering from eczema on lips to use antihistamine. This medication will help reduce the urge to scratch and restlessness.
Dermatologists primarily recommend steroid creams for treating eczema on lips. Hydrocortisone will help control the itching, redness, and inflammation. For best results, use the cream after cleaning the lip area.
Home Remedies for Eczema on Lips
If you would prefer to make your remedies at home, here are some simple solutions to help combat eczema on lips.
Flaxseeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acid; this enables flaxseed to combat eczema. Roast these seeds and consume at least five teaspoons every day.
2. Shea butter
Shea butter can be used to moisturize the skin naturally. Apply Shea butter on your lips and around the affected area and leave it overnight. This will keep your skin from drying and cracking.
3. Essential oils
Essential oils such as carrot seed oil, chamomile oil, and lavender oil are known for their soothing properties that help combat eczema on lips. You can use these oils separately, or you can combine them. Dilute them using almond oil.
4. Avoid skin irritants
If you identify external factors, such as lipsticks, lip balms or food additives, that could be causing your condition, please avoid them.
Eczema on lips is uncomfortable, annoying, and frustrating. Though it is impossible to cure this disease altogether, the guide above will help you identify the signs and symptoms and treatments available for eczema on lips.
- Ann Nutr Metab. “Atopic dermatitis: global epidemiology and risk factors”. 2015;66 Suppl 1:8-16. doi: 10.1159/000370220. Epub 2015 Apr 24.
- Hanifin J, Reed M. “A Population-Based Survey of Eczema Prevalence in the United States. Dermatitis”. 2007;18(2):82-91. doi:10.2310/6620.2007.06034.
- www.livestrong.com. “Over-the-Counter Treatments for Eczema Around the Lips”.
- www.webmd.com. “Skin Conditions and Eczema”.