Why do people pucker their lip

Lip discomfort

Wind or sun dry the lips out within a few hours, as the lips are only protected by a thin cornea and can hardly store moisture. The discomfort on the lips increases when the uncomfortably tight skin is licked or gnawed. Sometimes this results in a solid inflammation with crimson, painfully swollen and possibly crusty lips. The same complaints are also triggered by sunburn, scalding from hot food or an iron deficiency.

The corners of the mouth are particularly often affected by inflammation. Sudden swelling of the lips, which can be accompanied by life-threatening swelling in the airways (Quincke's edema), is rare but dangerous. The triggers are usually allergic reactions, more rarely a hereditary tendency to swelling.

Symptoms, their causes, measures and self-help

  • Chapped or chapped lips

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  • Dry lips, tongue and mucous membranes; sunken eyes and dry diapers in children; in old people, parchment-like skin with standing folds of skin, possibly confusion

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  • Tension, redness, painful tears and crusts at the corners of the mouth

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  • Itching and tightness of the lip, later painful blisters, Cracking and crusting; recurring; triggered by fever, stress, sun, physical exertion, menstruation

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  • Lips painfully red and swollen; surrounding skin often also affected; possibly scales or yellow crusts

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  • Painless swelling of the lip and other areas of the face like eyelids or cheeks; Feeling of tension; possibly recurring

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  • Growths or persistent Hard-edged ulcers

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  • Bluish discolored lips

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Chapped or chapped lips

Root cause:

  • Dehydration of the lips e.g. B. by wind, sun, cold, frequent licking

Self help:

  • Brush chapped lips with honey or lip balm, cracked lips with cream, butter or wheat germ oil

Dry lips, tongue and mucous membranes; sunken eyes and dry diapers in children; in old people, parchment-like skin with standing folds of skin, possibly confusion

Root cause:

Dehydration, e.g. B. at

  • Acute diarrhea
  • Insufficient drinking in infancy (especially when it is hot) and in old age

Measure:

  • In the next few hours to the family doctor or pediatrician in the event of drowsiness and if fluids are not accepted or retained

Self help:

Drink as much as possible

  • With diarrhea z. B. thin black tea or electrolyte solution from the pharmacy
  • In the elderly, drink with drinking aids and / or a drinking plan

Tension, redness, painful tears and crusts at the corners of the mouth

Root cause:

Lazy licks (corner of the mouth), e.g. B. at

  • Bacterial and fungal infections
  • Profuse salivation, for example in small children
  • Eczema
  • diabetes
  • Vitamin deficiency, iron deficiency
  • Deep wrinkles in the corners of the mouth, numerous teeth missing

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor if the symptoms do not improve after a week

Self help:

  • Avoid scratching and licking
  • Apply zinc paste if necessary
  • Possibly high doses of vitamin C as a dietary supplement (controversial)

Itching and tightness of the lip, later painful blisters, Cracking and crusting; recurring; triggered by fever, stress, sun, physical exertion, menstruation

Root cause:

Measure:

  • If it occurs for the first time, go to the family doctor on the same day if possible

Self help:

  • When the first tingling sensation, apply ointments with antiviral agents or zinc paste
  • Avoid triggering factors (e.g. sun)
  • Pay attention to the risk of infection

Lips painfully red and swollen; surrounding skin often also affected; possibly scales or yellow crusts

Causes:

Activities:

  • On the same day to the pediatrician or family doctor with honey-yellow scabs or fever
  • Otherwise to the family doctor if the symptoms do not improve after 3 days

Self help:

  • Watch out for the risk of infection when yellow crusts are visible

Painless swelling of the lip and other areas of the face like eyelids or cheeks; Feeling of tension; possibly recurring

Causes:

Measure:

  • If it suddenly occurs, go to the doctor or the clinic immediately, as there is a risk of life-threatening swelling in the airways

Growths or persistent Hard-edged ulcers

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor or dermatologist

Bluish discolored lips

Causes:

  • Freezing, e.g. B. after a long stay in cold water
  • Lack of oxygen, e.g. B. in shock, lung or heart disease, especially heart failure

Activities:

  • Call an emergency doctor if chest pain or shortness of breath occurs
  • On the same day to the family doctor with blue lips that do not come from the cold

Your pharmacy recommends

Drink enough.

Sufficient fluid intake of at least 2 liters a day helps against dehydration as the cause of dry, chapped lips. Drinks of your choice - except alcohol - are allowed. Tap water and mineral water, diluted fruit juices, but also coffee and tea are best. Alternatively, foods with a high water content such as fruit and vegetables (e.g. melons, cucumbers, tomatoes), soups and broths as well as yogurt or buttermilk provide a lot of liquid. Strongly acidic or sugary drinks (e.g. pure fruit juices, lemonades) are not suitable.

Lip care.

For lip care for dry, brittle and chapped lips and corners of the mouth, fatty products that form a protective layer on the lips are particularly suitable. In addition to numerous commercially available cosmetics for lip care, home remedies such as olive oil or honey can also be used. To do this, apply the product to the lips once or twice a day, do not lick it off and wipe it off after a few minutes if desired.

In the case of chapped lips or inflammation, ointments with skin-caring ingredients (e.g. dexpanthenol) or zinc, which supports wound healing, help. A herbal alternative are tinctures or ointments with marigold extract, whose germicidal and anti-inflammatory effects have been proven.

Note:

There are various lip balm sticks with toxic ingredients on the market. The Internet offers up-to-date overviews, the corresponding products are to be avoided. Dermatologists also observe that, at least occasionally, users become almost dependent on lip balm sticks. If they don't have them at hand, they feel uncomfortable. The reason for this is probably that the "addicted" users have got used to the fact that their lips are more moist than they used to be.

Hygiene rules.

Diseases of the lips such as B. Herpes or impetigo are very contagious. For the patient himself there is a risk of (further) spreading and inflammation, other people who are in close physical contact can become infected. Therefore, do not touch crusts and blisters with your bare hand or wash your hands thoroughly after touching them. It is best to apply medication only with a cotton swab. Body and mouth contact with other people and shared use of dishes or towels should be avoided. Wash laundry (clothing, towels, bed linen) that the sick person has come into contact with at 60 ° C if possible.

Self-medication for cold sores.

Medicines with virus-inhibiting active ingredients (e.g. acyclovir or penciclovir) promote the healing of the blisters and should be applied immediately when the first tingling sensation and then up to 5 times a day. The effect of drugs such as zinc sulfate and lemon balm extract against the herpes viruses, on the other hand, is mostly only weak - if at all. The astringent and drying effect of zinc sulfate, however, alleviates the discomfort caused by the cold sore. Home remedies such as healing clay or zinc toothpaste should also support the healing of the blisters with the same effect. A particularly interesting alternative from a cosmetic point of view are special hydrocolloid plasters, which also promote healing and relieve pain. In addition to the reduced risk of infection through the cover, they are not only almost invisible - they can also be covered with make-up.

Note:

Children and infants with new or unusually bad cold sores should always be treated by a doctor.

Authors

Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Dr. med. Brigitte Strasser-Vogel; Section "Your pharmacy recommends": Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Miriam Knauer | last changed on at 20:36


Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.