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Is it possible to say goodbye to chapped lips forever? Yes, but like any chronic condition, you must first identify the cause so you can intelligently plan your remedy.

Here are the 9 most common causes of chronic chapped lips that will give you a “heads up” to identify the culprit.

1) Cosmetics – Lipsticks contain a wide variety of chemicals that can wreak havoc on the natural oils on your lips. The one to watch out for is “propyl gallate”, which can cause a contact allergy.

2) Lip care products – Believe it or not, the lip balms and moisturizers you use to treat chapped lips can make things worse. The petroleum base used in many of these products can cause an adverse reaction in some people. Due to reports of toxic side effects, the EU has recently banned the use of petroleum in future lip care products.

3) Flavoring agents – Although commonly overlooked, many people are allergic and/or sensitive to artificial and natural flavoring agents. The main culprits are red dye (candy, lozenges, gum, and mouthwash), guaiazulina (toothpaste), and cinnamon flavoring.

4) fruit juice – The citric acids contained in orange juice (or any other type of juice) can seriously irritate the lips. This is due to phototoxic residues left in the corners of the mouth.

5) Vitamins – Too much vitamin A and B12 can cause swollen and crusty lips. It doesn’t matter if your source of vitamins comes from whole foods or supplements. Stay below 25,000 IU of vitamin A per day and minimize your intake of cobalt contained in vitamin B12.

6) Dehydration – Are you getting enough water? Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day is not only essential for good health, but is also a good preventative measure against chapped lips.

7) tuxedo – The natural oils on your lips (which prevent dehydration) tend to dry out every time you smoke a cigarette. Another great reason to ditch those cancer sticks.

8) Drugs – The side effects of some medications can also dry out the lips. Harsh acne treatments are often to blame. See a dermatologist if this is something you are concerned about.

9) Fungal infection – If none of the above causes seem to apply to you, a yeast infection may be the underlying problem. See a dermatologist for an evaluation.

Take a moment to think about which of the above is the most likely cause of your chapped lips. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possible suspects to just one, take steps to eliminate this from your lifestyle for at least a week.

Monitor your progress, if after a few days your lips are back to their former glory, now you know what habit to avoid in the future. If your chapped lips haven’t cleared up, move on to the next likely suspect and repeat.

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