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dried lips on kids

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So DS3 is going through a phase of really dried lips.  He picks at the skin, and then they bleed. He's six.

 

I've tried brushing his lips with a wet toothbrush and using Carmax (lip balm) on them, but I'm not sure what to do.

 

Any ideas?

 

DD went through this, but she would willingly use lip balm.  With DS3, it's a struggle to get him to use it.

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That's tricky, if he doesn't want lip balm.  

 

DS was like this at that age (a bit younger, actually).  He started licking his lips a lot.  I wasn't aware of it at first.  Of course, licking his lips actually dried them out more and caused them to crack which caused him to lick them more, and it ended up being a never ending cycle.  I ended up having him put lip balm on as soon as he woke up and brushed teeth.  Then he had to put on lip balm after he came in from school.  Again at night after brushing teeth and getting ready for bed.  Eventually his lips healed and he stopped licking them so much which stopped the cycle.  I also made sure he was drinking plenty of liquids so he wasn't dehydrated.

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Make sure he drinks lots and lots of water.  I am not suggesting this as an immediate cure or anything...i just know that the more hydrated I am, the less likely I am to get dry lips.  In fact, dry lips are usually my first sign that I generally need to be drinking more water. 

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DD has this. She even has special expensive cream for face eczema.

 

The thing I found that seems to work best? Straight good ol fashioned vaseline. Make sure to slather lips especially overnight.

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Ugh, my age 9 ds has horribly red chapped lips and we're having family portraits taken tomorrow. I'm pushing water and lots of lip balm. I might be really mean and put some lanolin on him tonight. He hates it, but it will help. I have a tube for nursing from the hospital that I've never needed to use.

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We have had to really crack down on lip licking, along with liberal use of lip balm/protectants. There really isn't another way unfortunately. One way the kids have seen this as necessary is when they try to eat peanuts and it stings their lips - that seems to drive the point home :(

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DD has this. She even has special expensive cream for face eczema.

 

The thing I found that seems to work best? Straight good ol fashioned vaseline. Make sure to slather lips especially overnight.

I actually do this every single night because my own lips get chapped overnight.  I lick them in my sleep and tend to mouth breath.  Vaseline helps tremendously.  :)

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Yeah, some people are really prone to dry, cracking, crusting, bleeding lips. And I have found no lip balm to be as effective as vaseline. He may need to apply it every night and give the lips a chance to heal for those sleeping hours. That's what I do. Under $2 for at least a months supply (the mini tubs in the Target travel size section are something like $1.42.

 

The simple, cheap things sometimes are the best IMO. 

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I just keep a pot of Vaseline handy. It's flavorless, so the kids aren't prone to lick their lips. They self-apply as necessary.

Edited by KrissiK
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Lanolin quickly and magically heals dry lips and skin better than anything, including Vaseline. But it's thick, and if lip balm is a problem I'm sure he won't like it. 

 

The suggestion to apply after he falls asleep is genius. Lanolin works so well you might only have to do that once or twice a week through the winter.

 

Amy

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Carmex has ingredients that are drying, so users have to use more. They sell more product that way.

 

Blistex and drinking plenty of water. No licking lips outside

 

Eta. Vaseline works, but tastes icky. My mother bought chapstick. I hate that stuff.

 

My comments about carmex are personal experience. It's a ripoff.

Edited by gardenmom5
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My lips always did that and I would pick them and have them bleeding all winter. I started using chapstick a long time ago and still do all the time. Maybe let him pick out his own flavor and use it himself?

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We've just been through this with ds9! He has always picked his lips, but this winter (Southern Hemisphere) his lower lip actually cracked in the centre and bled. It's taken a month to heal that, but he still licks and damages his lips. Drives me crazy.

 

I've had him use lansinoh - pure lanolin usually used on cracked nipples when breastfeeding. It has helped, but I have to remind him to put it on several times a day.

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Vaseline is fantastic.  What has worked for me when even Vaseline didn't work was cooking oil.  Gross, but it worked.  

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Carmex in the little pot, not in the balm stick or the squeeze thing or blistex every night before going to bed.  No lip balm with any sunscreen.

 

Try a sugar scrub to exfoliate, because what kid isn't going to love to be scrubbed with sugar?

 

 

2X/ week before bed time

 

combine:

1 Tbsp brown or white sugar

a tsp or less of olive oil or melted coconut oil, just enough to make it stick together.

 

Mix together into a paste.  Scrub vigorously over lips including corners.  Let stand for one minute.  Rub vigorously again & remove with a damp washcloth.  

Regular brush teeth routine.

Thick application of preferred lip balm.

 

One thing to be careful about with the lip licking is if they lick their upper lip, it gets chapped & bleeding, combine with a runny nose & bam! Impetigo .  That business went through my class like wildfire more than once each winter.  It is super gross & painful so at the first sign of chapped lips & chapped noses I am all over my own kids with the antibacterial ointment.

 

Hope you find something that works.

 

Amber in SJ

 

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I love Honest Kids Healing Balm. I have tubes stashed everywhere. It works better than Aquaphor, isn't as sticky as lanolin, and is made of natural stuff. I squirt it on my finger and smear on the kid. Even if they protest. ;) If you're using baby wipes on the face, switch for a plain wet cloth. Sometimes the ingredients exacerbate the dry cracking. At night, I've mixed in a bit of Lotrimin and smeared it on well. Our ped says sometimes these get fungal in all the cracks. I will try to get them again in the morning before they wake up.

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I love Aquaphor lip repair. It's great for chapped lips and also for that horrible raw spot between your nose and upper lip when you have a cold and have been blowing your nose a lot (sorry for the terrible grammar there!)

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I love Aquaphor lip repair. It's great for chapped lips and also for that horrible raw spot between your nose and upper lip when you have a cold and have been blowing your nose a lot (sorry for the terrible grammar there!)

Yes! I'm recommending this too. :) Just last week my DS complained of very dry, chapped lips. They were probably wind burned too because they were very red. I bought him some of the Aquaphor (linked above), and he said they were better the next day. By Day 3, they looked healed!

I haven't tried it though. I really like (for myself) Neutrogena Naturals.

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Same problem, for both me and kids.  Lip balm/vaseline/product of choice definitely before bed, and after any teeth brushing.  We do it just part of "mouth care".  My son can't walk around with a lip balm, because he will lose it, so putting on lip care 2 times a day at least minimizes bleeding.  We've also used coconut oil after snack time/other meals since we are in the kitchen: dip the tip of a spoon in the oil, then rub lips on it.  When I remember to do this, it helps a lot.  I just don't remember to do it often enough to make a long term difference.  

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Straight glycerin after showers when you're all warm, homemade salve (oil plus beeswax) throughout the day and Vaseline whenever it gets out of hand. Water water water.

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Thanks everybody. I haven't made it to the store, but I did put some coconut oil on his lips while he was sleeping last night.  (sneaky evil Mom laugh)

 

 

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Allergy meds. I guess I'll be the first to say that chapped lips can be a sign of environmental allergies. At least chronic chapped lips not the occasional dry lips. My ds started with dry/chapped lips at age 4. I have been to 4 doctors now and they all agree his chronic dry lips are allergies and possibly asthma. My kid just can't breath through his nose. He has a Rx cream for his lips. Doesn't help. I've not found much to help. You think it's hard getting a 6 yr old to wear lip balm? Try forcing a tween with sensory issues. He hates his chapped, cracked, bleeding lips but he hates the feel of any type of balm even more. 

 

So, just giving you that tid bit in case the chapped lips don't go away with topical treatment.  

Edited by Mom-ninja.
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I second using a sugar scrub as a preventative. Not when it's super cracked, but on a regular basis to get the flakes off and prevent it from getting that far. Lots of balm afterwards. I really like Burts Bees Ultra Moisutrizing in the squeeze tube. Not tingly like the regular kind. It really worked last winter when nothing else would. I agree with making it part of the toothbrushing and bed time routine. Would it help if everyone did Ito he could see? Lip scrubs are great for everyone!

Edited by wonderchica
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