Best ways to treat cracked lips and cold sores
Did you know that lips don’t have sebaceous glands? Which means that unlike the other areas of your skin that do, the lips can’t produce their own protective oil.
Did you also know that your lips get thinner as you age? This is because as you get older the body produces less collagen, causing them to lose their plumpness.
So really, it should come as no surprise that when cracked lips and cold sores are concerned, your lips DO need your help.
Cracked lips lead to dead skin; dead skin leads to peeling and peeling leads to sore and unsightly lips. Cracked lips is a common occurrence in winter, as a combination of windy weather, dry air and indoor heating draws moisture out of the lips, leaving them dehydrated and prone to cracking.
You can restore moisture in the dry winter air by investing in a humidifier for your bedroom. This is especially useful if you tend to breathe through your mouth when you sleep, as this can cause your lips to dry out and crack overnight. Drinking water also helps, but one of the worst things you can do is consistently lick your lips because as your saliva evaporates, it removes all natural hydration with it.
If your lips do crack, it’s best to start repairing them as soon as possible, rather than leaving them, as this will lead to peeling. Before bed and after every meal apply a repairing balm such as Blistex Intensive Repair lip balm or Dermal Therapy™ Lip Balm. You can also use your toothbrush each night to softly exfoliate the lips and remove any dead skin that can’t be repaired.
Just because your lips have heeled, doesn’t mean you no longer have use for a lip balm. Using a balm consistently will help protect your lips from becoming dry and cracked a second time. But now that your lips have healed, you can have a bit more fun with your choice of balm and opt for ones with a tinge of colour such as Palmer’s Dark Chocolate & Cherry Lip Balm or Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm.
Nothing ruins confidence more than a cold sore. The fluid-filled blisters appear on the lips and are mainly caused by HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus). They can also be triggered by factors such as emotional stress, hormones and tiredness.
HSV-1 can be transferred from person to person via direct skin contact and, most commonly, from kissing. So the most obvious way to avoid a cold sore is to refrain from kissing somebody who has one. If you’ve never had a cold sore before, this means the virus is not yet in your system so be mindful of how it’s transmitted and seek to avoid it if you can. If you’ve had a cold sore before unfortunately this means the virus is already in your system and can be triggered by the other factors listed above, so try to get plenty of sleep and avoid stress.
If a cold sore does appear, apply a treatment cream such as Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Cold Sore Cream straight away. You can also help to reduce swelling by putting ice on the affected area. It’s also a good idea to avoid eating foods that are large in size, as opening your mouth wide can cause the cold sore to split, which could cause the virus to spread.
Protecting your cold sore with a patch, like COMPEED® Invisible Cold Sore Patch, will not only ensure the virus doesn’t spread, but it helps to lessen scabs and promote faster healing. Plus the transparent patch can be covered with make-up, so nobody even has to know you have a cold sore!
Do you suffer from cracked lips or cold sores? What’s your best beauty trick for perfectly smooth lips?