Don't forget your lips
Posted on April 07
Beware of Sunburnt lips !
While there are a lot of people who wear sunscreen on a daily basis, they forget about protecting their lips. Just like the rest of the skin, the lips need a similar protection as the rest of the body, especially against skin cancer. Also, you should know that the lower lip presents a higher risk for being sunburned (increased sun exposure).
People with fair skin presents a higher risk for sunburned lips, as they present a reduced amount of skin pigment (protection against the sun). However, this does not mean that those with a darker skin cannot suffer from sunburned lips. Protection is necessary in all cases, as you will have the opportunity to see below.Sunburned Lips Signs and Symptoms
These are the signs and symptoms that are associated with sunburned lips:
- Swelling (lower lip more commonly affected)
- Chapped or cracked lips
- Discomfort or pain (from moderate to severe)
- Sun blisters
- Dark spots can appear on the lips as the healing process begins
- Skin starts to peel off
Systemic symptoms can appear due to the prolonged exposure in the sun:
- State of general malaise
How to treat sunburned lips?
In the situation that you are suffering from sunburned lips, you can help the skin tissues to heal by applying petroleum jelly. Aquaphor ointments are also recommended for sunburned lips, as they prevent dehydration and guarantee a faster healing process. For more severe cases, the indicated treatment is represented by hydrocortisone cream. Make sure that the cream is applied on the outer edges of the lips (without reaching inside the mouth). The topical treatments are generally recommended to be applied three times per day. Avoid using Vaseline and products that have a rich lidocaine content, as they can prolong the healing of the sunburned lips.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication might be recommended as a treatment for sunburned lips, especially if the patient also presents systemic symptoms. Among the commonly administered NSAIDs, there are paracetamol and ibuprofen. Topical antibiotic cream might be indicated in more severe cases, in order to reduce or prevent the risk of secondary bacterial infections but these must be prescribed for you.
Apart from the treatment solutions that have been presented above, there are certain things you can do, in order to speed up the healing process. Avoid licking the lips, as this will only increase the dehydration of the damaged tissue. Use a moisturizer to prevent your sunburned lips from drying. You also need to increase your daily water intake, so as to make sure that your lips are not dehydrated. As your lips start to heal, be sure to apply lipstick, gloss or balm with sun protection factor 30.
Honey can be used as a natural remedy, in order to moisturize the lip tissue and ensure a correct healing process. Speaking about natural remedies, aloe vera is definitely recommended, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. By applying aloe vera directly to your lips, you will discover that both the inflammation and pain associated with sunburned lips have subsided. Aloe vera gels are also available, providing the same benefits as the natural or raw plant (rapid soothing of the lips).
Vitamin E is considered an excellent natural remedy for the sunburned lips. It is recommended that the lips are massaged with vitamin E oil, especially before sleeping or after you have eaten. The active substances will help the lips to heal, regenerating the small cells of the skin and preventing scarring or aging of the respective tissue.
Another effective natural remedy for sunburned lips is represented by the everyday potato. Due to the high content in starch, it can actually cool the suffering tissue. What you need to do is take a potato and add it in the blender. Apply the blended potato on the lips and leave it for approximately 10 minutes. You will notice that the sunburned lips have been almost instantly soothed.
Apply a cold compress can soothe your lips as well. In order to benefit from the soothing effect of the water, you need to maintain the cold compress on the lips for approximately 15 minutes. Not only will this hydrate the lips but it will ensure the rapid elimination of the discomfort you have been experiencing. Massaging your lips with an ice cube is also a good idea; however, you need to make sure that the application is not prolonged (may cause circulation problems).
The pain and irritation associated with sunburned lips can be eliminated by applying cucumber slices to the lips. You can rub them gently on the lips, in order to obtain relief from the above-mentioned problems.
How to prevent sunburned lips?
You can prevent the sunburned lips by including lip sun protection products in your daily beauty routine. Make sure that you choose a lipstick, gloss or balm that has guaranteed SPF protection. While the recommended level of protection is SPF30, you will see that many of the cosmetics have around SPF15 (which is fine as well). The important thing is that you re-apply it throughout the day – it does no harm to reapply and you will rest comfortably, knowing that you are protected against the harmful rays of the sun (reapplication is necessary – licking the lips, eating or drinking are among the actions that contribute to the elimination of the protective layer).
The protective balm should be applied every day, no matter the season or how much sun actually is outside (the harmful UV rays can penetrate through the clouds). Make sure that the lip balm has at least SPF 15. You can also prevent your lips from becoming sunburned by spending as little time in the sun as it is possible. The lip balm should be applied with at least 20 minutes before going outside, so as to ensure the maximum amount of protection.