Chapped lips can be caused by numerous factors and occur during every season. According to The American Academy of Dermatology, lips are more prone to chapping because they lack oil glands, causing dryness. In extreme cases, dry lips can lead to infection if untreated. The Lett Center can help with other facial winter ailments with its medi-spa services.

Follow these five tips to heal dry lips and prevent further dryness.

1. Don’t lick your lips!

  • A first sign of dehydration is a dry mouth and lips, according to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Keep water nearby and remember to sip throughout the day. Licking lips will only irritate them and prolong the problem.

2. Use ointment-based lip balms.

  • According to the Cleveland Clinic, using a balm that is ointment-based is better for moisture retention. Chapped stick with eucalyptus, menthol or camphor can actually make your lips drier. hence, reapplying chap stick and seeing little to no improvement.

3. Keep your face covered.

  • Harsh wind conditions and other elements will only dry your lips out more. Cover your face and lips with a scarf or face mask to protect yourself from windburn and sun exposure. Even on cloudy days, the sun is still there and can dry out lips.

4. Moisturize at night.

  • Use a petroleum or glycerin based ointment before bed to ease dry lips throughout the night. Try not to sleep with your mouth open, which can lead to dryer lips, according to Dr. Melissa Piliang of The Cleveland Clinic. Consider using a humidifier at home for optimal moisture.

5.  If lips are extremely dry or flaky, don’t touch them.

  • Rubbing or picking at already dry lips will only irritate them more. Constant touching can create larger lip cracks as well as spread diseases to already open cuts. If you do touch your lips, make sure your hands are clean.