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Dermatology/Severe dry cracking lips

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Question
Dr. Fisher,

While on a trip to VA a few weeks ago, I burned my lips with too much vinegar based BBQ and tomatoes.  It appeared that the acid burned my lips. I put Carmex on them for two weeks, which seemed to make them worse. They have peeled a couple of times, so I was constantly rubbing my lips together to get the dry skin off.  I'm sure this has made it worse.

I then tried Burt's Bee's balm, then Eos Lip Balm, then Lanolin, now I just got Cortaid to see if that would help. I live in Orlando so, due to the humidity, dry lips are not something we often deal with. It sounds like a minor problem, but it is so miserable that I don't really want to eat. I've increased my water intake and that has not helped either.  I know it will take weeks to get in with a Dermatologist and I have a trip to PA in two weeks. I'm sure the dry air will make it still worse.  Is there anything I can use to heal them?

Thank you for any advise you can offer.

Answer
The first thing I would use on your lips is Aquaphor Ointment which you can get at any pharmacy. I would apply Aquaphor every 2 hours for two- three days and see if that works. Rubbing your lips lips is not a good idea as that can cause trauma and irritation and make your lips worse. The best prescription medication for your condition is Lidex Ointment used twice a day on your lips.

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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