Eczema on Lips

Lip eczema is something that should not be treated lightly even though it does not look serious but make no mistake it is a serious problem. It is important to note that eczema is something that is used to describe the inflammation of the skin and lip eczema is the inflammation of the skin in the lip region.

Lip eczema is also sometimes called lip licker’s dermatitis or lip dermatitis. The reason is that one of the most common causes of this problem has been traced to licking of the lips constantly. Lip eczema is one of the most popular skin disorders which can affect anyone from babies to adults of various ages.

It is important to note that the lip area of the mouth is typically divided into three zones which include the outer zone, the lip tissue and the vermillion margin. The outer zone is simply the skin tissue which is known to surround the lips while the vermillion margin is simply the delimitation of the outer zone from the actual lip tissue. When eczema occurs, note that the most areas affected are always the vermillion margin and the outer zone. One thing that should be understood is that eczema is an inflammatory reaction and it will certainly involve a lot of stages before it is healed.

Picture 1: Eczema on Lips

Symptoms of Eczema on the Lips

Like every other type of skin or health disease, eczema of the lip comes with its own symptoms. The symptoms could range from mild to severe. Whatever the case, the following are some list of symptoms that could be associated with lip eczema:

  • Fissures of the skin
  • Fine scaling
  • Dry Skin
  • Possibility of thicker skin
  • Skin crusts
  • Inflammation
  • The affected area becomes red
  • Papules

What Causes Lip Eczema?

There are several causes of eczema of the lips. For example there are both internal and external causes. The following are some of the most common causes of lips eczema:

Internal Causes

These are one of the most common causes of lip eczema. This category include natural dry skin and atopic dermatitis. The internal causes can be treated differently and in most cases, the root cause is identified and attacked.

External Causes

Majority of the lip eczema problems can be associated with external causes. They are common in the sense that they normally arise as a result of contact within the surroundings and may seem difficult to avoid looking at it from a certain perspective. However the following are the external causes of lip eczema.

Environmental Factors

This contributes a lot to lips eczema especially in some regions of the world. The most affected are people in areas where there is cold temperature. For example the winter season is known to dry up the skin very fast and contribute to low humidity. The combination of these factors could lead to eczema of the lips.

Contacts with Substances

Other external cause worthy of mention is the contact with irritating substances. When the lips contact some substances that are not healthy, it can lead to lips eczema. These substances could contain dangerous ingredients which react with the skin of the lips and cause it to inflame thereby causing eczema. Some ways by which contacts can cause problems for the lips include:

  • The use of cosmetics – Note that some of these cosmetics being applied to the lips could contain some harmful chemicals which will react with the skin causing inflammation. Therefore, users of cosmetics and other health care products should be vigilant on the kind of chemicals it contains.
  • Licking the lips frequently can cause eczema of the lips
  • There is also a possibility of food being a culprit in this case. For example, some food especially the processed ones could contain some chemicals and additive which may not be good for the skin.
  • Then there are allergic contacts worth considering. For example, things like nail polish, dental treatments, toothpaste, oral health care products, lip care products and even lipsticks are things that could cause lips eczema. In addition, people who suffer from acne are known to have challenges of eczema because the medication for acne tends to cause some kind of inflammation leading to eczema. Like mentioned earlier, you can’t also rule out the role of food in causing eczema especially some processed ones.
  • There is also a case of allergenic substance appearing in daily items even though the content may be small to lead to something big. For example, you could consider things like loss of moisture, the lip being the recipient of excessive smoke due to the smoking habit of the individual and even exposing the lip to excessive sun.


Treating lip eczema is not just about a single medication because there are several causes. Due to this fact, it would be important to know what caused the eczema before actually treating it. Note that there are both internal and external causes and should be handled and treated differently to target the source. For example, eczema that is caused from external substances can best be treated by avoiding the substances. There are some cases where even after treating the external causes, the issue still remain. In this case, it is important to check whether there are other irritants that are causing it to persist. The most important thing here is to try as much as possible to avoid any irritating substance round the lip area so that inflammatory response is not triggered. However, the following treatments may be recommended to fight against eczema of the lips:

  • Immunosuppressant – This can help build up the immune system for faster healing of lips eczema
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed in order to fight infections especially if there is a lot of inflammation in the lip area
  • If itches are severe, then antihistamines may be prescribed. The essence of this is to prevent a secondary bacterial infection from taking advantage of the situation and making the issue worse
  • Hydrocortisone creams can help to take care of itching, inflammation and redness in the lips and other affected area.
  • Moisturizer can also help introduce moisture in the area. The moisturizers that are normally recommended are the ones with natural ingredients. In addition, oil based ones are better because of its better skin protection properties.
  • Then there is also treatments based on alternative medicines and herbs

Home Remedies

To fight lip eczema, it is important to adopt some home remedies which have been known to be effective. The following are some of the home remedies:

  • Use plain water to clean the lip area
  • Apply petroleum jelly to the area
  • To reduce the inflammation or swelling, lemon juice can be used in conjunction with apple cider vinegar
  • Do not swim in any water that is treated with chlorine as it aggravates the problem
  • Alcohol has been known to make matters worse, avoid it
  • It is also important to avoid smoking; it does not help the situation
  • You can make use of supplements like omega-3 fatty acids
  • Try to eat vegetables and fresh fruits regularly. In fact, make it part of your meal. Most contain vitamin A which is very god for the skin
  • Try as much as possible to use soaps that are made of only natural ingredients

Pictures of Lip Eczema

Here is how eczema on lips looks like:

Picture collection of eczema on lips:


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