By Daunte Henderson, BlackDoctor.org
They say the eyes don’t lie, but apparently our lips don’t either. You can apparently tell a lot about your health from the appearance of your lips. Subtle signs that we overlook everyday could be the reason for our next $30 copay to the doctor. Who knew that having chapped lips meant something other than, “I had an intimate session with a powdered donut!” Get your Chapstick, water and a few new items ready after you read this article .
Contrary to popular belief, licking your lips won’t get the job done. In fact, it makes your lips even more crusty and dry. Water, water and more water is all you need. Your body is responding to its need for hydration. Drink plenty of water to erase those frequent dry lips.
Chapped lips can also mean that you’ve been overexposed to the wind, sun or dry air. To remedy this issue, experts recommend exfoliating and moisturizing your lips. Exfoliating is a fun activity if you haven’t done it before. Next time you’re drinking a margarita, take the sugar from the rim and rub some on your lips. This will start the process of exfoliation and by the end your lips will be back to square root one. Be sure to apply a thick lip balm on your pucker-uppers afterwards.
Did you try a new lipstick? Eat something that you probably should’ve abstained from? According to Dr. Ketih Arbeitman of Arbeitman & Shein Dentistry in Manhattan, swollen lips can be an indication of an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions that come from food you’ve ingested are usually accompanied by watery eyes, itchy skin or hives. If your lips start to tingle and puff up, please stop what you’re doing and assess the situation. That shrimp fried rice you enjoy so much might be giving you the blues. Please consult your doctor if your lips start to look like Daffy Duck’s.
Pale, Blue and Yellow Lips
According to Dr. Oz, pale lips can be a sign that enough oxygenated-red blood cells aren’t getting to your lips. This causes anemia and makes the lips look pale. Blue lips are a sign of heart or lung disease. When red blood cells become de-oxygenated the blood becomes blue and in turn makes the lips blue. If you have liver problems, the yellow, jaundice appearance of the lips can be a sign of liver disease.
Dry, Cracked Corners of the Lips
The painful cracks at the corners of your mouth is a condition called angular cheilitis. This issue causes a lot of embarrassment for sufferers, but luckily there’s a root cause and solution. This condition is developed in several ways. If you wear dentures, grind your teeth or drool a lot, moisture can form at the corners of your mouth as you sleep. This pool of moisture can lead to a yeast infection. Gross, right? But Dr. Arbeitman says that you can get a night guard, sleep propped up on a pillow and if you wear dentures that don’t fit, consult your dentist. Also, it’s strongly advised that you coat the corners of your mouth with Aquaphor to provide relief of the issue.
Please go see your doctor as soon as possible if you see any growths on your lips. This could be a sign of lip cancer. Other signs of lip cancer include dry white patches, stubborn sores that won’t heal, painful lips and numbness in the lips. Dr. Oz says you can prevent lip cancer by using lip balm with SPF built in.
A cold sore that appears on the lips is a sign that you’ve come in contact with the herpes simplex virus or Type 1 herpes(HSV-1). Cold sores are also called fever blisters. According to the CDC, more than half of the United States has the virus despite not showing any signs or outbreaks from the virus. The sore is characterized as a lesion in or around the mouth and lips. This virus can be spread when active, so please be aware. Doctors normally prescribe antiviral medication which usually clears this condition up in two weeks.