Experiencing a sunburn is a common and rather well-known phenomenon...but sunburned lips? That really does not seem right, does it? This concept might be novel to you, but that does not mean they do not exist. What are sunburned lips? These come about due to constant and prolonged exposure to the harsh sun's rays which causes the skin to peel off and leave it without any protection. The condition is very painful and leads to extreme dryness. Let's go on to see what some of the symptoms of this ailment are and how to treat the same as a part of effective lip care.
How does one go about identifying whether their lips have been sunburned or not? Here are some of the symptoms that you'll notice when you have a sunburn on your lips. These will help you to take the next step of bringing into action some remedies.
- The lips will feel hot, and a throbbing-burning sensation will make its presence felt.
- There will be a tightness felt in the cracked lips.
- The skin will be extremely sensitive and feel singed when touched.
- The lips will start to chap and if the condition is quite severe, then they will even split.
- There might be some amount of bleeding as well.
- The skin will be extremely tender and might lead to sores on lips and blisters after a passage of time.
- The lips might develop scabs as a result of bleeding and the skin might start to flake off.
- There might be a lot of pain and itching.
- The lips will turn a shade of red or pink and the pain experienced will be worse than any other sunburned part on the body.
The key to sunburn relief is to keep the lips moisturized. Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly (very gently) and make sure that you keep re-applying it every time the lips dry out. Alternate it with a lip balm that has sunscreen in it. Products that contain vitamin E, waxes and lanolin help to lock the moisture in as well. One can buy vitamin E capsules, break them open and spread them over the lips. Vitamin E helps to lock the moisture in as well as helps in the formation of new skin.
It has been seen that herbal remedies work really well for treating this condition as well. Use a generous amount of Aloe vera gel on the lips. The natural properties of Aloe vera (soothing and cooling) will help by providing tremendous relief from the burning sensation and help in the healing process. So also, you can use olive oil for the same. But do not expose yourself to the sun after applying olive oil to the lips. Another ingredient that is known to work wonders is potato juice. Take a raw potato through the blender and use the juice, or grate some. Apply to the lips and leave for as long as possible for immediate cooling. Apply a paste of clarified butter or milk cream and turmeric on the lips. Turmeric is a well-known antiseptic which will heal the lips while the butter and cream will cool the skin and repair the damage. You can also make a paste of sandalwood powder and crushed rose petals and apply this to the lips for repair and cooling.
You don't wait to suffer untold miseries to find a cure, do you? Similarly, you don't have to wait for the condition to get unbearable and then carry through with a cure. You can simply prevent it. A lot of stress has been given to the importance of sunscreen, correct? That same rule applies here as well and is even more important because lips are the most sensitive body part. Sunburned lips will hurt more than any other body part that is sunburned (as I mentioned before), even a peeling sunburned face. So make sure that while you slather dollops of sunscreen on the body, you do not leave out the lips. The sunscreen should be a minimum count of 15 SPF and have moisture-locking properties.
Let's say you didn't apply the sunscreen and now you have sunburned lips. Now what? First of all, do not go on touching them. That will only aggravate the condition further and delay the healing process. Use a cold compress to get relief from the throbbing pain and the burning sensation. Place a few wet napkins in the freezer section and let them freeze. Take these out and place on the lips. It'll give you instant relief from the pain. Do this exercise many times through the day.
If the lips are burned badly, then there are chances that it might develop blisters. For this (and ONLY if your doctor gives the green signal), use antiseptic wipes to prevent further infection and the possible onset of cold sores and fever.
Sunburned lips come about because the skin loses out on moisture. Supply your body with a lot of moisture by increasing your fluid intake in the form of plain water and juices.
When one gets sunburned lips, the natural tendency is to keep licking the lips because they feel dry. Do not do this at any cost. Licking ones lips means nothing more than drawing out all the moisture - which only defeats the purpose of moisturizing your lips in the first place. Moisturize the lips with one of the above mentioned methods instead.
Give it Time
The healing of any wound will take time, and lips that have been sunburned are no exception. Be patient, carry out all the remedies diligently and you'll see that your lips will be healed in due course of time.
Avoid getting a sunburn on your lips in the first place because they are a menace to treat. Add to that the fact that prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer and you should want to avoid it any cost. So even if you've got sunburned lips once, make sure that you don't get them again...or better still, ever.