Lip lickers dermatitis is a skin behavior disorder, a skin disease caused by one’s own bad habits.
Lip lickers dermatitis is a contact dermatitis caused by frequent licking of the skin around the mouth and lips with the tongue, mostly in children. When the weather is dry, many people’s lips become dehydrated and dry, and then some people subconsciously lick their lips and the skin around the mouth with their tongues, trying to moisten their lips with saliva. But frequently licking the skin of the lips with the tongue will only make it drier and drier, forming a vicious cycle that will eventually make the skin rough or even swollen.
Why is lip licker’s dermatitis mostly seen in children?
With windy and dry air in autumn and winter, and usually dry air in air-conditioned rooms, children’s lips and their surrounding skin are dry and dehydrated, prone to dryness and cracking and bacterial infection. Children do not realize that what they are doing is wrong, so they often use their tongues to lick their lips, and then their saliva evaporates leading to dry and cracked lips and inflammation.
Dry and cracked lips need moisture to moisten, and saliva has a certain moisturizing effect, but some enzymes and bacteria contained in saliva will cause irritation to the epithelial cells of the lips. Therefore, if you lick your lips often, it will cause lip licker’s dermatitis.
Symptoms of lip lickers dermatitis
Red rashes, papules, and chaps appear around the mouth, resulting in fine flaking of the skin, and finally the formation of a ring of dark brown pigmentation. As the local skin feels uncomfortable, some people keep licking their lips with their tongues in order to relieve the symptoms, which causes a vicious circle and aggravates the skin damage. If the tongue licking is biased to one side, the perioral black circle expands to that side.
How to prevent and control lip lickers dermatitis
1. Protect your lips well and keep them moisturized
Use safe, edible, non-additive lip moisturizing products. Minimize the stimulation of the lip area by the wind and sun. If the lips are sensitive and dry, you can wear a mask when you go out.
2. Correct the bad habit of licking lips
For some children with poor self-control and serious skin lesions, you can apply bitter-tasting preparations to the skin around the lips, which not only have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects but also can curb their tongue licking action.
You can use the anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and moisturizing ointment, and in mild cases, you can apply urea vitamin E cream, and in serious cases, you can use topical 1% pimecrolimus, butyl hydroxy acid cream, and Utral. Patients with oozing erosion can first use 0.9% saline wet compresses for 15-20 minutes each time, about 3 times a day, and then use the ointment after the drying symptoms are relieved.
In addition to the above treatment, mothers should also remind their children to drink more water, eat more vegetables and fruits, and also take appropriate multivitamin supplements, which are helpful for the recovery of lip licker’s dermatitis. But the most important thing is not to lick the lips with the tongue often.
Note: If the symptoms of dry, cracked and crusty lips do not heal for a long time, you should go to the hospital promptly to find out the cause as soon as possible and treat the symptoms.