how to cure chapped lips

Not only are we experiencing dry winter skin on our face and bodies this season, but many of us are dealing with dry, cracked lips – a painful and uncomfortable situation!

Here are three easy, quick ways to cure chapped lips courtesy of Shape.com, who turned to dermatologist Lori Brightman, M.D for the answers.

Top Chapped Lips Triggers

1. Very dry air.
Come winter, humidity levels drop, inviting chapped lips. Try using a humidistat device to monitor moisture in your home. If you get a reading below 45, switch on a humidifier in your room at night to make the air-and your skin-dewier.

2. Certain medications.
Some oral prescriptions for acne, high blood pressure, and nausea can cause dry, chapped lips.

3. Chronic lip licking.
Enzymes in your saliva can irritate your skin over time and lead to cracked lips.

Top Soft Lips Solutions

1. Cover up!
Lock in moisture and nix chapped lips with an unflavored, non-medicated lip balm. We love Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($5; at drugstores), which contains panthenol and lanolin. Heading outdoors? Choose one with sunblock, like ChapStick Moisturizer SPF 15 ($2; at drugstores).

2. Try a new toothpaste.
Synthetic flavors can cause an allergic reaction that causes peeling. A natural paste, like Tom's of Maine Maximum Strength Sensitive Toothpaste ($5; tomsofmaine.com) is a good alternative.

3. Avoid citrus.
Until your dry, chapped lips are healed, don't eat acidic fruits; the juice can sting and lead to more flaking

If That Doesn't Work

If you still have chapped lips, or if the corners of your mouth are constantly cracked, see your doctor. "You could have a type of yeast infection that's caused by the saliva that pools when you sleep with your mouth open," says Brightman. Either way, your lips will get soft again if you treat them right.