Your lips may suddenly become scratchy, which can be very irritating.
If you are wondering why are my lips itchy, the majority of the time, a contact or seasonal allergy causes itchy lips.
Itchy lips can occasionally signify other, less prevalent medical disorders. To learn what might be making your lips itch, keep reading.
You can have dry lips without the other (itchy lips), but often dry lips might make you feel like your lips are itching.
Itching might begin on lips that have become dry due to environmental conditions.
The barrier of dried-out skin is less robust. It can itch your lips, cause them to look red or inflamed, or make you want to itch them.
Dry lips are typically not a sign or symptom of anything other than your environment, such as a hot climate or heavy humidity.
However, irritated lips can indicate something else. Although the two symptoms are frequently combined, it’s critical to know the difference.
The following are reasons why your lips are itchy
1. Allergic contact cheilitis
“Allergic contact cheilitis” refers to itchy or sore lips brought on by exposure to an allergen.
Your lips may respond to lip products, including lipstick, sunscreen, toothpaste, mouthwash, and medications.
Another major irritant is food that contains preservatives, scents, or flavor enhancers.
Your lips will appear puffy and may develop scaly or itchy skin patches due to the condition. After coming into contact with an allergen, this symptom is transient and should go away within 24 hours.
2. Drug-induced cheilitis
As a side effect, some pharmaceutical drugs can make your lips itch. The side effect is well-known to occur with retinoid therapy (isotretinoin, acitretin, and alitretinoin).
It may also cause your lips to bleed and blister. Your lips may itch as a result of penicillin-based antibiotic allergies, such as those to amoxicillin.
3. Traumatic cheilitis
Overstimulation of the delicate skin of your lips might result in the type of lip inflammation. Your lips may swell and feel itchy due to lip licking and lip biting habits.
If you can quit the activity that makes your lips irritable, the condition will go away, but it may return in the future if the irritation of your lips continues.
Children and adolescents are most likely to suffer from the condition.
4. Weather-induced cheilitis
As the name implies, lip inflammation develops when your lips are prone to excessively high or low temperatures.
People who work outside and live in climates with frequent severe temperatures are more susceptible to developing the condition. Lips breaking or bleeding are common symptoms of the situation.
Your lips could itch from certain bacterial, viral, and fungal illnesses. Causes of Itchy and unpleasant lips can be strep (group A Streptococcus), staph (group A Staphylococcus), and yeast overgrowth.
If your lips are infected, once the other infection symptoms subside, your lips should feel healthy once again. Antibiotics might be necessary in some circumstances to manage the infection.
Eczema, also identified as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic disorder that causes dry, itchy, and inflammatory skin. Additionally, it can appear anywhere on the body, even on the lips.
Atopy, or the natural genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases like eczema, hay fever, and asthma, can occur in people with atopic dermatitis or atopic cheilitis.
These patients typically have a family history of the condition of atopy.
7. Herpes simplex virus
A virus causes the sexually transmitted infection (STI) known as herpes simplex.
It can also affect a person’s genitalia and causes painful, crimson, or pigmented blisters outside the lips.
Herpes can initially result in painful lip sores and severe flu-like symptoms. The subsequent outbreaks may be milder and will mainly cause cold sores.
Herpes has no known treatment. Instead, therapy aims to stop flare-ups and lessen symptoms when they do. Antiviral drugs used orally may aid in preventing the recurrence of symptoms.
8. Oral thrush
Thrush is an overgrowth of Candida. A fungus called Candida thrives on the skin and in the vicinity of the mucous membranes, although it usually has no adverse effects on health.
If there is an imbalance, the fungus can spread wild and cause unpleasant, itchy white patches in the lips and cracking around the lips’ corners.
To treat oral thrush, a doctor would prescribe an antifungal drug.
Other causes of itchy lips include
- Dietary deficiencies
- Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome
How to prevent itchy lips
Why are my lips itchy? There are certain things you can do to prevent recurrent itchy lips.
Protect your lips
Use a medicated lip balm with sunscreen all year to shield your lips. When going outside in subzero weather, we advise wearing a scarf over your mouth to protect your lips from the chilly air.
Select hypoallergenic, unflavored, and odorless cosmetics to protect your lips from environmental toxins.
Avoid any possible allergies
The cornerstone of treatment is removing the irritant from the patient’s surroundings.
Patients should avoid lip balms with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, lanolin, and other potentially allergenic chemicals.
Depending on how the patch test turns out, there may be other things to avoid. Using topical corticosteroids can help lessen itching and redness.
In addition to topical corticosteroids, bland emollients like petrolatum can cause itchy lips. The patient should speak with a dermatologist if these measures are ineffective.
Modify your behavior
Try your hardest not to lick your lips. Although it may appear like licking your lips moisturizes them, it makes the area even drier.
To reduce the number of substances dehydrating your mouth, you might change your daily facial care and makeup routine.
Also, pay attention to how you breathe because drying out your lips might result from using your mouth rather than your nose to live.
There are over a hundred reasons why adequate drinking water benefits your health.
During the winter, keeping your home humidified and drinking enough fluids will help your skin retain the right amount of moisture and prevent chapped irritated lips.
Itchy Lips Diagnosis
Why are my lips itchy? If a patient complains of itching lips, the doctor would probably inspect them and inquire about any additional symptoms.
If the doctor is unsure of the cause, they may obtain samples from any lesions.
If a doctor believes that an underlying medical condition is the root of a patient’s itching lips, he may do more testing. Blood testing can occasionally aid in diagnosis.
If you encounter any of the following, get medical help right away:
- A sudden rash that covers your lips and extends to your face.
- Constant lip bleeding
- Trouble breathing
- Lips that quickly swell
If you have itchiness in your lips that doesn’t go away, particularly if your lips are chapped or bleeding, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
When discussing your symptoms with your doctor, tell them about any drugs you’re on and recent cosmetics you’ve used.
To rule out any allergic responses to foods or items, your doctor could recommend that you see an allergist.
You can find out if you have allergic contact cheilitis with blood tests. To establish if you have an infection or a yeast overgrowth, your doctor may perform a culture or swab test.
Your lips may become less itchy using antifungal lotions and oral antibiotics.
If you are experiencing an allergic response, a topical or oral antihistamine may help with itching and hives. Dry, itchy lips may require a moisturizing treatment.
To safeguard your lips from dry conditions and harsh weather, your doctor can suggest a hypoallergenic, fragrance- and chemical-free solution that you can apply daily.
Itchy lips may be a side effect of any medications you’re taking, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any.
What distinguishes a cold sore from a lip rash?
Numerous factors might cause a rash around the mouth. One type of lip rash brought on by the herpes simplex virus is cold sores.
Other instances include thrush, a mouth- and lip-infecting yeast infection, and impetigo, a bacterial infection marked by sores that have a honey-crusted appearance.
Why are my lips itchy and Is a lip itch a sign of an STD?
No, not always. One lip itch brought on by HSV, which can spread through intercourse or saliva sharing, is cold sores.
The most infectious times for these HSV infections are when there are open sores. Impetigo and thrush are more reasons for lip itch that are not sexually transmitted.
Itchy lips are typically a benign sign of dry, itchy skin around the mouth. Sometimes without any treatment, the condition tends to go away independently.
There are cases when itchy lips can indicate a more profound health condition, so pay attention to other symptoms that might occur along with itchy lips.