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What is the treatment for extremely dry lips?

Q: I have a problem of very dry lips and peeling of the skin from my lips since 9-10 years back. It started because of me biting my lips as a kid but now I am 25 years old and that habit is no more but the problem prevails. I recently got a biopsy done and it revealed my problem to be actinic chelitis and so I have been using sunscreen as advised by my doctor but in vain. I doubt the lab analysis. They removed a layer from both upper and lower lip and stitched the lips. Now the peeling has stopped but only from the suture line till the outer border of my lips and it continues to peel from the point of contact of the upper and lower till the suture line on the middle of each lip. It is a big problem when I go outside, eat or drink something, my lips get wet and there is a whitish layer of skin which is prominent so I am forced to peel or rub it off to look normal. Will this forceful peeling have any undesirable effects like discolouration of the lip or is it that only dead cells that are being removed? What should I do?

A:If the biopsy has been reported by a seasoned pathologist, who has seen evidence of actinic damage, then the diagnosis of actinic chelitis will have to be accepted. In this condition, the susceptibility to damage by light may be inherited or acquired. In the latter situation, one should try to find the photosensitises and eliminate them. Protection from light is very important. In addition to using sunscreens, use hats/umbrella, etc. Fluorouracil cream helps in some cases.


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