Causes of Dry Skin around the Mouth

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 07, 2011

Dry skin around the mouth can cause a lot of discomfort, irritation, as well as embarrassment. Constant cracking or chapping of lips is an ungainly sight and can result in lack of confidence in many people. Symptoms of dry skin around the mouth include itching, redness and in extreme cases, bleeding. Although several over the counter gels and lotions can provide relief in minor cases, proper treatment would depend upon the cause of dry skin.

Main Causes Of Dry Skin Around the Mouth

  • Chapped lips: Dry skin around the mouth can be a result of continuous licking. Due to constant licking, the naturally secreted fluids are wiped off with the saliva, leading to dryness around the mouth. This can be immensely painful if not treated.
  • Seborrhoeic Dermatitis: This condition mainly occurs in people with an oily skin. It is a kind of eczema or skin rash, and is a condition in which yeast called malassezia exists on the skin. Due to sudden changes in the weather, excessive scratching and increased stress levels, some people may develop an infection around the mouth because of it.
  • Allergic Reactions: This is mainly a reaction to the fluoride in toothpastes and other oral hygiene products.
  • Contact Dermatitis: This type of dermatitis is caused due to allergens or irritants which make the skin around the mouth sensitive. In this case, it is important to figure out the source of the allergy. Once the allergen is identified, future contact with it should be avoided.
  • Age: Age may also cause dry skin around the mouth.
  • Angular Chelitis: In this type of skin disorder, the skin at the corner of the mouth becomes so dry that at times, it even leads to bleeding. Usually caused due to poorly fitting dentures, nutritional deficiencies or diabetes, ignoring this condition can lead to yeast infection, which can cause further complications.
  • Psoriasis: It produces red, scaly, itchy patches in the area above the upper lip, leading to cracking and pain.
  • Climatic conditions: Diminished humidity during winter can also lead to dry skin. Oil glands do not secrete sufficient oil and this can result in dry skin around the mouth. Dry skin around the mouth can simply be xerosis (having naturally dry skin) but often, it can be an indication of skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis.


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