Baby’s Chapped Lips: Causes, Signs and Treatment

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Regardless of what season or time of the year it is, chapped lips happen to plague everyone at some point or another. Whether it’s due to dry weather or dehydration, it doesn’t matter since it’s pretty uncomfortable no matter what. So, what do you do when your baby’s lips are chapped? If it’s annoying for adults, it can’t be a great feeling for kids either.

Read More:11 Home Remedies for Cracked Lips in Children

baby dry lips

In this article:

Should You Worry if Your Baby has Cracked Lips?
What are the Causes of Chapped Lips in Babies?
Do Babies Get Chapped Lips Due to Breastfeeding?
What are the Signs of Chapped Lips in Infants?
How can You Treat Chapped Lips in a Baby?
What to do if Your Child has Chronic Chapped Lips?
How can I Prevent Cracked Lips in My Baby?

Every Parent Should Know about Baby’s Chapped Lips

Should You Worry if Your Baby has Cracked Lips?

Chapped lips can be a cause for concern, especially in infants. The lips can end up splitting and cracking as well as bloody sores, causing great discomfort. Dehydration and dry weather are the most common causes. Sometimes, chapped lips may point to underlying health conditions such as nutrient deficiency or they’re having an allergic reaction. Frequent lip-licking may cause the lips to lose moisture. The saliva evaporates rapidly leaving the lips stretched and dry.

Dry winter, hot summer months, or too much wind exposure can cause lips to lose moisture. You should also watch your baby and notice if they breathe from their mouth, which can cause chapped lips.

What are the Causes of Chapped Lips in Babies?

There can be several causes of chapped lips in babies, such as:

Dehydration

Newborns can become dehydrated if they do not get enough breast milk or formula milk. On particularly hot days, babies may require additional feeds to prevent dehydration.

Breast milk is a natural moisturizer for an infant’s mouth, so try feeding them regularly.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Chapped lips could be a sign that a newborn is deficient in certain nutrients. Without the right balance of nutrients, the lips may not stay looking healthy. If you suspect that your newborn has any nutritional deficiencies, you should speak to a doctor.

Sucking or Licking the Lips

Newborns have a strong sucking instinct, so they may continue to suck or lick their lips even when they are not feeding. This can cause the lips to become dry because the saliva on them evaporates and leaves them more dehydrated than before.

Changes in the Weather

Heat, cold, and wind can all result in chapped lips in newborns. Fluctuating weather can draw moisture from the skin and could leave a baby’s lips dry and cracked.

Skin Sensitivity

A newborn with sensitive skin may develop chapped lips as a reaction to an irritant. Some newborns are sensitive to cosmetics, for instance, so interacting with a baby while wearing makeup could trigger a rash and cause cracks to appear on the lips and skin. Scented cloths, wipes, lotions, and creams could also trigger an allergic reaction in some infants.

An Underlying Disease

Kawasaki disease is a rare form of vasculitis, which is an inflammation of blood vessels. It mostly affects infants and even newborns. One of the several symptoms of the disease is red, cracked, and dry lips. The disease is extremely rare, and the reason behind it is unknown.

Do Babies Get Chapped Lips Due to Breastfeeding?

No, since breast milk is full of antibodies that can help fight off disease and applying a few drops of breast milk to dry, cracked lips can help soothe and moisturize them. In the first days after giving birth, a mother’s breast milk contains colostrum, which can protect newborns from bacteria and viruses. In addition, it might lower the risk of infection.

What are the Signs of Chapped Lips in Infants?

Signs of chapped lips in newborns include:

  • Lips that look sore, red or dry
  • Lips that feel dry to the touch
  • Cracks appearing on the surface of the lips and becoming deeper over time
  • Cracks that bleed
  • The skin is dark around the lips

How can You Treat Chapped Lips in a Baby?

You can use any of the several following methods:

Breast Milk

One of the simplest and most natural approaches you can take is to apply breast milk to your baby's chapped lips. Breast milk is a great moisturizer that helps heal skin and hydrate, which is why it's a great option for your baby's chapped lips. Try to make sure you leave some breast milk or natural lip balm smeared on your baby’s lips. natural approaches you can take is to apply breast milk to your baby’s chapped lips. Breast milk is a great moisturizer that helps heal skin and hydrate, which is why it’s a great option for your baby’s chapped lips. Try to make sure you leave some breast milk or natural lip balm smeared on your baby’s lips.

Natural Lip Balms

Although lip balm is not a long-term solution, it will help soothe lips that are already chapped. If you want to use a natural, organic, and preferably unscented lip balm on your baby, that’s totally normal and helpful.

Avoid using a Pacifier

One of the causes of chapped lips is excessive use of the pacifier, which is the last thing any parent wants to hear. If you feel nothing is helping your baby’s chapped lips or it’s a constant re-occurrence, try getting rid of (or cutting down significantly) on using pacifiers.

Use a Humidifier

Humidifiers add moisture back into a very dry-air environment. Humidifiers are a great way to help get rid of and prevent dry skin and chapped lips for your baby especially during drier months throughout the year.

Note: Do not apply baby oil, lotions and even natural remedies such as coconut oil since they may cause health difficulties when the baby consumes them. In addition to this, avoid lanolin, which is quite commonly used by breastfeeding mothers for sore nipples. Lanolin can cause poisoning when ingested and should not be applied to the baby’s lips.

What to do if Your Child has Chronic Chapped Lips?

Chapped lips that won’t improve, or that last for weeks or longer, might, in rare cases, be a sign of another health issue. Certain vitamin deficiencies can cause dry and peeling lips, as well as consuming too much of certain vitamins, like vitamin A.

Another serious health concern to watch out for is Kawasaki disease, which is a rare condition that occurs in children and involves inflammation of the blood vessels. Affected children always have a fever and seem quite sick. The following are symptoms of this disorder, which are not well-understood:

  • A fever that lasts for five or more days
  • Rashes, often worse in the groin area
  • Sore throat
  • Presence of red, bloodshot eyes, without seepage or crusting around the eyes
  • Has bright red, swollen and cracked lips
  • A “strawberry” tongue, which appears with shiny bright red spots after the top coating sloughs off
  • Swollen hands and feet and redness of the palms and soles of the feet
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

If you suspect that your newborn may have Kawasaki disease, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Most symptoms are temporary, and most children recover completely, but the heart and blood vessels can be affected, so it’s important to consult a specialist.

How can I Prevent Cracked Lips in My Baby?

Prevention is often the best treatment strategy. To ensure that the temperature inside your house isn’t causing your newborn’s lips to dry up, use a humidifier in the winter to keep the air in your home humid.

Prevent lip-chapping due to the weather outside by covering your newborn’s lips when you go outside, especially when it’s sunny or windy. You may turn your baby around when moving to keep the wind from hitting their face, or you can cover their face with a light, breathable fabric or scarf.

Sources

https://www.momjunction.com/articles/babys-chapped-lips_00464946/

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/babys-chapped-lips

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!

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