Licking your lips might seem harmless, but it can lead to several problems. Not only can it make your lips feel dry and chapped, but it can also lead to wrinkles and fine lines around your mouth.
There are several reasons why you might start licking your lips. Maybe you’re nervous or anxious or trying to moisten your lips because they feel dry. Whatever the reason, there are a few things you can do to break the habit.
Here are a few tips on how to stop licking your lips:
- Be aware of when you lick your lips. If you can catch yourself in the act, you’re more likely to be able to stop.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your lips hydrated.
- Apply lip balm or Vaseline to your lips when they feel dry.
- Avoid conditions that dry out your lips, such as windy or cold weather, smoke, and harsh chemicals.
- If you have anxiety or stress, try using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.
- The science behind why we lick our lips.
- Licking our lips is a common response to dryness, but it can also be a nervous habit. We asked a dermatologist and an oral surgeon to weigh in on the science behind why we lick our lips.
- The anatomy of the lips.
- The lips are one of the most sensitive body parts. They are covered with thin, delicate skin and have a high concentration of nerve endings. The skin on the lips is much thinner than on other parts of the body. This makes them prone to drying out, cracking, and chapping.
The lips are also one of the few body parts that don’t have sweat glands. This means that they can’t self-lubricate like other body parts. Instead, they rely on saliva to keep them hydrated. When the air is dry or when we breathe through our mouth, it can cause the lips to become dry and chapped.
The function of saliva
Your saliva does more than keep your mouth wet – it’s a complex mixture of different molecules that perform various important functions. Saliva’s most important function is to help break down food so you can digest it more easily. Enzymes in your saliva break down carbohydrates into simple sugars, which are absorbed into your bloodstream.
In addition to digestion, saliva helps protect your teeth from cavities. The fluoride in saliva helps to strengthen tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. Saliva also contains antibacterial properties that help keep your mouth clean and free of infection.
Finally, saliva plays an important role in maintaining the health of your mucous membranes. Mucous membranes line all the surfaces inside your body that come into contact with the outside world, including your mouth, nose, and eyes. Saliva helps to keep these surfaces moist, which helps to protect them from infection and other damage.
The drawbacks of licking your lips
Licking your lips might give you momentary relief from the dryness or chapping, but it can worsen the problem. When you lick your lips, you coat them with saliva, which can evaporate quickly and leave your lips even drier than before. Licking your lips can also irritate the delicate skin on your lips and cause redness, soreness, and cracking.
Dryness and chapping
One of the most common reasons people lick their lips is because they’re dry and chapped. When the air is dry, it can remove moisture from your lips, leaving them feeling parched. Licking your lips might feel like the best way to moisturize them, but it has the opposite effect.
When you lick your lips, you’re introducing moisture to them. But because saliva is a water-based liquid, it evaporates quickly. This can leave your lips even drier than before. In addition, saliva contains enzymes that can break down the natural oils in your skin, further drying out your lips.
Increased risk of infection
While it may feel good, licking your lips can lead to more dehydration and chapping. That’s because saliva contains enzymes that break down the skin, which can leave your lips vulnerable to infection. Studies have shown that people who lick their lips frequently are more likely to suffer from cold sores.
How to stop licking your lips
Many people lick their lips to moisten them, which can worsen the problem. If you’re constantly licking your lips, you’ll likely experience chapped lips more often. In addition, licking your lips can also lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. If you want to keep your lips healthy and moisturized, it’s important to find a way to stop licking your lips.
Be aware of when you’re doing it
Licking your lips might seem like a harmless habit, but it can have some serious consequences. Not only can it lead to chapped and dry lips, but it can also spread bacteria around your mouth. If you’re looking to kick the habit, here are a few tips to help you do that.
The first step is to be aware of when you’re doing it. If you find yourself licking your lips more than usual, take a moment to stop and ask yourself why. Are your lips dry or chapped? Are you feeling anxious or nervous? Once you identify the trigger, you can start to work on finding other ways to deal with it.
If your lips are dry or chapped, keep them moisturized. This will help reduce the urge to lick them in the first place. Use a lip balm or Vaseline and apply it whenever you feel your lips getting dry.
If anxiety or nerves are the triggers, there are a few things you can do to help ease those feelings. Try some relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga. Taking some deep breaths or walking can help calm you down.
Habit-forming behaviors can be tough to break, but with a little effort, you can overcome them. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adjust to new habits.
Keep your lips moisturized
One of the best ways to stop licking your lips is to keep them moisturized. This will help to prevent the urge to lick them in the first place. Use a lip balm or Vaseline to coat your lips and keep them hydrated. Apply it several times a day, especially before bed. You can also try using a humidifier in your room to add moisture to the air and help keep your lips from drying out.
A key part of learning to stop licking your lips is finding a way to distract yourself. This may sound not easy, but it can be as simple as keeping your hands busy or swapping out your lip balm for gum.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
-Chew gum: This will help keep your mouth moist and give you something to do with your hands.
-Use a straw: Sucking on a straw can help keep your lips moist without the need to lick them.
-Drink water regularly: This will help keep your lips hydrated and may help reduce the urge to lick them.
-Apply lip balm: This can help reduce the dryness of your lips, making them less likely to crack and need licking.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how to stop licking your lips. It will depend on the underlying cause of your lips licking and your personal preferences and habits. Some people may find that using a lip balm or chapstick can help to reduce the urge to lick their lips, while others may need to avoid trigger foods or drinks. If you have a medical condition causing you to lick your lips, you will need treatment from a doctor to stop the problem.