FOR YOUR HEALTH: Lip Care is an Important Part of Your Oral Health Routine

Don’t kiss off your lips. Protect them from damage and neglect.

(NAPSI)—Lips are one of the most sensitive organs in the body, composed of more than a million nerves, yet they are often neglected and not treated properly. Without healthy, fully functioning lips, your everyday life would look very different­—which is why it’s so important to take the necessary steps to protect them.  

Why protect your lips  

Lips are the body’s thinnest and most fragile layer of skin, and lack the sweat glands—or sebaceous oil glands—necessary to provide strong protection. This combination of thin skin and lack of natural moisturizing leads to dryness and susceptibility to becoming chapped, especially in drastic weather conditions. Over time, untreated chapped lips could lead to severe oral deterioration and susceptibility to wounds.  

As seasons and temperatures change, your lips can be greatly affected if not properly cared for. During the hot summer months, it’s important to protect your lips with lip balm and SPF lip care. Continuous and unprotected sun exposure can cause breakage to the skin barrier and lead them to look aged and discolored, and in some cases, even to oral cancer.  

No matter the weather—or your age—it’s important to pay close attention to your lips, and to develop a regular lip care routine to help keep your lips soft, smooth and healthy.  

“The lips are one of the most overlooked parts of the body, and ongoing neglect can lead to serious consequences including mouth cancer,” warns Kyle Dosch, DDS, who serves as Delta Dental of Washington’s dental director. “It is important to schedule your twice annual check-ups with your dentist where they perform oral inspections to detect any urgent mouth issues.”

How can I protect my lips?  

Many think that licking your lips provides them with sufficient moisture but, in reality, this actually dries them out even more. To keep your lips hydrated, use a moisturizing lip balm, which can be applied as often as you feel your lips need a hydration boost.  

When looking for a good lip balm, check the ingredients for shea butter, which is a great source of moisturization. Also, when choosing a lip balm, check for SPF 30 or SPF 40. Even if it’s not sunny out, there are still strong UVA and UVB rays that can cause more damage to your lips, according to Healthline experts.  

Another way to protect your lips is by exfoliating at least once a week using sugar or salt mixed with your preferred nourishing oil, then follow up with a lip balm. Make sure, when exfoliating, you’re not applying too much pressure because you don’t want to break the skin barrier any further.  

Your body works in wonderful ways to communicate what it needs, so make sure to listen and look at what it is saying. Following these simple and easy steps will let your lips be full and healthy, which contributes to your overall well-being.  

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