UNMH dermatologist gives tips for keeping your lips healthy this winter

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The colder weather means your skin feels drier, including your lips.

"Lip skin is different than the surrounding skin," explained Dr. Nikifor Konstantinov, a dermatologist with UNMH. "It’s very, very thin. Lips are five times more likely to lose water, experience dryness and roughness compared to the rest of the skin on the face."

That’s why it’s so important to keep your lips moisturized, especially during the winter. However, before you head to the store to get something fruity or fun, check the ingredients.

"You have to be on the lookout for certain compounds and products," Dr. Konstantinov reminded. "So for example, menthol-based flavorings, beeswax, these can all be products that can sometimes cause one of these allergic reactions."

He recommends ointments that are effective and inexpensive, such as Aquaphor or Vaseline.

"Ointments are typically clear in color and are thick and very greasy," Dr. Konstatinov explained. "Aquaphor healing ointment also can come in a nice little convenient tube for lips but also using things like simple petroleum jelly, like Vaseline. Those are all great."

It is recommended you avoid licking your lips so you don’t end up with lip licker’s dermatitis. Doctors also recommend you don’t pick, bite or peel your skin either – and don’t forget to put on SPF too.