About 8 different types of skin conditions are collectively referred to as eczema. It is a chronic condition, mostly common in children. The condition is not contagious. It is also not dangerous but can be discomforting and sometimes embarrassing.
Most cases of eczema in adults are reported on the face, lips, neck, back, behind the elbows and behind the knees. The cheeks and scalp are the commonly affected areas in children. Eczema can easily be confused with conditions such as psoriasis and ringworm. Body and scalp eczema pictures can help with self-diagnosis.
The actual cause of eczema is not known. However, it is linked to genetic predisposition and environmental conditions. People with different allergies and sensitive skins are more predisposed.
Eczema on lips causes redness, swelling, itchiness and sometimes cracking on and around the lips. Since it is not a disease, there is no cure for the same. Available treatment options seek to manage the condition and avoid recurrent flare-ups.
Causes and symptoms of eczema on lips
Probable causes of eczema on the lips can be external or internal.
- Hereditary factors (atopic dermatitis)
- Health conditions causing dryness on lips
Allergens and irritants are the culprits in this case. Irritants are substances that one’s skin is sensitive to. After coming into contact with them, the body triggers a reaction aimed to get rid of the substances. They cause a type of eczema known as irritant contact dermatitis. Common irritants that can cause eczema on the lips include:
- Additives and preservatives in food
- Some lip care products
- Constantly licking the lips
- Chemicals products, such as chlorine, cleansers, detergents and dyes
Allergens cause a type of lips eczema known as allergic contact dermatitis. Common allergens on lips include:
- foods such as eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy and soy products
- dental care products and procedures
- some medication such as for acne
- lipsticks and lip balms
A number of symptoms can help identify eczema on lips. They include:
- Severe itchiness – in all types of eczema, severe itchiness is experienced. It usually leads to scratching, which causes irritation
- Redness – reddened patches will form on the affected areas. They can appear on lower or upper lip and sometimes both.
- Thickening – with time, the patches are likely to inflame and thicken
- Excess dryness – the lips will lose most of the moisture on the surface. This leads to excessive dryness, which in turn results in cracks and scaling.
- Papules, blisters and crusts – tiny lesions that can be felt with the tongue will develop on the eczema patches. With time, the lesions may develop into blisters and form crusts. The crusts turn golden when infected.
How to get rid of eczema on the lips medically
When it comes to how to get rid of eczema on the lips, a number of treatment options are available. Medical treatment is most common and most effective in short-term.
Moisturizers help keep the lips from drying and cracking. Some are available over the counter while some can be made at home. When using them for eczema around lips, go for oil-based, non-fragrance moisturizers.
A good example is 1% hydrocortisone cream. It is a very effective anti-inflammatory. For best results, the cream can be applied on eczema under lower lip and on the areas around the lips.
Treatment for infected eczema on the lips calls for the use of antibiotics to keep bacteria from accumulating on the affected areas. Antibiotics are very essential parts of dyshidrotic eczema treatment.
These are medications meant to ease the itchiness due to eczema. They are very helpful since the itchiness can cause sleeping difficulties.
This treatment approach relies on controlled use of UV rays to aid in skin rejuvenation. It is effective but takes longer to take effect. It also might increase irritation to sensitive skin.
Allergens cause the immune system to overreact. The immunosuppressant treatment approach helps curb the overreaction. This eczema on the lips treatment usually comes with many side effects and is only considered when other options have failed.
How to treat eczema on and around the lips at home
Several home remedies can prove helpful when it comes to how to treat eczema on the lips at home. The home remedies discussed below work best in long-term management of eczema. Severe cases, the best approach is to get medical help first and consider the home remedies afterwards. They include:
Shea butter is a very effective natural moisturizer. If for example you suspect the eczema around the lips to be resulting from irritants such as lip balms, this home remedy can be used instead.
Coconut oil is yet another mild and effective natural moisturizer. It can help with most forms of skin dryness, including eczema on the upper lip, lower lip and general facial eczema. On top of keeping the skin hydrated, coconut oil also eases burning and itchiness. Coconut oil is one of the best home remedies for eczema on the face.
Lavender oil and chamomile oil are commonly used for eczema on the lips treatment. For best results, carrier oil should be added to any of the essential oil to be used. Good examples of carrier oils include olive oil, avocado oil and almond oil. They can be mixed in the ratio of 2:10.
Strawberries and bananas have been noted to increase eczema recovery process. Pastes from such fruits require be applied directly to the affected regions. Such pastes can also be used to treat eczema under lower lip and in children.
Omega-3 fatty acids present in flaxseeds make them capable treatment options for eczema and other related skin conditions. These fatty acids boost immunity and provide raw materials needed for mending flawed skin areas. Fish oil supplements are another good source. Since application in this case is not external, flaxseeds are good options for how to treat eczema on the eyelid.
Of most notable natural remedies for eczema, uncooked oatmeal is one. It requires be ground into fine powder and made into a solution with water. The best approach is to add a cup of the same to bath water and soak for 15 minutes. Of course you will not have to soak affected lips for the said period.
How to cure and prevent eczema around the lips naturally
Hydrate and moisturize
Dehydration is one of the factors that worsen eczema on the lips symptoms. Always ensure that you have applied non-irritant moisturizers on and around the lips. Also, maintain the recommended water intake per day. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine usually draw a lot of water from the body.
Keep off triggers
Even though eczema is chronic and hereditary, flares are rare in absence of trigger irritants and allergens. Make a point of learning products you are sensitive and allergic to and avoid them.
Consider lifestyle adjustments
Eczema is noted to worsen in times of stress and in patients with compromised immunity. It is therefore advisable to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This includes taking more vitamins, seeking medical prescription before using drugs and avoiding sugary foods.
How to cure eczema under the lower lip in children
In children, eczema under the lower lip is more common. It is mainly attributed to the constant presence of saliva. Saliva is usually slightly alkaline. It also carries a number of digestive enzymes. Sometimes, its persistent presence can act as an irritant.
When it comes to how to cure eczema in children, mild home remedies such as essential oils and fruit pastes can be used. However, it is always best to see a doctor before administering any form of treatment. In fact, avoid using topical eczema treatment on children without consultation.
More than 70% of eczema cases begin at childhood. Although it is not fatal, treatment should be sought to avoid possible complications. In children for example, eczema symptoms can be unbearable to an extent of causing trauma mostly due to inability to sleep.