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Skin Care and Diseases

Cracking, Peeling, Sore Lips won`t stop



The skin on my lips have been peeling away and I don`t know why. It starting happening like 2 weeks ago and they are red now. It`s like when you bite your lip and you get a sore but the sore soon goes away, but my lips have been cracking and the sore`s won`t heal.My lips aren`t bleeding but I can feel the sore`s. I thought it might be because I`ve been really nervous lately or I also thought that I might even have diabeties, because I know it take`s time for sore`s to heal if diabeties is the cause. I would like to know if you may know what could be causing this.


You did not give me your age, but your description is that of probable allergic contact dermatitis to a lipstick or another lip balm that you might be using.  It does not sound like an infectious process, but rather a dermatitis.  In addition to lipstick and lip balms, you may become sensitive to toothpaste - particularly some of the preservatives in them, mouthwashes and/or you may be allergic to something you are eating.  For example, patients who are allergic to poison ivy may break out around their mouth usually when eating the fruit mango. 

I would suggest that you see a board certified dermatologist so that that individual can carefully evaluate the kind of eruption that you have on your lips.  In that way appropriate medication can be prescribed.

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati