Exfoliative cheilitis

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Exfoliative cheilitis is a disorder of the skin that affects the lips which causes inflammation of the lips along with rapid and continuous peeling of the lips. Common symptoms of exfoliative cheilitis include dry skin, peeling of the skin of the lips, flaking and chapping of the lips and also the development of cracks or fissures, irritation and redness on the lips.

Common causes

  • Factitious damage which is a condition where the affected person produces or exaggerates a symptoms feeling they have an illness.
    Exfoliative cheilitis
    Burning and itching sensation can be felt on the affected lip.
  • An overgrowth of Candida yeast which is a fungal mouth infection can also cause exfoliative cheilitis. This yeast remains dormant for a time until it becomes stimulated which becomes reactive and begins an infection.
  • HIV infection which makes the immune system of the body erroneously attacks the healthy cells in the body.
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Deficiency in nutrition which can be primary or secondary which causes defective formation of keratin. Primary deficiency is caused by long term nutrient deficiency in the diet and secondary is caused by malabsorption in the small intestines.
  • A depressed immunity where the keratin is mistakenly seen as a foreign body and the immune system of the body eliminates the keratin and results to inflammation and in the process of eliminating the inflamed tissues in the body, it results in peeling of the lip.

Common symptoms

  • A persistent peeling off of the lips usually on the vermilion or the outer area of the lips
  • Burning and itching sensation can be felt on the affected lip
  • Swelling of the lip
  • Dryness and discoloration of the lip or lips
  • There is ulceration or fissuring of the affected lip or lips
  • A tingling sensation felt over the affected part of the lip or lips


  • Apply a lip balm in order to help keep the lip moist at least two times every day. It also helps lessen the itching and burning sensations caused by dryness of the lips.
  • Apply anti-fungal creams can also be used to help treat the condition, especially when the yeast germs are on the swab taken from the affected lips.
  • Apply a cold compress on the affected lip since it helps in the fast healing of the condition. Vinegar can also be added to cold water.
  • Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables since they help in providing the needed vitamins and nutrients for fast healing.
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol and tea since they make the condition worse.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Minimize stress to prevent the condition from getting worse. Meditation and yoga are known to help lessen the stress.
  • Drink plenty of water in order to keep the body well hydrated as well as making the lips moist.


  • Eat a variety of organic fruits and vegetables
  • Eliminate toxins in the body
  • Maintaining oral hygiene regularly
  • Clear the digestive tract
  • Proper intake of water
  • Using sunscreens and balms for the lips
  • Exfoliation and moisturizing the lips regularly
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