Eczema On Lips

Eczema is a highly common skin condition that can be found in people of all ages. The most common form of eczema, including the type that appears on the lips, is atopic dermatitis.

What is Eczema?

As a skin condition that can have a variety of different severities and causes, Eczema on lips is one of the most common skin treatments in the world. There is no single cause for Eczema as a condition, and doctors consider a variety of different factors.

Primarily, Eczema causes inflammation of the skin, including the skin on the lips, and includes a group of different skin conditions, all with similar symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Skin that is very itchy
  • Skin that is extremely dry, sometimes to the point of cracking
  • Skin that is red in appearance
  • Skin that appears leathery

Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, including the lips, and is very common on the face. For many, Eczema can be a chronic condition that is difficult to get rid of; and can be seasonal, related to stress or as a result of other situations.

Many infants and children have Eczema, both on the body and the lips, but many children grow out of this condition as they become older. For those whose Eczema continues, it is more likely that they will experience other allergic conditions. These can include asthma and hay fever.

In the majority of cases, people with Eczema on lips will begin to experience the symptom of itching prior to a rash occurring on the skin. This is the first warning sign of this condition developing and should be monitored in children scratching excessively. If you or your child’s nails are too long or sharp, the scratching as a result of this itch can lead to sore skin, bleeding or even wounds.

Excessive scratching from Eczema on lips can result in bacterial infections or further inflammation, which may require additional treatment from the doctor.

Eczema on the lips and mouth should not be mistaken for cold sores or herpes, which is a skin condition that causes dry skin and sores around the mouth. However, Eczema around the mouth may leave the individual vulnerable to catching the herpes virus, resulting in future cold sores alongside Eczema. This is called Eczema Herpeticum.

Causes of Eczema on the Lips

There are a wide variety of different suggested causes for Eczema flare-ups, but doctors do not have knowledge of what causes the person to develop Eczema in the first place. However, it has been suggested that Eczema on lips may be caused by any of the following factors, either alone or in combination:

  • Genetic history of Eczema
  • Different or abnormal functioning in the immune system
  • Effects of the environment, including exposure to allergens
  • Predisposition to sensitive skin, or activities that may cause this
  • Problems, defects or otherwise different functioning of the skin barrier, which prevents or reduces the skin’s ability to moisturize and prevent germs from entering the skin.

It is known that Eczema is not a contagious condition - it cannot be passed from one person to another by way of skin contact or any other form of contact. As such, it is fine for adults and children to be in the general population during a flare-up without the risk of infecting others.

Eczema is also known to have genetic elements and often runs in families. If a person’s parents both suffer from sensitive skin and Eczema type symptoms, it is likely the child will develop this condition in addition. A history of the following can also influence the likelihood of someone developing Eczema:

  • History of asthma
  • History of seasonal allergies including hay fever
  • History of general allergies

Eczema is not in itself an allergic reaction. However, children who have Eczema may also be more likely to have other allergies, such as allergies to food. Certain substances can trigger the appearance or flare-up of Eczema, which can include contact with wool of any type, or other non-hypoallergenic materials or cosmetics. Some animal allergies may also set off Eczema.

Skin irritation can also result in Eczema flare-ups. This applies both to Eczema on the lips and the rest of the body. This may include:

  • Soaps, liquid or bar
  • Perfumes
  • Make-up, especially lipstick for the lips
  • Sand and dust
  • Solvents and glues
  • Chlorine
  • Environmental irritants such as pollen or pollution
  • Smoke from cigarettes

Flare-ups of Eczema can also be caused by illness, such as a cold or flu and also for psychosomatic reasons such as due to intense or prolonged stress.

Treatment for Eczema on lips

To confirm that a skin condition is actually Eczema, it’s important that you speak to and show your skin to a dermatologist or other doctor in order to confirm the diagnosis and be sure that you are treating the correct condition.

A doctor will be able to talk through your symptoms, your particular triggers, and your family history in order to correctly diagnose Eczema on the lips or other areas of the body.

The primary way to keep Eczema manageable and to reduce the symptoms and problems associated with this condition is to keep track of a skincare routine. By ensuring your skin is well cared-for you can prevent flare-ups and manage the itching and dry skin that Eczema causes.

It is important to clean the skin without drying it further. Choosing moisturizing soaps and face washes, as well as a good quality and highly effective moisturizer, can help to treat dry skin as a result of Eczema and to prevent it from drying out further. In the case of Eczema on the lips, moisturizing lip creams and sticks can help.

Bleach baths may be recommended for Eczema in other areas of the body. However, for the face, this is not a treatment that can be used. For those with other Eczema in combination with those on the lips, this treatment can be effective for part of the body.

Management of stress can also be a highly important factor for the management of Eczema. This can be discussed with a doctor or psychologist and may include anything from performing mindfulness tasks to getting more regular exercise

A humidifier can be a good way to reduce the effects of Eczema overnight, and prevent them from becoming worse.

Medications can also be used for the treatment of Eczema on the lips. This may include antihistamines in order to reduce allergic responses, light therapy for a severe skin condition or over-the-counter creams like hydrocortisone, which should be used sparingly on the lips.

For swollen or painful skin, over-the-counter painkillers and NSAIDs may also be suggested in order to provide relief from the pain this condition may cause when the level of Eczema is severe. However, this depends on advice from a medical professional.

Medicated, highly moisturizing shower gels and bath creams may also be recommended to reduce and prevent Eczema. It’s important to never use any medicated products without the consent of a doctor, especially on sensitive skin like the lips.

Finally, short baths and showers can be used to help dry skin to heal and remoisturize, following by patting dry instead of rubbing.

Preventing Eczema

Because there is not a well-known single cause for Eczema, there isn’t a single drug or treatment that can effectively prevent this condition from occurring. However, there are several things that can be done to reduce the chance of Eczema reoccurring as badly, or as frequently.

This may include switching to kinder, more sensitive products that touch your skin. This includes anything from laundry detergent and softener through to soaps, moisturizers and make-up. Ensuring that everything that touches your skin will not provoke a flare-up can help to prevent Eczema from reoccurring.

Speaking with your doctor or dermatologist and forming a plan including the best way to manage flare-ups may not prevent this condition from occurring, but it will likely reduce the duration and severity of skin problems, both on the body and the lips.

Avoiding stressful situations and preparing against allergens by taking antihistamines can also be a way to prevent further flare-ups, especially if you know what the trigger for your Eczema is. Understanding the personal cause of your Eczema can go a long way towards understanding how to manage and reduce it in the future.