Lips don’t lie! Warning signs your lips give you about health

Healthy lips are supposed to be soft and pink. But if they turn pale or dry, it's not just your lips you should be worried about. There are many things that lips say about your health.
Lips can tell you about your health
It's true, your lips can tell you about your health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 7 Aug 2023, 15:30 pm IST
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Different parts of your body can find ways to tell you that your health needs to be a priority. You might be giving too many hours to work, just sitting away with hardly any movements. Or you might be typing too much or exposing your eyes to multiple screens for long. You might not immediately feel the changes in your body due to unhealthy lifestyle. But they all start with the warning signs that your eyes, nails or skin give you. Lips also help us to know if there is a problem with your health. Yes, there are a lot of things that lips say about your health.

Health Shots connected with Dr Manisha Arora, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi, to know about the connection between lips and health.

chapped lips
Lips says a lot about your health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Warning signs lips give you about your health

Healthy lips should appear smooth, well hydrated and have a natural colour. The natural colour of healthy lips varies from person to person, but generally, they should have a pinkish hue, says Dr Arora. If they are not, you might want to check with a doctor. Here are some signs:

1. Pale lips

Pale or bluish lips may indicate anemia, poor blood circulation or respiratory issues, as they suggest a lack of oxygen in the blood.

2. Dry and chapped lips

When it gets cold, lips tend to get dry. But dryness can also be caused by dehydration or vitamin deficiencies apart from weather conditions. Persistent chapped lips might be a sign of malnutrition or skin conditions, says the expert.

3. Swollen lips

Swelling can be caused by allergies, infections or inflammatory conditions, such as angioedema, which may require medical attention.

4. Sores or lesions

Persistent sores or lesions on the lips could indicate infections like cold sores or canker sores.

5. Cracks at the corners of the mouth

The cracks can be a sign of a deficiency in vitamin B or iron, or might be a fungal infection called angular cheilitis.

Your lips might indicate underlying health problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Discolouration or unusual pigmentation

Dark spots or discolouration of lips might be a sign of a hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiency or a reaction to certain medications, says Dr Arora.

Tips to maintain healthy lips

If there is an underlying health problem, you need to get treated first then only your lips will become healthy. Other than that, you can do the following:

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1. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your lips moisturised, but don’t have too much water. You might end up with water intoxication.

2. Use a lip balm

Apply a good quality lip balm with SPF to protect your lips from sun damage and keep them hydrated.

3. Avoid licking your lips

Saliva can dry out your lips, so try to avoid excessive licking, says the expert.

4. Eat a balanced diet

Eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and iron, to support lip health.

5. Protect lips from extreme weather

In harsh weather conditions like cold or windy times, use scarves or face masks to protect your lips.

6. Avoid allergens

If you’re prone to lip swelling due to allergies, identify and avoid the triggers.

7. Don’t share personal items

To prevent the spread of infections, avoid sharing lip products with others.

So, kiss your health problems goodbye by noticing the warning signs given by your lips and getting proper treatment.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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