Your Lips Tell You More About Your Health Than You’d Think

Lips are great for your fav lipstick shade and kissing your significant other. But they can also tip you off about health issues.

Your Lips Tell You More About Your Health Than You’d Think

Lips are great for showing off your favorite lipstick shade and kissing your significant other. But they can also tip you off about some health issues.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Annie Gonzalez says that our outside environments can do a number on your lips, and there are symptoms that can signal serious physical illnesses.

“While not every new symptom regarding your lips is necessarily concerning, some serious illnesses present signs through the lips,” Gonzalez explains. “It is advised to keep an eye on your lips to see if they change color, texture or size.”

When it comes down to it, your lips are actually telling you more about your health than you may think.

The Anatomy Of The Lips

So get into the nitty gritty, we first have to address the anatomy of the lips.

The skin of the lips is extremely thin, and that allows the blood vessels underneath to be more visible. This is why our lips have a pink or reddish hue.

To break things down even further, there are two distinct kinds of skin on our lips. According to the PMFA journal, the outside part of your lips, where you apply lipstick, is known as the vermillion. The inner, wet part of your lips is called the mucosal lip.

With that info in our pockets, we can dive right in.

What Dry, Chapped Lips Mean

The vermillion doesn’t have the sweat or oil glands the rest of our skin has. This is why lips dry out and get cracked more often than the rest of the body.

Dryness and chapping are by far the most common symptom that affects the lips, said Dr. Susan Massick, a board-certified dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She said that dry lips typically indicate basic dehydration or extreme weather changes.

“When your skin lacks moisture, it becomes dry–same thing happens on your lips, and they will feel dry and chapped,” Dr. Massick says. “Chapped lips can be made worse when people bite or peel the skin off the lips or frequently lick the lips in an attempt to moisten them. In fact, saliva does not moisten the lips–it actually makes them more dry.”

Drinking water and keeping them moisturized with a topical ointment will usually solve the problem. But there’s also the possibility that the underlying cause of your chapped lips is an allergy or contact dermatitis. That’s fancy science talk for an outside source causing irritation.

“Lip-licking dermatitis can occur as a result of frequent licking of the skin and the irritation to the skin from the saliva,” said Dr. Massick. “Some people have sensitivity to lip balm ingredients and this can lead to dry, red and irritated lips. People should be particularly careful if the lip balm that they use stings when they apply it–this can actually make things worse and more inflamed.”

Cold Sores Are Incredibly Common

Cold sores are another incredibly common lip symptom.

According to the World Health Organization, billions of people around the world have the herp, and that means cold sores.

If you have the herpes simplex virus, the symptoms will usually show up as soon as you contract it. It will then lie dormant in your system. But stress, lack of sleep, sun exposure, lack of nutrition or strain on your immune system can reactivate it.

When you start to feel the tingling of a cold sore coming on, talk to your doctor about medication or topical cream. You should also know that an active cold sore can spread the virus, so be mindful of that when you’re smooching.

Image of woman applying chapstick.
(Prostock-studio / Shutterstock)

Pay Attention To The Color Of Your Pout

Dr. Gonzalez says that the color of your pout is uber important.

If you notice your lips losing their reddish, pink color, it could be a sign of a vitamin deficiency. If your lips suddenly go pale, that’s most likely iron-deficiency anemia. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, that’s when your blood cells don’t have the necessary materials to make hemoglobin

If your lips are blue, that can be a sign of anemia or heart disease. If they are yellow, you could have problems with your liver.

Simply put, if you see your lips changing color, it’s time to see your doctor.

A Lot Of Things Can Cause Cracking

Cracks in the corners of the mouth are also extremely common. But if they never go away, a number of different things could be causing the chronic cracking.

From vitamin deficiencies to Crohn’s disease, persistently dry, scaly patches on your lips are telling you something. If they never heal despite moisturizing and hydrating, go see your doctor.

Burning Lips Can Signal A Bigger Issue

If you aren’t eating spicy foods and are experiencing burning lips, that could be a sign of a B-12 deficiency. It could also signal depression, anxiety or menopause. The sun’s rays can also burn your lips, so Massick suggests using a moisturizer with SPF.

Swollen Lips Are A Cause For Concern

If you’re not injecting lip filler to get that Kylie Jenner pout and your lips are swollen, that could be a sign of an allergic reaction. You could be allergic to a certain type of food or maybe a product in your skincare or makeup routine.

If you suspect you are allergic to something, try swapping out various products to figure out what the culprit is. If the swelling doesn’t go away, have a talk with your doctor.

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Blake Shelton Begging Gwen Stefani To Leave Hollywood?

Are Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton at odds over where to live? That’s the story one tabloid is pushing this week. Gossip Cop investigates.

Gwen Stefani ‘Being Pressured’ By Blake Shelton To Move To Oklahoma?

This week, Life & Style reports “Cali girl” Gwen Stefani is reluctant to give in to her new husband Blake Shelton’s pleas to settle down in Oklahoma. While the couple tied the knot on their Oklahoma ranch, the newlyweds were spotted back in Los Angeles only days after the wedding. An inside source explains, “Most of Gwen’s work is based in L.A., and it’s close to Las Vegas, where her residency is starting up again this fall,” adding, “Plus, her family is in Cali. As much as she loves the country, Hollywood is her true home.”

While the couple has settled back into their 13,000-square-foot LA mansion, Shelton is putting pressure on Stefani to make the move permanently to Oklahoma. “Since the wedding, he’s been putting more pressure on her than ever before to move to Oklahoma full-time,” the insider dishes, “He’s desperate for the two of them to leave the Hollywood scene behind. He thinks his ranch is the perfect place to start their new life as a married couple — and so he’s basically begging Gwen to relocate!”

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The only ones who know what the future holds for Stefani and Shelton are the couple themselves. Also, the couple likely talked about where they’d be living before they got married. It’s bizarre to suggest this is only becoming an issue now that they’ve tied the knot. Instead of allowing the newlyweds to enjoy the first few weeks of their marriage, the tabloid decided to insinuate drama. It’s clear there is nothing here but speculation, and it’s likely that Shelton and Stefani are doing just fine.

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We wouldn’t trust anything Life & Style has to say about Shelton and Stefani’s relationship. Back in 2019, the outlet claimed the couple had a secret wedding ceremony on Stefani’s 50th birthday. Then, the tabloid reported that the couple was secretly married again, this time alleging they announced they were having a baby. And just last year, the publication tried once more, insisting that this time they were expecting twin boys. Since none of these reports amounted to anything, we doubt they’re really fighting about where to live either. It’s obvious the tabloid has no real insight into their relationship.

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