A few days ago I noticed that the outer edges of my lips seemed really dry and chapped, which is odd because I rarely have chapped lips and when I do, I promptly use one of my many balms to counter it. Most nights, I put on Dr. Bronner’s Sun Dog’s Magic Organic Lip Balm before bed. I’ve never had problems with it. Anyway, this irritated, dry skin has expanded to a little less than an inch all around my mouth. It feels a little inflamed, dry, bumpy and itchy. I’m putting aloe vera gel on it to ease the itch and irritation, but I’m bugged because I don’t know what could have caused this.
I imagine if it were an allergic reaction or sensitivity to something I’m eating or drinking, the irritation would appear inside my mouth, rather than outside. I have recently used some Body Shop products, but I couldn’t pinpoint one of them, since I have used a few. Could I have simply irritated the area with a vigorous bath brush in the shower, or is this some kind of dermatitis, or could it be that I’m detoxing through this area around my mouth? It seems so odd, but I’m stymied. I don’t want to see a doctor about it because I’ll just wind up with some medicated cream or a pill, which I’d rather not use.
Has anyone ever experienced this odd type of reaction or something similar elsewhere on the body? If so, was it a detox symptom or could you pinpoint the cause? It’s not getting worse, at this point, but it doesn’t look like it’s getting better, either. I’m just wondering how long I should wait before showing it to my M.D.
I had something similar on my lips a long time ago (eventually had it on my forehead, hand, arms . . .). To make a very long story short, my immune system was, um, freaking out, and I had developed an allergy to the tea tree oil I was using to control the condition (though I had used it until then without problem). I was also allergic to soy, which I was eating, and again had eaten for years without problem. Doctors didn’t help with this, but it was a long process of elimination. So I stopped using tea tree oil (which I still can’t touch), and stayed away from soy and legumes, though I was able to go back to eating those in a couple of years (obviously this is before I stopped eating cooked foods).
So much for the short part . . . anyway, if you can learn anything at all from my rambling, I would suggest that you stop using whatever you’re using on your lips, even if you’ve been using it for a long time, and possibly see if you feel that this is triggered by any foods. Also, I find the absolute best remedy for chapped lips or dry skin anywhere is to drink lots of water—more than you think you need. Especially if you live somewhere where the air is getting drier and colder with the season shift. Whatever is causing this, your body is trying to get rid of something, and water helps carry away irritants all over.
This is no cold sore. It’s just a skin irritation that goes all the way around the outside of my mouth. It goes no higher than halfway between the top of my lips and the bottom of my nose. You can’t even really see it. It just feels really rough and a bit bumpy and dry.
After reading ambiguous’ reply, I’m wondering whether the culprit is the tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner that I have been using lately. A couple of times after working out, I’ve jumped in the shower while still hot and sweaty (meaning pores are open). I may have used my bath brush on my face, which is pretty rough treatment, but I wanted to exfoliate my face a bit. When I have excess tea tree oil shampoo on my hands, I tend to rub it on my face, then rinse it off immediately. Maybe my pores were really open and the tea tree oil was just too harsh for the delicate skin around my lips. This is entirely possible. I’ll switch back to my other shampoo and conditioner for a week or so and see whether the inflammation (or whatever it is) settles down. I’m sure in time it will settle down anyway, but using the tea tree oil shampoo right now might just aggravate it more, so best to use something else for now, I think.
Something really similar happened to me—a burning itching rash, but on my upper lip (not the skin) towards the inside of my mouth and the corners of my mouth. I had been eating a lot of asian dishes that week and I believe it was the raw ginger. so sad:(
I haven’t had any since and no more problems. I’ll probably try a bit next week and see if I react to it. I was eating a lot of raw ginger!