Cracked lips and Eczema

Over the last couple of months stress has creeped it’s way back into my life and we all know what that means: hello eczema! Stress and eczema for me are so intertwined that if I’ve got one, the other is highly likely to rear its head too! I now see eczema as my body’s way of telling me that I need to slow down, step back and really think about what’s going on for me at the moment and more importantly change something. That’s exactly what my cracked lips are shouting right now and it’s about time I listened! 

  
 
Cuts like this are frustrating. They heal overnight but the minute that I need to open my mouth (which is everyday of course !) they crack once more and I’m left with dry, flakey skin and a stiff mouth. Mid way through the working day I find  my lips have crusted over and creams aren’t so great at covering it up! On top of that, I can see the skin discolouring because of how often they are cracking.

Unfortunately I’ve got to admit that I’ve been burying my head in the sands and ignoring the eczema creeping back, hoping it will pass. But months later I’m still not past this “winter dryness” so it’s time to act.

So what am I stressed about? 

I wondered this for some time thinking “it’s just normal stress I’m  going through what’s so difficult”. But should we define any stress as normal? My skins telling me no! I started my clinical psychology doctorate in september, moved house around the same time as I relocated, left a team I really enjoyed working with and I finished my hypnotherapy training which I had been completing outside of a full time job. Since I started a new job life has felt pretty full on, not in terms of hours as its a normal 5 day week, but more the mental strain of juggling study days, placement and assignments . I’m not saying it’s not worth it because clinical psychology is what I’ve always wanted but I don’t think I have appreciated taking time to really de stress and take care of myself. It was today when I got upset over something which wasn’t really that serious that I realised my stress bucket is pretty full ( I get emotional when I hit my limit!). Sometimes it’s not what I have going on, but more about what I’ve neglected in terms of helping myself to cope better. This then often leads to my eczema flare ups.

How do I de stress?

I’ve been neglecting my stress management of late but this is what I enjoy:

  • Wind down time before bed: this might seem silly to some but I’ve neglected dedicating 30 minutes to an hour to reading, having a bath and really unwinding before bed. For me this means I go to bed relaxed and in a positive mindset which for me means I’m not agitated and itchy in bed! It also means I’m not dwelling on the day.
  • An afternoon or evening with no phone/iPad/laptop – always great as social media and email can take hours away from you. Time feels so much more valuable when I put away the gadgets.
  • Yoga – even a simple 10 minute exercise really helps to bring my focus away from my thoughts and more in tune with how I am feeling
  • Mindfulness exercises wen I awake or before bed – really good at being able to accept all the worrying I do and not allow it to affect me! The body scans also allow me to really focus on how I am

How do I manage my skin? 

Balms, balms, balms. The product I apply to get rid of the tight and stiff feeling and feel like I can stretch my mouth! I currently use Lyons Leaf healing calendula salve before bed and this has helped to ease the stiffness.

I’ve had a bad habit of picking at the skin to remove the “crust” which has stopped it healing so well , naughty I know! So I’ve attempted to use lip balms (EOS) in the day so I don’t peel and instead ease the stiffness. This is less noticeable than the balm for when I’m at work

What else can I do? 

  • Increase fluid intake. My lips look dehydrated is an understatement! But working in an office and hospital means I often don’t even think about having enough fluids until it’s the end of the day. Water is so important that this is an easy first step to take with dehydration! 
  • Prioritise time to self Indulge:  we all need time to recuperate and just recharge our batteries. Since my eczema is so linked to my eczema it’s important that I do not ignore the warning signs 
  • Apply cream and balms more regularly. I mainly apply first thing in the morning and at bed time but what’s stopping me from slathering balm on after work when I’m in the comfort of my own home? Just me. The dryness is screaming for moisture and yet here I am not doing it.

So here’s my plan of action! I’ll update in a couple weeks and check in with my progress! Note to self: take a chill pill with plenty of water and lather up on the creams! 
Do you get cracked lips? I’d love to hear your strategies! 
Next post: product review 

  

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Comments
11 Responses to “Cracked lips and Eczema”
  1. newresolution4life says:

    Hi Selina! I also have eczema, that’s how I found your blog 🙂 last year I had a really bad flare up of eczema, it appeared in places I never had had eczema (behind my knees, back, neck…) and my lips were cracking on the sides too. I was under some stress too (I had a newborn baby and 2 year old girl) and I wasn’t sleeping well. Well, it turns out I had candida out of control and my eczema was a side effect. I did a detoxification at home, drinking some homemade green smoothies once or twice a day. It took a while to go away, about 2.5 months. I put betadine on my cracked lips, it helped. I am not saying it is what you have, just sharing my experience with you. Hope you get better 🙂

    Like

    • Selina says:

      Hi!! I have been looking into candida a lot!! Probiotics help my skin and so does cutting down sugar which all fits! I’ve recently began oil of oregano too and that has helped with the cracking! I definitely think eczema is a way of our bodies telling us something about our internal working

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jhene1 says:

    Hi Selina, I have had exactly the same problem these past few months 😦 I never used to get eczema around my lips but lately I’ve had bad eczema around my lips and it’s just not healing no matter how much moisturiser or vaseline i use. My face is also constantly dry and flakey, it has stopped me from going out and socialising and having fun with friends because I just feel too self conscious and ugly. I can’t cover the redness with foundation because it just makes all the flakes stand out really badly. It’s really making me depressed. The thing is I don’t have eczema on my body anymore (I used to have it really bad) but I still have it constantly on my face. I hardly ever scratch my face while I’m awake, but I know that I scratch my face unconsciously while I’m asleep…and I don’t even know that I’m doing it until I wake up the next morning and look in the mirror. It’s really making me depressed and affecting my social life, I want to go out and have fun and socialise (I’m on my year abroad at university and I should be going out and making friends and enjoying myself but instead I’m in my room depressed on the weekends because of my face). I use really gentle products on my face (simple cleanser and weleda calendula cream) and I avoid foods that I’m allergic to. I’m really starting to doubt that my facial skin will ever look normal. Sorry for the rant! Just feeling down right now and have no one to talk to about this…is that Lyonsleaf calendula cream good as a moisturiser for the face?

    Like

    • Selina says:

      I empathise with Your story so much as that was me during university too! It feels like eczema stops the normal things we should do as students but I hope you make the most of your year abroad, that’s such an amazing opportunity ! How is your skin at the moment? My eczema is similar to yours in the sense of the face being the main place. Do you find your skin is better in summer? If so then vitamin d3 helped me on my face.

      Otherwise balm or oil cleansing is amazing!! It cleans your skin but in a moisturising way so i always find my skin is less red and tight afterwards. Wiping with a flannel or cloth also means you gently exfoliate the skin which really is important for us. If we don’t exfoliate when we moisturise it isn’t going to penetrate the skin that needs it! Are you based in the UK at all? The restore and repair box has a facial oil this month and in July it’s all about balm cleansing! These two products have really helped with the moisture side of it and soothe my skin.

      The Lyons leaf would be too thick as a general moisturiser but great for the patches, hope that helps.

      Like

  3. Hi Selina, would you like me to send you a little 5ml pot of Skin Salvation for your lips? Great size to keep in your pocket so you are never without it 🙂 It is great for sore cracked lips, full of skin nourishing vitamins to help stop the problem coming back. Weze x

    Like

  4. Claire says:

    Not wanting to teach you to suck eggs as we would say in the north but be careful with the cuts around your mouth. I get them and it turned out to be a fungal infection. It can also be caused by a lack of b12. I have found a nice doctor that will just give me the cream needed not have me wait until it is sore and bleeding. This way I can stop it before it gets a hold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Selina says:

      Thanks for sharing Claire, so did you use an anti fungal cream? I get this on and off and usually if I increase my water intake, moisturise then it tends to be better. But now I may consider using an anti bacteria/ fungal remedy if this worked for you?

      Like

  5. Evee says:

    It’s cool to see that you’re using calendula cream! Personally I’ve noticed that my eczema got a lot better after I used calendula infused olive oil and rosehip oil 🙂 I slathered them on my lips when they were really dry and cracking at the corners.I hope you feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Selina says:

      Oh that’s great to hear that it worked for you! I am going to be more committed with applying the balm and see. I do need a good think lip balm too I think! I love oils for moisturising though as you’ve mentioned. Haven’t tried an infused one! Did you make it yourself?

      Like

  6. simplybful says:

    You won’t beleive but I was suffering from this same lip eczema 2 weeks back.None of the lip balms,not even the herbal ones were curing it.So I went to my trusted Neutrogena lip balm with spf.I could see the results from the day 1.I am completely healed and can wear my fav matte lipsticks.In my case,I didn’t have any stress.But the weather change played a havoc everytime.You can try this lipbalm if it suits you.Get well soon ….

    Like

    • Selina says:

      Ahh Neutrogena doesn’t seem to suit me so well, glad it’s helped you. Balms are good for comfort around the edges but I do need a good lip balm!

      Like

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