April 24, 2021
You may only think about your teeth when it comes to oral health care, but there is a part of your mouth that is often forgotten: your lips. Neglecting your lips can be bad news, especially when the sun is out and shining. The skin on your lips is not only thinner, but it also contains less melanin, making it more susceptible to harmful sun damage. Read on to learn how to protect your lips so you can stay healthy and smiling even during the brightest months of the year.
First, Why Do Lips Need Sun Protection?
Just like the rest of your body, your lips can be affected by the sun’s radiation, which can cause skin cancer. By blocking out harmful UVB rays, you can decrease your risk of cancer that is often overlooked while also protecting yourself from painful sunburn.
Can You Use Sunscreen on Your Lips?
Yes! However, there are products like SPF lip balm that are designed to protect your lips. The best step you can take for protection while in the sun is to apply SPF lip balm about every 2 hours. Additionally, exfoliation is helpful because it will remove chapped or dry skin that you may pick at. Another easy way to prevent cracking or dryness is to stay hydrated with a minimum of 8 glasses of water each day.
How Do You Treat Sunburned Lips?
Are your lips red, tender, or swollen? Maybe you notice tiny white blisters? Ouch! Your lips are probably sunburned. For quick relief, try dipping a soft washcloth in ice water before gently resting it on your lips. You can also promote healing by applying 100% aloe vera or a different moisturizer – just avoid products with petroleum. Additionally, you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to help with any pain that you’re experiencing. Remember that a mild sunburn will last between 3 to 5 days. If it still doesn’t get better after this healing period, contact your doctor right away.
Healthy Lips and Oral Care
Taking care of your mouth actually starts with your lips. If they’re burned or damaged, brushing and flossing will be difficult and even painful. Worse than that, your lips can be affected by oral cancer like the rest of your mouth, which is why sun protection is an easy way to decrease your risk of this potentially life-threatening problem.
Don’t let sunburned lips get in the way of your summer days. Keep these tips in mind to stay healthy and smiling while you enjoy the outdoors.
About the Practice
At Day Hill Dental, we have a team of 6 dentists who combine their extensive experience and training to offer a wide range of dental services. During your routine checkups, they provide thorough oral cancer screenings to catch any issues early on. For any questions, they can be reached through their website or by phone at (860) 688-5595.
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