Tips for Treating Sores on the Lips at Home
Because of their close proximity to the mouth where germs and bacteria thrive, lips are prone to various sores. The skin on the lips is also very thin, only 3 to 5 layers. The lips also have no sweat glands so they can get dried out very easily. This is especially true for those who lick their lips constantly, as the saliva also pulls natural hydration from the lips as it dries. This dryness can contribute to the risk of sores on the lips.
The lips are rarely prone to infections as they are always being washed with saliva. The saliva pulls harmful organisms into the system and they are then drawn into the stomach where they are destroyed. Saliva also has antibacterial properties that help to protect lips. However, if your immune system is compromised or if the skin on the lips is open you may be at a higher risk for lip infections. Braces on the teeth also harbor bacteria that can then be transferred to the lips.
Symptoms of Lip Infections
A fungal infection on the lips may show with creamy white discharges on the corners of the mouth, along with pain and mild swelling. A bacterial infection may also show swelling, pain, redness, pus, bleeding, and an elevated temperature on the lips and mouth. A herpes infection may also appear on the lips and this may present with sores, swollen glands in the neck, and an elevated fever.
To treat a bacterial infection, drink water to produce saliva and keep the lips cleansed. Bolster the immune system by eating foods that have vitamin C, such as citrus fruits. The B-complex vitamins are also important. It’s good to avoid biting the lip as this causes the skin to break open so you’re more prone to the risk of bacteria. Be sure your practice good oral hygiene especially if you have braces so you have less bacteria growth in the mouth.
Turmeric can help to cleanse the lips and has some antibacterial properties. Mix this with milk and have a glass twice per day. Avoid irritating the lips with spicy foods such as peppers and onions, chewing tobacco, smoking, alcohol, and even processed foods. Tea tree oil is also an effective home remedy for lip infections and sores.