We all are familiar with the dryness of the skin around the lips during cold and dry wintery weather. But, this rarely goes beyond the level of annoyance or irritation. On the other hand, for few children, the dryness and chapping of lips can result in a serious problem. When children experience chapping and dryness of not only the lips but the skin surrounding both the lower and upper lip, this condition is called lip licker’s dermatitis and could last for many days or even months.

What Causes Lip Dermatitis?

Lip licker’s dermatitis is mostly seen in school-going children. Although, it can happen at any age. The major cause is the constant and unconscious lip-licking or rewetting of the lip and the skin surrounding the lips. The constant cycle of wetness and dryness disrupts the normal skin barrier function and causes irritation and inflammation. Furthermore, this inflammation drives the child to engage more and more in lip-licking and this becomes an endless cycle. These kids mostly, but not always, have eczema on various areas of their bodies.

In addition to this, lip licking could be a symptom of anxiety or nervousness. Try to discover the reason and source of the stress so that the frequency of this behavior is decreased.

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How Do You Get Rid Of A Rash Around Your Lips?

A red rash around the lips can be perioral dermatitis. It appears as really small, acne-like breakouts in light-skinned people and skin-colored breakouts in people with skin color. This rash mostly causes a burning sensation, but it is possible that this may or may not have a sensation of burning or irritation. You would have to get this checked with your dermatologist as skin-care plays a very important role in treating this rash.

To get rid of this rash, your pediatrician may tell you to:

  1. Stop applying any or all corticosteroids, including hydrocortisone cream, to your kid’s skin
  2. Take an antibiotic, like tetracycline or erythromycin
  3. To change their skincare routine

How To Treat Lip Licker’s Dermatitis?

To treat this condition, it is extremely important to tell your child to STOP licking their lips as this goes on and on into an endless cycle.

Regularly apply a moisturizer or an emollient ointment or petroleum jelly throughout the day. You can find these in any of the drugstores nearby. Lip licker’s dermatitis home remedies may include applying coconut oil or sunflower seed oil to relieve symptoms of eczema as also recommended by the National Eczema Association. These can help hydrate the skin and act as the skin’s natural barrier.


You should definitely see a doctor if your kid’s lips don’t heal even after trying the self-care tips for two or three weeks. The chappy or dry lips could also be caused because of any infection by any bacteria, yeast, or virus. Also, if you see patches around their lips that resemble burns or are turning white, this can be actinic cheilitis and needs a doctor’s attention right away.

FAQs On Lip Licker’s Dermatitis

How Do You Get Rid Of Lip Licker Dermatitis?

Some of the ways to get rid of lip licker’s dermatitis is to apply a lip balm at regular intervals throughout the day, apply an emollient like petroleum jelly, coconut oil or cocoa butter, and stop the usage of corticosteroids.

How Long Does Lip Dermatitis Last?

Lip licker’s dermatitis can last for a week, or can stay for as long as 8 weeks. If your rash keeps getting worse, make sure you visit a doctor.

What Is Lip Licking A Symptom Of?

Lip licking can sometimes be a symptom of anxiety, caused by a constant need to fiddle or by restlessness.