I am in complete agreement with you, I don't think it is an internal problem and the only people who seem to are those who believe in or are qualified in Eastern medicine. I say this as I have been to two fully qualified Chinese Doctors, who have prescribed me copious amounts of Chinese herbs, leaves and anything else you can make a disgusting cup of muddy brown tea from. All at a cost of £40 (approx $80 U.S) per week, for seven bags worth of magic tea.
Their beliefs are, that the reason our lips are dry and peeling is because we do not have enough moisture in our bodies due to the fact that we are putting to much heat into our stomaches through alcohol, fizzy drinks, spicy foods, crisps and anything that's remotely greasy.
I've been eating all of these foods for most of my life and never once was I a lip picker/peeler until my cheilitis started over six years ago, so I was a bit pissed off when I had to give up all of the things I liked. The Doctor even advised me to come off my pennicillin, which I did to the annoyance of my Dermatologist who gave me an ultimatum and told me basically if I carried on not taking my pennicllin (which she advised and still does that it will help me), then she won't treat me.
So, seeing as this tea wasn't making the slightest bit of difference apart from making me poor, I decided to stick with what my Dermatologist said and eat and drink what I want, cos this conditions depressing enough without having to give up some of the finer pleasures in life. I mean, don't get me wrong, I do believe that alternative medicine is effective at curing people, just not people who suffer from Cheilitis.
At the end of the day, we need to listen to our Dermatologists even though sometimes we think they're not doing enough to help. Believe me, I know it's depressing I've been off work with it three times totalling over a year, so I know what it feels like when someone comes along with an easy solution to the cause, only to be let down and left feeling deflated.
Hope this info. was helpful,