I am not doubting that your lips got better with this method, but I have learned that saliva is not good for the lips. In fact saliva dramatically dries out the lips.
I do not mean to tell you what you had/didnt have, but based on the picture it looks like you may have a condition that is a bit different than most on here. Is it possible that you just have actinic cheilitis and not exfoliative cheilitis?
Anyways thanks for posting and congratulations on your health.