My observation over the past 10 years. by dpp ..... Peeling Lips Exfoliative Cheilitis
Date: 9/17/2012 10:23:37 PM ( 11 years ago ago)
I have had a variation of this condition for the past 10 years. I live in Australia QLD and have gone through the ups and downs as long as I can remember since leaving school. I'm 28.
For me, I believe the condition has come about due to physical damage to the lip layers from a number of different causes. However behind all these causes, the main cause that has enabled the condition to become what it is and for this long, is the almost obsessive compulsive attention that the condition has created. Causing the mind to always revert to thinking of the lips, their condition, the cause, the solutions.. Then the negativity and stress associated.
For me the cause was a combination of the following causes - in this order: Braces and associated lip stretching, highschool kissing w gf for extended periods, severe sun damage to already damaged layers over 2 seperate summer holiday periods, more kissing, realising there is a problem then compulsively using all types of lip balms medicated/non medicated, picking of lips to fix unknown problem, impact of Colgate(SLS) tooth paste on damaged membrane, use of Listerine mouth wash which noticably stripped layers from inside the lips after use, extensive hard drinking from age 18 - 27. All these things caused the layers to break down and become more susceptable to damage.
This whole process causes the lip healing process to be rapidly increased also causing inflammation and swelling. The lip balm or ointments on lips also hinders the process by masking the real condition of the skin. Therefore the lips are in a continual repair process with no reference point to being healed or progressing, or damage.
I believe that the problem is not any type of virus or infection. (an infection may be secondary to the exposed raw skin). And because the condition is not just a small section (usually the entire area where the 2 lips touch when closed and inside/outside of this) it is unable to heal like a small cut on your arm. The damage is all over therefore the healing process is initially focussed on the mucous membrane layers at the lip touching/inside area. As that heals or is repaired, or as it becomes the new external layer, all other laters that extend outwards to edge of the outer lips must also be shed. In the process the lips have to adjust these new layers to the external environment, whilst also enabling them to take on the structural integrity of binding and holding all the lips together with elasticity and strength.
A normal persons lips may become dry and damaged very rarely and the remaining lower layers are already prepped and able to take on the new role of external skin. Our lips just do this a lot faster and common sense would indicate that the process will initially be very repetitive and regular, but if left to its own devices, and open to the natural environment (no masking ballms or ointments) eventually the healing, regenerative process will slow over time.
I think that based on these thoughts, the problem is on a cellular level and could be further understood by considering the way in which Programmed Cell Death occurs, as well as Apoptosis which both help explain the rapid process of hardening, cracking, then peeling as if it all happens as a direct result of a preceeding event. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programmed_cell_death
I believe that the healing process is very lengthy one which would be aidedd by acknowledging the problem, letting people know you are dealing with it, and its extensive impact on your life, then trying to remove all thought associated with the lips and live like a native person would back at the beginning of time without mirrors or concern for what people think. allowing nature to take its course.
Its such a hard problem to deal with. It has definitely changed me and my confidence and stress. Good luck everyone.
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