There are reports of spontaneous healing. That would be nice, but let's list all the other claims of cures for good measure. Please post your username next to any comments you make supporting or refuting claims.

Table of Contents

Lúcia HD Roveroni-Favaretto, Karina B Lodi and Janete D Almeida conducted a study at São Paulo State University on an 18 year old man who had dry, peeling lips. The man was using corticosteroids and those were discontinued while topical Calendula cream was applied. The authors of the study claimed success and replicating their findings with others. Curezone users contacted one of the doctors of the study, who admitted that the results were not replicated using non-Brazilian Calendula. The doctor also cited stress and emotional issues as a potential factor that must be dealt with.David-ECBlog published his communications with Dr. Almeida here. Several users have pointed out the photos that accompany the case study appear to have been photoshopped, casting doubt as to the authenticity of the results. -c.s.











Acidophilus Liquid/ Probiotics

  • sans sucre described liver problems, and peeling, cracking, bleeding (but not swollen) lips and a case of thrush (Candida albicans), which stopped when she started eating cultured vegetables, aka sauerkraut. Supplemented with pill-form probiotics and Candiyzme and the lips remained unpeeled for a month before she left the forum. Never posted pics but said she fought Candida for 5 years. I've written to her to follow up. -c.s.
  • badlips (#68716) claimed on Curezone that applying acidophilus liquid (blueberry flavor, I believe) on her lips and swishing it in the mouth led to her cure. Before trying this treatment, she was applying lip balm that included shea butter, Vitamin E, mineral oil and candelilla wax. Along with the acidophilus, which she applied for a couple weeks, she took a multivitamin with an iron pill daily. Various requests to have her post pictures and her treatment history were rejected. She later reported that when the treatment was discontinued for a while, the peeling returned. The success of this treatment was not replicated by other Curezone users. -c.s.

Altabax/ Altargo (Retapamulin)

  • teacher1 described having the condition several times in life, ranging from 3 months to a year's time. They had originally been prescribed Accutane for acne and the condition appeared soon after. They also tested positive for a staph infection, described inflammation and stress, and were diagnosed with impetigo. Altabax is a treatment for impetigo (bacterial skin infections), but GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer, says to not use it on the mouth, and that it has not been evaluated for use on mucous membranes. teacher1 described using this topical treatment for three weeks before the condition cleared up. Did not post photos or return to confirm that the condition was permanently resolved or whether there were any adverse side effects. I sent a private message and am awaiting a reply. -c.s.

Aquaphor (Eucerin)

  • sugarlump posted on the Topix forum that they solved their 2 year old problem, of red, cracking and peeling lips, by exclusively applying a small amount of Aquaphor, which contains white petrolatum, twice daily, however, did not post photos or return to the forum to update on changes to the condition over a long period of time, nor to describe what happened when treatment was discontinued. Gannondorf described an eight year history with peeling lips most likely as a result of using Accutane, and felt that after a month of constant application of Aquaphor, the condition was solved. He returned weeks later to say that he had not discontinued Aquaphor and there was still some minor peeling. I tried Aquaphor for a couple months and believe that in spite of its short-term cosmetic benefits, it led to worsening of my condition which continued for years afterwards. -c.s.
  • justcured wrote a one-liner cure claim for Eucerin's Lip Aktiv balm but there was no follow-up or photos to confirm. She said she suffered daily from flaky, cracking lips for a year. -c.s

Ayurveda

  • aceman reported having the condition of peeling lower lip and inflammation (initial onset of the latter and periodic remission of the former) for 8 years before visiting an ayurvedic practitioner in Miami who diagnosed him with "high vata," and prescribed the following: vata digest 1-1-1 1-1-1 = 1 tablet 3x day, Aerand Bhrust Harde 1-1-2, chitrakadi 1-1-1, DermaCare 1-1-1. He later reported being cured of both peeling and inflammation but never posted pics. I've emailed him to follow up. -c.s.

Betagel (Bethamethasone dipropionate) aka Diprolene (also found inTaclonex)

  • escapist (aka stepbystep) posted on Curezone that after having very inflammed lips (truly exfoliative cheilitis) a course of topical Betagel plus aloe vera cream did the trick. Betamethasone dipropionate is a immunosuppressive corticosteroid that is similiar to prednisolone. escapist stressed the importance of leaving the crust on after applying the steroid to protect the skin underneath. 6 years later returned to forum with no peeling and provided a picture, however there are no pictures of the condition previously. -c.s.

Blistex Lip Medex

  • Deima posted the same message on several forums that she resolved her problem after four days of using this topical treatment. However, she did not describe the severity of her condition, and did not post photos or return to the forums to update on whether the condition returned after discontinuing treatment. I have personally tried this treatment for over a week and saw no improvement. -c.s.

Calendula officianalis

  • Lúcia HD Roveroni-Favaretto, Karina B Lodi and Janete D Almeida conducted a study at São Paulo State University on an 18 year old man who had dry, peeling lips. The man was using corticosteroids and those were discontinued while topical Calendula cream was applied. The authors of the study claimed success and replicating their findings with others. Curezone users contacted one of the doctors of the study, who admitted that the results were not replicated using non-Brazilian Calendula. The doctor also cited stress and emotional issues as a potential factor that must be dealt with.David-ECBlog published his communications with Dr. Almeida here. Several users have pointed out the photos that accompany the case study appear to have been photoshopped, casting doubt as to the authenticity of the results. -c.s.
  • mermaid1111 claimed to have been cured from calendula ointment (w/ a petroleum base), and used shea butter once her lips had healed. She had been supplementing with Vitamin B Complex, and applied the ointment for three months. However, she never posted pics or described the severity or duration of her condition. -c.s.

Cocoa Butter (w/ saliva)

  • KuNFuZed and nietzcheilitis both reported that topical application of cocoa butter cured their conditions. Nietzcheilitis described a treatment regime that required frequent licking of the lips followed by application of the cocoa butter. jp20 also described being nearly completely cured with this saliva and, in his case, Burt's Bees lip balm, but said he was reliant on the balm to prevent recurrence of his what was severe case of peeling lips. -c.s.

Colloidal silver

  • veryred posted that her lips improved 90% after three days of soaking them in colloidal silver, Mesosilver, and fully cured after that, although she says she continued the soaking treatment every two weeks, and did not post photos or describe the severity or duration of the condition, or return to report on the effect of discontinuing the treatment. -c.s.
  • ec2yrak, channel1 and #64643 all reported that colloidal silver soaking did not cure their condition. johng reported using this treatment, and created his own gel using a kit. He argued the silver must be correctly made in order to have its alleged benefits, tissue regeneration and electrical conductivity. There is a fact sheet on NCCAM's website that recommends not using it, and lists the risks of colloidal silver:
    • "In humans, buildup of silver from colloidal silver can lead to a side effect called argyria, which causes a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, other organs, deep tissues, nails, and gums . . . Other side effects may include neurologic problems (such as seizures), kidney damage, stomach distress, headaches, fatigue, and skin irritation.

Dish soap

  • The alleged cure | What Ms. Strong describes here as "clown lips" sounds much more like a fungal/bacterial infection leading to inflammation. She never mentions any peeling, nor does she show any photos. Many Curezone users tried her treatment suggestions, with all claiming some short-term help but eventual drying of the skin and a return to the condition. Furthermore, many sufferers of peeling lips have used Vaseline or Aquaphor (petrolatum) and claimed that it made the condition worse in the long term, myself included. -c.s.

Dovonex & Batrafen/Ciclopirox

  • chris_juno frequently recommended this topical treatment, with synthetic Vitamin D and an antifungal, but cautioned other sufferers that it only helped manage the condition and was not a cure. He reports havinh Fordyce spots. He continues to hypothesize that the lack of sebum is his problem and is seeking to address that issue.
  • #92305, who was diagnosed with "impetignized cheilitis," claimed to be cured by applying the Ciclopirox followed by the Dovonex twice daily, and using Impruv or Epiceram after the treatment each time. He also reported having Fordyce spots. He admitted still removing white skin in the shower, however, and did not return to forums to describe what happened after discontinuing treatment, or respond to attempts to contact him.

Epiceram

  • dhammaboy and others touted this as an effective way to manage the condition, applying it several times daily. He didn't test whether discontinuing use would make the condition return or worsen. spiralzoid also claimed to be cured although they apply it regularly. The prescription cream is nonsteroidal and touted as an effective way to relieve symptoms of atopic dermatitis by its makers. who also specifically say it should not be ingested or taken internally. -c.s.
  • ab11747 reported that after a month of treatment with Epiceram the condition worsened with inflammation and drier lips, and badlips reported that the treatment helped after a couple weeks but then her condition returned even with the treatment. -c.s.

Exercise & Breathing

  • cureforcurezone touted this treatment as a cure but from his pics he didn't have an extreme case. He believed his condition was stress-related and exacerbated by a cat allergy. However, he was free from stress last he checked in. Exercise and deep breathing can reduce stress. He has returned to post on forums that he remains cured and describes his full treatment process here. A case to think about, to be sure -c.s.

Evening Primrose Oil & Fish Oil

  • one of the most viewed cure claims out there, blessed1 reported curing herself of the condition of peeling lips by taking a multivitamin, 500mg of EPO and 1000 mg of fish oil daily. She did not describe how long she had the condition or post photos, but said her peeling cycle was about every 3 to 4 days. She also reported using Neutrogena Instant Lip Remedy at the same time, and did not return to report on the effect of discontinuing either the topical treatment or the supplement regimen. -c.s.

Grapefruit Seed Extract Spray

  • Jacques reported on the Topix forum that applying Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) made by Nutribiotic worked to clear his condition, but did not post photos or describe the severity or duration of his condition, other than to say the lips peeled. GSE is a microbicide that needs to be diluted before applying to the lips, when users have described it as burning and worsening the condition. Other microbicides, such as coconut oil, have less caustic effects. I tried the GSE treatment for weeks in conjunction with Aquaphor, and have not tried it since my condition worsened at that time. -c.s.

Humidifier

  • naeher reported that after a year with the condition of inflamed, cracking and peeling lips, using humidifiers in the whole house cleared the condition within a week and it has not returned. She claims not to have taken pictures of her lips during the time of the condition but has posted her "cured" appearance here. -c.s.

Integrating Healthier Lifestyle/ Detoxing

  • Getoffyourass said they were "basically cured" by first eliminating food intolerances to relieve stress on the immune system, then following a healthy diet, getting exercise, and taking nutritional supplements including niacin, which they felt had the greatest effect. Never posted pics or returned to the forum, but said the healing process wasn't overnight and there was some relapse. -c.s.
  • bunny9dog followed a program of frequent coffee enemas and liver flushes, food avoidance, food combination, juicing, and acupuncture and recommended the treatment for at least 6 months. Reports still being cured of peeling lips a year later. -c.s.
  • montrealhomegrown believes that the root cause of the condition must be addressed and that medicines or topical treatments will only mask the symptoms. He has also posted pics on the Case Histories section of the wiki where you can also find a PDF of his protocol. -c.s.

Japanese Treatment/ Leaving Lips Alone

  • monsterlip reported seeing significant progress by not applying any lip balms, and washing the lips with soap. Has not posted photos, and a year ago reported peeling but in a smaller area. Many sufferers have attempted to leave the lips alone for long periods of time with a wide variation of levels of success. b4byfac3 reported leaving their lips alone for 10 years and the peeling remained. -c.s

L-Lysine

  • #88621 reported a combination of 2000mg/day of L-Lysine and Vitamin B supplements cured them, but was also exfoliating regularly and using a hand cream combined with Vaseline. Took 6 months of the treatment for the lips to not peel without relapsing. Did not post photos. Said their condition was most likely viral, a reaction to antibiotics, or stress-related, but not caused by lip-biting. -c.s.

Mercury Filling Removal

  • #42683 (aka dfad according to #43555 aka alesiom11) stated that he or she had the condition of peeling lips for possibly 20 years, since the age of 8 years old. Never posted pics, described lips as having itchy red spots and big pieces of peeling. After trying many treatments with no success, the sufferer decided to remove all amalgam fillings (also known as silver fillings). Reported conditions abating after 6 months. User dfad a month later remained on forum claiming 50% progress and considering plastic surgery, then disappeared 6 months later. #42683 blocks email contact, but I have messaged dfad. -c.s
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • borntoknow said that taking MSM in combination with iron powder stopped their cracked and peeling lips. Provided suggestions on dosage on topical application, but did not specify which approach they used or provide pictures. -c.s.

Oral Hygiene

  • the1withthecure posted that after using a mouthwash called Periogard and addressing his gingivitis, and applying fish oil directly on the lips, the condition of cracked and peeling lips went away after two weeks. He did not post photos or respond to questions about the origin or duration of his condition, however at least a couple medical studies do mention oral hygiene as a possible factor in peeling lips, so logically it ought to be addressed to rule it out. -c.s.

Removing Allergen

  • wgb had the condition for about a year. Determined an allergy from Boots tea tree antiseptic cream, an AHA face lotion, and several food sensitivities. She also was using pure glycerin diluted with water 3 times a day and EOS organic lip balm twice a day when she reported being 99% "cured." She declined several request to share photos, but described a very rapid cell turnover rate with associated pain and fluids. -c.s.
  • #112235 stopped using Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) products and began brushing her teeth with baking soda. She claimed to be completely cured in a month's time, also applying Spectrojel eczema cream and glycerin on her lips. She said the condition did not return for three weeks after discontinuing topical treatment. -c.s.

SSRIs (Anti-Depressants)

  • Leyland L, Field EA. Case report: exfoliative cheilitis managed with antidepressant medication. (Dent Update 2004 Nov;31(9):524-6)alesiom11 reported no progress after three months on the anti-depressant Zoloft.
    • --No further studies on long-term consequences of "management" -c.s.

Vaseline

  • the primary active ingredient is petrolatum, one of the most commonly recommended topical treatments by dermatologists and other quacks who don't comprehend the chronic nature of the condition. Other ingredients depend on the type of Vaseline, and none of them can be found listed on the maker's website. -c.s.
  • ko50, a former Accutane user, reported years ago that after stopping all other treatments for two weeks, simply applying Vaseline cured his condition, however he was also exfoliating the soggy dead skin with a toothbrush a couple times a day. Posted a couple photos, and recently returned to Curezone saying he was prescribed Protopic by his dermatologist and has not described his condition or the long term effects of the Vaseline. -c.s.

Vitamin E

  • a very widely discussed home remedy for chapped and peeling lips, many sufferers have reported benefits from direct Vitamin E gel application to the lips, but there is no ability to verify any claims of chronic, peeling lips having been cured by this application alone. Apparently there is a difference between natural and synthetic Vitamin E, with some suggesting that the body recognizes only the d-tocopherol form and that the synthetic (dl-tocopherol acetate) form actually inhibits the d form from entering the cell membrane. -c.s.