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tramnineteen's avatar

How can I stop licking my lips?

Asked by tramnineteen (736 points ) August 19th, 2009

From time to time I will start licking my lips which makes them chapped. Once my lips are chapped and little pieces of skin start to peel off and I can feel it which makes me lick them more.

I think I start licking my lips under stress, but there could be other triggers.

What makes it difficult is that I frequently do so unconsciously.

Any tips?

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15 Answers

loser's avatar

I had that same problem. I just always carry Chapstick with me now. It really helps.

tramnineteen's avatar

Chapstick doesn’t seem to for me. In order to keep a layer on I end up putting it on every 30 min or more often than that!

JLeslie's avatar

Buy a lip treatment to put on at night while you sleep. You can try vaseline and see if it works, but if not cosmetic lines make special treatments for dry lips. If you don’t feel comfortable going to a cosmetic counter maybe a female friend can do it for you. I worked in cosmetics for years and no one at the counters in department stores will give it a second thought. The idea is that possibly you feel the need to lick your lips because they are so dry and chapped, hopefully if you cure this the urge will go away.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Keep using some kind of lip treatment. JLeslie is right – you probably do it because your lips are already chapped.

Try to find a lip treatment that you can’t stand the taste of, and make sure you put it on. If you can’t find a lip treatment with a taste that doesn’t bother you, try putting something like vinegar on your lips to prevent you from licking. As a matter of fact, put the lip treatment on first, then put vinegar on top of it.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

1. Place tongue inside mouth
2. Repeat Step 1
3. What are you doing, I said repeat step 1?

samanthabarnum's avatar

I had that problem for years, it happened to me during cold weather. The best thing you can do is Vaseline, all around your lips, even above and below them. When the Vaseline gets absorbed, or if it gets too bad, take a swig of water and swash it around your lips for a cooling effect on the chapped areas, and then put the Vaseline back on. Stick with it, have some self-discipline, and it’ll heal.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The oral thing that starts the lip licking can be rechanneled by chewing gum or having something to bite on like a plastic drink stirrer. I’ve noticed that a certain level of anxiety makes me want to have something to bite or chew on.

hearkat's avatar

I like Herpecin-L at night. It’s meant for cold sores, which I don’t get; but it helps slough the dead skin off and heal the lips. I use the stuff in the little tub at night, it comes in a stick form too. It has SPF-30, which is also beneficial… the skin on our lips is very thin and more susceptible to sun and wind damage.

Vaseline and ChapStick coat the lips. Vaseline is petroleum jelly – yes, a bi-product of the oil industry. It forms a grease barrier to trap moisture in; but if your lips are dry to begin with, it doesn’t do much. It is not absorbed. If it is gone after a while, it’s because it got wiped off, or licked off and swallowed. I am not certain of the ingredients in ChapStick, but it simply coats as well and is waxy, so I’d bet it has paraffins… another oil bi-product (feel free to Wiki for more information).

Others have inferred that you are male… if so you might not want to try this. LipFusion XL is marketed as a ‘lip plumper’ night treatment. This stuff does absorb into your lips with consistent use, and makes them softer and smoother, but you don’t look like Angelina Jolie. I started using it a couple years back, and now find that I need to apply lip goop less often during the day and at night (I used to reapply lip balm several times during the night).

It is very expensive, but worth it because it works. I use it day and night, but apply far less than I did initially, because I don’t need it as much. It is a very shiny gloss though, so daytime use might not be an option for guys… in which case the balms that coat can help, by keeping what was absorbed the night before locked in a bit longer.

Grisaille's avatar

Cut off your tongue.

jonsblond's avatar

Both my son and I have this problem at times. Carmex has always helped us.

bcstrummer's avatar

Start giving BJ’s?

imyourbffjess's avatar

Here are some tips that I have tried, it really works.

Licking your lips actually begins to digest them, which can lead to very chapped lips. First, buy some chap stick that you absolutely can’t stand the taste.

Apply petroleum jelly to your lips every night before bed. In the morning you’ll wake up with the most moisturized lips ever.

If it is cold outside, make sure you double up on the chap stick. Cold weather can further damage the lips, leading to more licking.

I hope these helped, Applying bad tasting chap stick (You can find at a local store) is the best way.

Response moderated
wickedbetty's avatar

DRINK LOTS OF WATER! You are probably dehydrated. The weather is changing and that ALWAYS does it for me because my body has to work harder to keep me warm. I drink lots of water, don’t use chapstick (If you use it, you will keep needing it. Esp Carmex, that has fiber-glass in it so you have to keep re-applying.) At night, take your tooth brush and gently brush over your lips to get the dead skin off, then drink up. Promise… it works.

Mike321's avatar

I used to use Vaseline and Chapstick regularly as a kid because my parents told me to. Now my lips are virtually incapable of naturally moistening themselves the way they’re supposed to. Those products are petroleum products, Vaseline is simply a waste product of processing petroleum.

I kept cough drops with me through the winter once and always had one in my mouth which helped keep me from licking my lips, and that effectively ended my addiction to chapstick and I no longer lick my lips.

If you have to put something on your lips, try something like Aloe Vera. What would you put on a sunburn, Vaseline or Aloe Vera? Why would your lips be any different?

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