Lip licker’s dermatitis or lick eczema is quite common among the children during winter season. It’s a rash that occurs around the lips in response to chronic licking around the mouth with saliva. This is associated with cracked and chapped lips. When the lips get dried your child will more likely moisten the lips by saliva. When it is repeatedly done by your child, it becomes a habit, just like nail biting, thumb sucking. This rash gets better when the habit is stopped.
Lip licker’s dermatitis is cause by direct irritation of saliva, so, it is considered as irritant contact dermatitis. Severe irritation may further lead to cracking and secondary bacterial infection.
What Causes Lip Licker’s Dermatitis?
During cold season or during dry climates our lips often get dried. When lips gets dried child often develops a habit of repetitive licking of their lips to moisten them with saliva, which will temporary relief the dryness. But, when saliva comes in constant contact with lips and surrounding skin it dries and irritates the skin resulting in lip licker’s dermatitis.
Diagnosis of Lip Licker’s Dermatitis
It is diagnosed clinically by typical rash around the mouth that can be easily reached by tongue. But be warned there are other conditions that might also resemble such rash, so if you are unsure, visiting a dermatologist might be helpful.
Lip Licker’s Dermatitis Treatment
It is often difficult to treat lip lickers dermatitis, as child develops a habit of persistent lip leaking. The most important treatment is to ask for the child to stop licking her lips. So educating child about the habit and its consequences might help.
For mild cases regular application of Vaseline will work wonder. For moderate to severe cases your doctor may prescribe 1% hydrocortisone cream for a few days, which will usually clear the skin. After that, regular use of Vaseline will help moisturize and protect the skin. For best result apply a thick layer of Vaseline around the mouth and re-apply every 30 minutes. It is better to give a box of Vaseline to your child so he/she can apply on regular interval. With proper treatment, it goes away in a couple of weeks with no scarring or permanent skin damage.
How can I Prevent Lip Licker’s Dermatitis?
As always said, prevention is better than cure, so preventing is much easier than treating the condition. As soon as the lips feel dry start using the lip balm. It is better to use regular lip balm during dry and winter season, which will keep the lip moistened throughout the season and prevent cracking, drying and lip licker dermatitis.