I have put up the online survey for some time and want to share the results I obtained so far:
Up till 8th December 2022, there are 37 responses completing my survey about exfoliative cheilitis. Let’s take a look at the results:
Of the responses we had, most are male sufferers. In terms of the current age group, the age group of 18 to 30 years old makes up more than 75% of the cases. Most people got diagnosed at age 18 to 24 years old or even younger than 18 years old. This correlates with the literature regarding mostly diagnosing exfoliative cheilitis in adolescents or young adults. In terms of the duration of having EC, 35% of the cases have been facing it for more than 5 years and 32% had it for 1 to 3 years. We all know unfortunately that EC is a chronic condition and can last for years.
We know the symptoms of EC can start with peeling lips and can get to fissuring, or bleeding on bad days. From our results, everyone experienced peeling of lips, most reported dry lips and lips turning white when in contact with water. Other symptoms are inflamed lips, tingling sensation, fissuring, bleeding, or secondary infection.
I have the idea that the culprit of exfoliative cheilitis is our defective lip external barrier. In a way, it’s like eczema for other skin areas. A defective skin barrier plays a role in the cause of eczema. With the same token, our lip barrier is faulty, so it keeps getting dry and peeling. With some time, every external substance can be an irritant to the defective lip, leading to inflammation and possibly more peeling, hence the fissuring and bleeding. Usually, lip balms will provide some sort of temporary relief.
People think lip balm is helping EC. The next thing will be the leaving-it-alone method. The leaving-it-alone method likely work a bit with the underlying natural healing process. However, it never just cures itself with the leaving-it-alone method, so probably when we look into these and combine the lip balm with less disturbance of our lips can fasten the natural recovery.
Another mention is the use of topical steroid cream. Steroids help with inflammation. One reason that I thought of impairing lips’ natural healing will be the inflammation leading to inconsistent healing of the lip’s barrier.
In terms of lip balm, more people are constantly using Aquaphor, Vaseline or petroleum jelly.
Other lip balms mentioned include:
- Cerave healing ointment
- Lanolin nipple cream
- Osmin Top Unguento
- La Roche Posay Lip Balm
- bepanthen lip balm
- Glycerine aveeno
- Nivea and Laneige lip mask
- Squalene oil after uvb
- Aveeno eczema moisturizer
- Dr sams lip balm (lanolin)
- Avene cicalfte repair balm
- Laneige lip mask
- Or applying nothing
Another thing that we all need to take care of is our mental health. From the responses, the majority of people have been treated for depression or anxiety. Studies have reported sufferers of exfoliative cheilitis are frequently treated for depression or anxiety as well. Take care of your mental health and seek help when you needed.