Dry lips
Dry lips

Dry or sore lips are a common problem, especially during hot or cold weather.  There are things you can try yourself that may help.

Things you can try yourself


  • use lip balm containing petroleum jelly or beeswax - you can buy these at a pharmacy or supermarket
  • try a few different lip balms if one ins't working for you - some people may be sensitive to some fragrances or ingredients
  • wash your hands before applying lip balm
  • use lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 15 or more during hot weather
  • cover your lips with a scarf when you're outside in cold weather
  • drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated


  • do not pick or bite any flaky skin on your lips - this can slow down healing
  • do not keep licking dry or cracked lips - this can make them sore
  • do not share lip balms with other people - this can spread germs

A pharmacist can help with sore or dry lips

A pharmacist can advise you about:

  • the best treatments for dry or sore lips
  • whether you need to see a GP

Find a pharmacy

See a GP if:

  • your lips are hot, painful, red and swollen - this could be a sign of infection

If your GP thinks you have an infected lip, they may prescribe an antibiotic or antifungal cream to treat the problem.

If you have a small, fluid-filled blister on your lip, you may have a cold sore.

Most people with cold sores get a tingling, burning or itching feeling on their lip before the blister appears.

Read more about cold sores.

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Selected links

NHS 111 Wales links



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The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk
Last Updated: 28/10/2019 09:35:05