The solution for cracked, dry lips is more than skin deep

Q: I’m a single 55 year old woman with multiple problems. However, one problem is very bothersome. My ability to smile and sing is now limited because my lips are very, very dry and I cannot seem to heal them in any way. Now, after months of trying to get it under control, I’ve developed open sores on the corners where lower lips meet upper lips. Do you have any idea how I could get my lips back to normal? My family doctor keeps telling me Vaseline should do the trick, but nothing I’ve tried has helped.

Dr. Fred:

This is an internal problem coupled with an external one. So an effective solution requires dealing with both aspects of the condition.

For starters, I would make sure you’re getting the right building blocks for your skin by supplementing with a comprehensive blend of amino acids. (See the front page article for more information on how critical amino acids are to your health.) Additionally, start taking 200 mg of Pycnogenol and 3,000 mg of EPA and DHA (through a high-quality fish oil supplement) per day. Both will help your skin to retain critical moisture.

Those supplements ought to do the trick. But you must stay well-hydrated, too. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Apply lip balm regularly. (Avoid propylene glycol—stick with natural beeswax instead.) And use a humidifier if your heat or air conditioning is on.

It’s also worth noting that this is a very common occurrence in autoimmune disorders. So be sure to have your doctor test you for these conditions. If there is a larger problem at play, it’s essential that you address it directly.