Does your child struggle with chapped lips? It’s a battle I’ve waged with several of my children. Chapped lips is a common problem that be particularly challenging for kids. In this article I’ll go over why it happens, and you’ll learn the best ways to help kids chapped lips.

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Understanding Chapped Lips

The medical term used to describe chapped lips is cheilitis. Cheilitis occurs when the delicate skin on your child’s lips becomes dry, cracked, and inflamed.

Here’s What to Look For:

  • Dryness: Chapped lips feel dry and parched, often with a rough or sandpapery texture.
  • Cracking: Chapped lips may develop cracks or fissures, especially in severe cases.
  • Peeling: The skin on chapped lips may peel or flake off.
  • Redness: Chapped lips sometimes appear red and inflamed.
  • Pain: Chapped lips may feel sore or painful, especially when eating, drinking, or smiling.
  • Itching: Chapped lips can be itchy or uncomfortable.
  • Burning or stinging: Chapped lips may burn or sting, especially when exposed to certain irritants, such as food or cosmetics.

What Causes Kids Chapped Lips?

There are several situations that contribute to chapped lips. You can bet when winter comes around, its going to be more of a problem!

  • Cold and dry weather: The cold, dry air of winter can strip away moisture from the lips, leading to dryness and cracking.
  • Sun exposure: The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the lips, making them more susceptible to chapping.
  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough fluids can contribute to overall skin dryness, including dryness of the lips.
  • Irritants: Certain substances, such as toothpaste, or your child’s favorite flavored lip balms can irritate the lips and lead to chapping.

Why Kids Struggle With Chapped Lips

Children’s delicate skin is more susceptible to dryness and irritation, making them more prone to chapped lips. They are also more likely to lick their lips, which can make the dryness worse.

Why You Should Care About Your Kids Chapped Lips

While chapped lips are often harmless, the condition can cause discomfort and make it difficult for your child to eat, drink, and even smile. Some children and teens may become self conscious about their lips appearance.

The Best Ways To Help Your Child With Chapped Lips

When it comes to helping your child with chapped lips prevention is more than half the battle. Here are a few simple things to remember:

  • Keep your kids hydrated: Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep their lips moist from the inside out.
  • Try using a humidifier: A humidifier can add moisture to the air, especially in dry or cold weather, helping to prevent dryness of the lips and skin.
  • Protect from the sun: Use a lip balm with SPF to protect your child’s lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Avoid irritants: Identify and avoid any substances that may be irritating your child’s lips, such as flavored lip balms or certain toothpastes.
  • Discourage licking: Encourage your child to break the habit of licking their lips, as this can make dryness worse.

Everything You Want To Know About Kids Lip Balm

Lip balm is your best friend when helping kids with chapped lips because it can help to:

  • Moisturize the lips: This helps in relieving dryness and discomfort.
  • Protect the lips: It protects the lips from the cold, dry air, wind, and sun.
  • Prevent chapping: Lip balm can help to prevent chapping from occurring in the first place!

What To Look For In Lip Balm For Kids

When choosing a lip balm for your kids, it’s crucial to consider their delicate skin and ensure the product is gentle and effective. Here are some key factors to look for:

  1. Moisturizing Ingredients: Opt for lip balms with highly moisturizing ingredients like petroleum jelly, beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, or lanolin. These ingredients effectively seal in moisture and prevent dryness.
  2. Fragrance-Free and Hypoallergenic: Avoid lip balms with artificial fragrances or harsh chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. Choose fragrance-free and hypoallergenic formulas to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.
  3. SPF Protection: Protect your child’s lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays by choosing a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher.
  4. Tasteless or Flavorless: Okay, I know kids love flavored lip balm! However, these products can backfire by tempting children to lick their lips more frequently. It’s a better bet to stick to tasteless or flavorless options to discourage excessive licking.
  5. Fun and Engaging Packaging: Kids are more likely to use a lip balm they find appealing. Choose lip balms with fun characters, colorful designs, or playful shapes to make skincare more enjoyable for them.


If your child’s lips burn, sting, or feel uncomfortable when you apply a product, it’s a clear sign that it’s not the right lip balm for them! Stop using that particular lip balm and gently rinse it off. Everyone’s skin is unique and responds differently to various products!

How To Help Your Child’s Chapped Lips Heal

Sometimes despite all of your preventive measures and extra vigilence, chapped lips happen and can become very uncomfortable for your kids. Here’s what to do:

  • Use petroleum jelly: Petroleum jelly is a highly effective moisturizer and can help to seal in moisture and heal chapped lips. This can be particulaly helpful if you apply it in the evening right before bedtime.
  • Avoid harsh soaps and detergents: These can further irritate and dry out the lips.
  • Gently exfoliate: If the lips are severely chapped, gentle exfoliation with a soft washcloth or toothbrush can help to remove dead skin cells and promote healing.
  • Continue to use lip balm: Help your child use lip balm during the day.
A nurse checks a child's dry lips.

When to Seek Medical Advice For Your Child’s Chapped Lips

While chapped lips in children are often harmless and can be effectively managed at home with simple self-care measures, there are certain situations when it’s advisable to seek medical advice. HEre’s what to look for:

  1. Persistent or Worsening Chapping: If your child’s chapped lips persist for more than two weeks despite consistent home treatment, it’s advisable to consult a doctor or dermatologist. Prolonged dryness or worsening symptoms could indicate an underlying medical condition.
  2. Severe Cracking or Bleeding: Deep cracks or bleeding on the lips can be painful and increase the risk of infection. If your child’s lips are severely cracked or bleeding, seeking medical attention is crucial to promote healing and prevent complications.
  3. Signs of Infection: If you notice signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, swelling, or pus around the lips, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly. Infections can worsen if left untreated and may require antibiotics or other medications.
  4. Allergic Reaction: If you suspect an allergic reaction to a lip balm or other product causing chapping, seek medical advice immediately. Allergic reactions can range from mild discomfort to severe symptoms like hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

The Best Products For Kids Chapped Lips

Can’t decide on which products to try with your kids? Here are a few effective suggestions:

Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly

Vaseline is a highly effective moisturizer that can help to seal in moisture and heal chapped lips. It is also fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, which makes it safe for children to use.

Aquaphor Lip Repair

Aquaphor’s moisturizing and protective properties create an environment conducive to healing. It helps to restore the skin’s natural barrier function, preventing further dryness and cracking.

What’s the difference between Aquaphor and Vaseline?

Aquaphor and Vaseline are both petroleum jelly-based products that can help to soothe and heal chapped lips. However, there are some key differences between the two products:

  • Aquaphor contains additional ingredients, such as panthenol and bisabolol, that promote healing and reduce inflammation.
  • Vaseline is 100% petroleum jelly and does not contain any additional ingredients.

Neosporin Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy

Neosporin lip therapy uses a unique combination of antioxidants and essential lipids works overnight to repair and strengthen the lips’ natural barrier function, promoting faster healing and restoring lip health.

The Best Lip Balms For Kids Chapped Lips

Burt’s Bees Rescue Balm Unscented Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees Unscented Lip Balm is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, making it safe and gentle for use on children’s delicate skin. It’s unfavored, so it doesn’t encourage kids to lick their lips!

Kind Lips Lip Balm, Nourishing Soothing Lip Moisturizer

Kind lips is a great brand that is 100% natural and certified organic. While it does come in a variety of flavors, there is an unflavored option you can purchase.

Erbaviva Organic Lip & Cheek Balm

This more expensive product is a Jack of all trades when it comes to dry skin as it can be used on your child’s lips, cheeks, and hands.

Final Thoughts

Chapped lips can be challenging for your child, but there are lots of things you can do to help! Try a few of these suggestions out and discover what works best for your family.

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