The Importance of SPF
As summer approaches a lot of us will be spending more time outside in the sun. We know the importance of wearing daily SPF on our face, but how about our lips? Do we even need SPF on our lips? The answer is yes. The skin surrounding the mouth can be very sensitive to UV rays. When not protected properly, this can cause long term problems.
How to best protect the lips and skin around the mouth from harmful UV rays? One of the easiest ways to protect the lips from sunburn is using a lip balm with SPF. You may need to reapply lip balm with SPF more often than typical sunscreen. Especially if you are frequently eating, drinking, or even licking your lips. Aim for a lip balm with SPF 30 or greater. There are many great over the counter options.
Symptoms of sunburned lips typically last around a week. Your lips may be redder than normal or even swollen. There may even be some uncomfortable blisters or dry patches. When this happens, keep the area moist. Use things that are safe to use on the lips like a moisturizing lip balm. You may even need to take an anti-inflammatory medication for pain like ibuprofen. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink lots of water.
If you find a sore that doesn't heal or anything that looks different and isn't healing after 2 weeks, make sure to check with your dentist and have them do a routine oral cancer screening of the area.