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Suffering from exfoliative cheilitis and have peeling lips. Is there any permanent cure?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1390 Questions
i am suffering from exfoliative cheilitis for more than 5 years.the skin on my lips keeps peeling of every 3-4 days.. Initially i thought that my lips are cracking often. But it is not so, my lips dont heal at all. I am under lot of depression. is there no permanent cure. I badly need help. I am avoiding social situations and people becoz of my condition. it is so severe and clearly visible that my close friends have started ignoring me. i feel helpless
Posted Mon, 6 May 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
The condition can be exfolative cheilitis,DLE(actinic cheilosis),contact dermatitis etc.

Also I would like to know-
Is only lower lip affected or both lips affected?
Which toothpaste you use/have you tried changing it?
You have any problem inside oral cavity?
Does it occur continously ?any seasonal increase or decrease?
What treatment you have taken? any relief?

Can you upload photos of affected area?
Photos can help a lot in predicting the condition.

Answer the questions and UPLOAD the images by using UPLOAD YOUR REPORTS section on right side of this box.We can continue the discussion here.

I will be available for follow up.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from exfoliative cheilitis and have peeling lips. Is there any permanent cure? 33 minutes later
Thanks for responding promptly doc.

Both my lips are affected.
i use colgate. i have changed it to colgate powder and used it for 5 months.
i am not experiencing any dental problem.
it is there all the time. My skin peels off every 3-4 days
i have consulted 2 skin doctors. i have used ointments like Lipz cream,Moisture X, acnemoist, antifungal tablets, omnacortil 20 etc but the problem still persists. One doctor even suggested surgery which may be a costly affair.

you have to understand doctor, this is mentally affecting. My career & relationships are starting to get affected. please tell me is there any permanent cure for this at all. Is this a rare disease. Please guide me doc, i ll be indebted to u for all ur help. i have uploaded a photo too.
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 22 hours later
Ive gone through the details and photo uploaded by you.
I can understand the pain and agony you are going through due to this condition.

Exfoliative cheilitis is a comparatively rare condition with unsatisfactory treatment.
While no single medicine is effective in all the cases many medications have been reported to be effective.
The disease can cause a lot of stress and depression.Psychological factors are implicated in causation of this disease.Avoiding stress will help medication to show effect earlier.

Useful medications can be -
Oral/ topical steroids
Antifungal medication
topical tacrolimus
Calendula officinalis (marigold) ointment 10%.
Anti depressant medication like SSRI

Few procedures like cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen can be helpful.

Regular moisturizer and sunscreen use can be helpful.
Consult a qualified dermatologist for trying these drugs one by one.
As you have already tried steroids and moisturizers you can try remaining options.
I will be available for follow up.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from exfoliative cheilitis and have peeling lips. Is there any permanent cure? 9 hours later
How long will it take to cure. Will it ever get cured or should i have to stay like this all my lyf.cmy parents are planning to get me married off as soon as possible nd r not aware of my problem. Could u plzz suggest a good doctor in visakhapatnam nd hyderabad who can immediately get down to the root cause of my problem. Most of the docs seem to be ignorant about my condition nd are not able to provide effective treatment.
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 14 hours later
Hi again XXXXXXX
The condition has uncertain course and can have remission.
Dr.V.K Somani in Jubilee Hills is pretty good,
Dr. V.K. Somani M.D., D.D
Sanskaar, Plot no 17-A, Journalist Colony,
Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, - 500 033.
Also you can visit Osmania medical college,skin department for correct and effective treatment.
Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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