Causes, Treatment & Home Remedies for Split Lips

a woman hiding her mouth with her hands

Split Lips

An open cut or sore in the lip is referred to as a split lip. Lip skin is sensitive and prone to splitting in cold, dry conditions, making a split lip a possibility. A split lip is inconvenient and painful, and it might bleed or sting. Cheilitis, or inflammation of the lips, is the most common cause of a split lip. 

Mild home remedies can help hasten healing in some circumstances, but to prevent or treat infections, a doctor may need to prescribe stronger medications. 


There are a variety of reasons for a split lip, including the following:

  • Picking or licking of lips

Lips have sensitive skin that is easily irritated by continuous contact. Lips that are repeatedly licked, chewed, or picked at might cause the skin to split. 

This irritation may cause the person to desire to lick or touch their lips again to relieve the irritation. This type of behaviour can result in a cycle of chapped, dry lips. Using lip balm to soothe the lips to break the habit can help them heal. 

  • Weather 

Other sources of discomfort, such as cold or dry air or too much wind, can also cause chapped lips. Cuts in the corners of the lips can also be caused by changes in the weather. A split in this area of the lips can generate a burning sensation and make even simple motions difficult, such as smiling or chewing, by stretching the sore area. 

  • Injury 

Another typical reason for a split lip is an injury. These injuries are more common among persons who participate in contact sports like football or hockey, although anyone can get hurt. A split lip can also be caused by the following injuries: 

  • being punched in the mouth 
  • Getting a papercut on the lip and then biting it 
  • Allergic reactions

Lip skin can react to one or more substances in some items, particularly those that come into contact with the lips or mouth, such as:

  • Braces
  • toothpaste
  • dental floss
  • lip balm
  • lipstick
  • makeup
  • moisturizers
  • braces

According to the researchers, these allergens are to blame for 22–34 per cent of cheilitis cases. 

After using a new lip product, anyone who experiences symptoms such as irritation, dryness, or redness should discontinue using it. If the symptoms persist, the individual should consult a dermatologist, who may be able to do a skin allergy test and advise the person on how to avoid products that are likely to cause symptoms. 

The sun can also harm the delicate skin on the lips, resulting in a split lip, however, this usually happens only after prolonged exposure. Long periods of time spent in the sun without lip protection can induce inflammation, which can cause pain, dryness, and cracking. 

  • Dehydration 

Water is used by the body to keep the skin moisturised. If a person's body is dehydrated, they may notice changes in their skin, such as dryness or cracking. If a person does not drink enough fluids throughout the day, mild dehydration signs such as chapped lips may emerge. 

After an illness that involves a high temperature, diarrhoea, or vomiting, dehydration can ensue. These symptoms can cause dehydration by causing the body to utilise or lose a lot of water. 

  • Deficiencies in vitamins 

Vitamin deficiencies or mineral deficits may induce a split lip in some circumstances, albeit it is less prevalent than other causes. You may also think What deficiency causes lips to crack? Deficiency in certain B vitamins or iron may cause symptoms in the mouth, such as a split lip and inflammation.

Home cures and treatment 

A split lip will usually heal on its own given enough time. During the healing process, it's important to avoid licking or picking at your lips. People can also use home treatments to hasten the healing process, such as: 

  • Saltwater

As the wound heals, saltwater can help keep it clean. In a small cup of warm water, dissolve a tablespoon of salt. Hold a cotton swab or cotton ball soaked in the liquid against the split lip. When the solution hits the open wound, it may sting a little, but the pain should subside within a few minutes. 

  • paste of baking soda 

A baking soda poultice can also be used to relieve symptoms like pain and oedema. Mix a spoonful of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste — generally about a teaspoon — to prepare this anti-inflammatory combination. 

This paste should be applied to the lips. Allow it to stay for a few minutes before washing with cold water to remove the paste. If necessary, repeat the operation every several hours. 

  • Using a cold compress 

Applying a cloth-wrapped ice pack to the affected area may assist the person find respite by numbing the discomfort and reducing swelling. Use the ice pack for no more than 10–15 minutes at a time. 

Prevention - How do you heal a split lip?

Some of the steps that can be taken to promote healing can also help avoid split lips in the future. These steps are as follows: 

  • Avoid licking or picking at your lips if they are sensitive. 
  • avoiding irritating meals, such as citrus or spicy foods, when out in the elements, especially in cold weather wearing lip protection when out in the elements, especially in cold weather 
  • consuming large amounts of water 

Take Away

A split lip is a frequent yet annoying injury. Although the cut is tiny, it might take time to heal because individuals move their lips and mouth a lot throughout the day. A split lip will usually respond well to home treatments in the majority of situations. A doctor should be consulted if there is persistent bleeding or evidence of infection.