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Chapped lips are hard to escape at the best of times (especially if you live in a cold, windy city), but luckily thanks to the likes of Chapstick and Carmex, they’re usually pretty easy to treat. There is one thing, however, that many people can’t help but do when they have chapped lips, which is actually counterproductive.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the one thing you should never do with chapped lips is pick them or irritate them in any other way. That means no licking and definitely no biting, either. Basically, whenever you do this, you are preventing healing and ultimately prolonging the time your lips will remain chapped. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy and it’s important to note that there is such a thing as compulsive skin picking, which is medically referred to as dermatillomania or excoriation disorder. For these people, the NHS recommends identifying triggers, keeping hands busy, swapping picking for moisturizing, and challenging yourself to resist the urge to pick.
Keeping your hands busy will help you stop picking chapped lips
While those who don’t suffer from dermatillomania can also practice these measures, Bustle has broken it down into a list of further tips and tricks to help you stop. In terms of keeping your hands busy, Bustle recommends knitting, which is also said to boost mental health when taken on as a new hobby. As Dr. Janina Scarlet, PhD, clinical psychologist told PopSugar, “Our brains are, in general, more stimulated when we’re learning a new task. We can actually receive a little dopamine boost when learning something new, which can improve our mood.” It is also recommended that you take up exercise.
Another tactic Bustle advises is keeping track of your triggers and sharing them with other people. Is it when you are bored? Is it after you have eaten? As soon as you recognize these things, and with the help of others, you will become more conscious of them and be more likely to stop yourself before picking your poor chapped lips.