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Question
Posted by: Marie | 2011-01-31

Red dry ring around my child''s mouth

My daughter is 8 years old. Very healthy and happy. During the school holidays she experienced some dryness on her lips. No general lip balm helped. She started to lick her lips frequently and has now also formed a nasty habit of licking around her lips with the result that she has developed almost a full circle of a very dry, reddish, crust around her mouth. She cannot speak or laugh properly as it is quite sore. We have been using a herbal ointment to try and heal it, but it makes no difference. What else can we do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Marie
It is almost a kind of contact dermatitis (eczema) they develop due to the licking, which is a habit caused by an episode of dry lips. Just check that she is not getting in an overdose of vitamin A via vitamin supplements that as this can cause very dry lips. You could also check her iron levels as underlying vit B and iron deficiency could also be the culprit. Try lanolin based lip ice and ask your doctor to prescribe 1% (very light) hydrocortisone cream only for a few days (cortisone on the face long term can cause peri-oral dermatitis). Try to motivate her to stop the habit (by rewarding her for not doing it or making her aware of it when you see her doing it)
Dr Bets

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: BMJ | 2011-01-31

My son does that on occassion too and I find that Elizabeth Arden''s 8hour miracle cream works wonders and if she puts it on 3 times a day, it will not only heal the sore red part but also take the dry lips feeling away.

Reply to BMJ
Posted by: Cyberdoc | 2011-01-31

Hallo Marie
It is almost a kind of contact dermatitis (eczema) they develop due to the licking, which is a habit caused by an episode of dry lips. Just check that she is not getting in an overdose of vitamin A via vitamin supplements that as this can cause very dry lips. You could also check her iron levels as underlying vit B and iron deficiency could also be the culprit. Try lanolin based lip ice and ask your doctor to prescribe 1% (very light) hydrocortisone cream only for a few days (cortisone on the face long term can cause peri-oral dermatitis). Try to motivate her to stop the habit (by rewarding her for not doing it or making her aware of it when you see her doing it)
Dr Bets

Reply to Cyberdoc

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