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Burning Lips Sensation: Causes and Solutions

Burning lips is a particularly unpleasant sensation occurring in middle-aged women for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it is also accompanied by other symptoms, such as swelling, pain, or hypersensitivity to food.

Women suffering from a burning lips sensation often report that they tend to withdraw from family and friends, become less socially active and more vulnerable to depression and anxiety. Fortunately, there are ways to lessen its impact on your life. Check out the main causes and solutions for burning lips sensation.

Manage Burning Lips Sensation

The Causes of Burning Lips Sensation

The sensation of burning lips varies in its duration and severity, depending on the underlying cause, which might include the following conditions:

  • Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is characterized by a burning sensation in the inner part of the lower lip, as well as the tongue, throat, gums, and roof of the mouth.

  • Estrogen and progesterone fluctuations during menopause strike women with many different symptoms from burning lips to hot flashes to electric-like shocks in the head.

  • Vitamin B12 and B9, zinc, and iron deficiency might be responsible for a wide range of symptoms, some of which include lips burning.

  • Injury to the lips or cranial nerves can result in a strong burning lips sensation and might restrict their movement.

  • Infections, such as herpes simplex, can cause cold sores and produce a burning and itchiness of the lips.

  • Allergies to a cosmetic product, drug, food component, or other substance in the environment might bring about a burning sensation in the lips.

  • Chemical or thermal burns resulting from an exposure to toxic chemicals, steam, or a sunburn. 

  • Stroke can sometimes be accompanied by lip burning sensation along with other classic stroke symptoms, such as weakness in the arms or legs, blurry speech, or confusion.

  • Oral cancer might also give off symptoms, such as burning lips and painful sores.

The Solutions for Burning Lips Sensation

Although a burning lips sensation can sometimes signal a more serious medical condition, the majority of the cases are not harmful and can be improved with the following practices:

Manage burning lips sensation:

  • Infections can be treated with antibiotics and anti-fungal medications, as well as antimicrobial ointments.

  • Most vitamin deficiencies can be cured with a balanced diet filled with healthy fats, rich protein sources, legumes, and green leafy vegetables or supplements.

  • Balance your estrogen and progesterone naturally with phytoestrogens and hormone-regulating supplements or pharmacologically.

Keep your lips well hydrated and soft to avoid breakage:

  • Exfoliate regularly with natural remedies. You can make a simple mixture with sugar and honey or oatmeal and turmeric, apply it to your lips and gently massage them in a circular motion.

  • Find a natural lip balm that has olive oil, lanolin, shea butter, or beeswax, and keep it handy throughout the day. If it has SPF and vitamin E, even better!

  • Try to avoid licking or biting your lips to prevent drying them out and weakening their skin surface.

Reduce the burning lips sensation:

  • Fresh aloe vera straight from the leaf can bring soothing and cooling to the burning lips.

  • Gentle lip massage with ice cubes can bring relieve from the painful burning sensation. Use caution, because ice can adhere to the skin and cause more damage.

  • Cut down on spicy and salty food, such as chips, that might irritate the delicate skin on the lips and cause it to burn.

  • Stay well hydrated to avoid your lips from getting dry and cracking, which might worsen the burning sensation.

Many menopausal women also suffer from a burning tongue and mouth sensation, causing them to avoid eating or drinking in fear that it will aggravate the painful experience, which might lead to dehydration and poor nutrition. If you struggle with burning tongue and mouth, it might be helpful to get a bigger understanding of the burning mouth syndrome and how to get relief of it. 

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Sources:
  • Ettinger, A. & Weisbrot, D. (2014). Neurologic Differential Diagnosis. Cambridge University Press: Cornwall, UK.
  • Harvard Medical School. (2013). Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky, harmful. Retrieved September 25, 2017 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780
  • Mayo Clinic. (2017). Burning mouth syndrome. Retrieved September 25, 2017 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burning-mouth-syndrome/symptoms-causes/dxc-20179960
  • Medline Plus. (2017). Herpes-oral. Retrieved September 26, 2017 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000606.htm
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2016). Burning Mouth Syndrome. Retrieved September 26, 2017 from https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/Burning/BurningMouthSyndrome.htm