4 Yr Old Excessive Licking Lips Making Really Bad Chapped Lips, What to Do?

Updated on February 22, 2011
A.G. asks from Clinton, MA
17 answers

Hi everyone,
my son keeps licking his lips excessivly and we live in Massachusetts... his lips and area around his mouth are red and so chapped, it looks rediculous and he is so uncomfortable.. we have been using chapsticks and he brings them to preschool and it isnt working. Of course I am reinforcing him to not lick his lips but the cold weather isnt helping either,, Does anyone have any suggestions?? Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thank You everyone for your input! We will try severeal of the suggestions, hopefully the first one will work and we wont have to keep going down the list!

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answers from Boston on

My 5 yr old daughter does this and has super-sensitive skin. We found that Weleda's Calendula cream (diaper or baby) works best. She doesn't like the heavy, greasy feeling of things like Vaseline or Aquaphor. Like so many others have suggested, we apply it at night before story time. She calls it her "healing cream". By morning, there's barely a hint of the redness and she's no longer in pain. We've tried other creams & ointments but she responds best to this one. It is expensive when compared to other options but it works wonderfully. In the summer, she gets raw dry patches of skin so we use this for that too. It's great stuff!



answers from Bangor on

my oldest dd does this and it gets so bad that it is painful and affects what she will eat. I use Eucerin Aquaphor healing ointment...we use it like chapstick and really cake it on a bedtime...works like a charm.

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answers from Boston on

even though it's designed for diaper rash, a&d original ointment works wonders on dry skin-- my doctor had recommended it when my lips got super-chapped during pregnancy. i use it on my lips and it is so much better than chapstick. and my 23 month old loves putting it on (she calls it her "lip stuff") when she has a cold or before we go out when it is cold outside. she lets me put it all over her cheeks, nose and lips before we go out when it's really cold. it doesn't have too bad of a medicine-y smell. and she doesn't lick it off.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My dd used to have that red rash around the mouth it is called...LIP LICKERS DERMATITIS. Low dose hydrocortizone (over the counter) should do the trick. It was what the pedia advised us to use. I applied when the kid was sleeping.



answers from Los Angeles on

maybe it is impetigo, which requires antibiotics



answers from Dallas on

My girls hate when I put stuff on their chapped lips in the day, they wipe it off or lick it. So, I also put it on when they sleep and it works much better. I don't use neosporin since it's a medication and I don't want them to lick it. I us an all natural beeswax type of cream and it works so well. After a few nights they are usually healed up pretty well.



answers from Boston on

I just have to tell you that my 5-year-old has been doing the same thing. His tongue is really long (he can lick his own nose and the underside of his chin) so the radius of the chapped area looks like half of his face. It's so gross.

I have been using something called "extra emollient night cream" from Mary Kay all over the chapped area. It doesn't taste good so it keeps him from licking. If I didn't have that, I would probably use vaseline or vitamin-e capsules as others have mentioned.



answers from Las Vegas on

PURE coconut oil..(the food product, not the stuff that is in lotions) heals and moistens.. whereas , once your lips are chapped, chapstick doesn't do much... that stuff is good to protect lips from getting chap.. but doesnt do much to heal the lips..


answers from Los Angeles on

My 5 yo started doing this recently -- because she saw someone in school doing it constantly! LOL, monkey see monkey do. I started slathering on Lansinoh (you can find it in Target in the baby section). It's actually made for nursing mother's nipples and I continued to use it beyond nursing for my lips and also cuticles. It's wonderful stuff!! Much thicker than vaseline, but better for you (no petroleum). I started slathering it on my daughter's lips right before bedtime, and the redness/chapping went away. Then I reinforced w/ some follow-up discussions about why licking your lips to keep them moist actually makes them drier.



answers from Dallas on

neosporin has a new chap stick for day and overnight..it works great..it cost a little more..but so worth it..nieces and nephew would like their lips to and it worked on them too..hope it works for you..



answers from Los Angeles on

Chapstick has alcohol so its kinda drying, you must keep reapplying. Use vaseline or Mary Kay's Satin Lips. Make sure once he's asleep you get it on him and as often as he'll let you apply it.



answers from Philadelphia on

Use Aquaphor instead of Chapstick. My son used to have the same issue and Aquaphor was the only thing that helped. I used to send in a small container of it in his backpack to pre-school and have the teachers remind him to use it. He hasn't had chapped lips for YEARS now, but I have so many pics of him as a small child with a red circle around his mouth, poor baby...I totally understand how you want to help your little guy.


answers from Orlando on

Get to your nearest health food store or a publix that has all the organic stuff... and look for some Vitamin E oil. The higher the IU number, the purer, the better!

Its reeeal thick! So you dont have to use much. You also dont have to worry to much about him eating it all up because its still Vitamin E :)

I would still use it at night when he's asleep. One nights worth and youll see the difference in the morning.

Vitamin E is good for just about any skin issue, darkening, scars, tears, you name it. I put it all over my face and my dark spots have gone away :)

Hope that helps.


answers from Kansas City on

right before bed goop him up with lots of vaseline. it doesn't taste as good as chapstick so he'll be less likely to lick it, plus he's about to go to sleep so it will get a chance to work. probably the more he licks them the more it itches/hurts/gets dry, so it's a vicious cycle. do it a few nights in a row and you should start to see improvement. don't use carmex or any of those "ointments", they are medicated and will sting like the dickens, and dry it out even more toboot. good luck.


answers from Portland on

I have found the best time to "work" on mouths is when they are sleeping...so you can try slathering his lips with neosporin at night. Also he should avoid salty and sour foods/drinks because that will only make it worse and probably hurt.



answers from Boston on

Try vasceline petrolium jelly.



answers from Boston on

Aquaphor. Apply plenty while he's sleeping. Then try to dab it on once or twice during the day too - if you can!

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