Chapped lips refers to the condition whereby the skin of the lips becomes broken, red and swollen due to the lack of moisture. Chapped lips can cause bleeding, pain and general discomfort during eating and drinking. Frequent causes of this condition include your diet, medication and medical conditions, allergies and the weather. Chapped lips are caused by a lack of moisture in the skin, resulting in the lack of the film of oil that coats the lips and allows the moisture to stay in them. The skin of the lips therefore becomes dehydrated. Here are some ways in which the weather can cause chapped lips.
Humidity in the air can be the reason why lips can become dry and chapped. Chapped lips are caused by the lack of moisture in the skin of the lips, and naturally, drier conditions will cause the skin to dry out. Water molecules that form the moisture in the skin and the humidity in the air control the dryness of the skin in the lips in the same way that perfume travels across a room – the smell begins at a high concentration at one end of the room, and slowly spread evenly across the room so that the whole room eventually smells like perfume. Similarly, water molecules move from a higher concentration in the skin of the lips into the air, which has less water. As a result, the skin of the lips loses moisture and dries out.
Wind conditions affect the level of moisture in the skin of the lips in the same way as humidity affects it. In weather conditions where there are stronger winds, the water molecules in the air are blown away and do not have a chance to keep the lips hydrated. Wind blown air tends to have a lower humidity than areas where the weather is calm or there are no winds. As mentioned above, an area with a lower level of humidity causes the skin of the lips to become dry and therefore causes chapped lips.
Although the weather tends to be dry in the winter, and the dryness can cause the lips to become chapped, the temperature can also affect the dryness of the skin. Hot weather tends to cause more dryness, and there are two reasons for this. Firstly, the dry weather causes you to sweat more in order for the body to remain at a suitably cool temperature for normal functioning. Due to the loss of moisture as a result of sweating, the water content of the body is reduced and skin tends to become dry, including the skin on the lips. Heat can also result in dryness because it can cause a higher rate of evaporation of water molecules from the skin, causing the skin to dry out more easily.