The tougher question to answer: “Does that mean it is hard to tell what is causing the cheilitis because it takes so long for the area to heal or just that once you are on the mend it can take a while?” Yes and yes. When your lips are constantly/frequently exposed to an allergen (let’s say propolis in beeswax as an example bc that is what I am clearly allergic to), then you can react not only to the propolis directly as an allergen, but anything can make the lips aggravated, such as friction or irritants or other things that typically would not bother healthy skin. This is because the allergy causes inflammation and the inflammation makes the skin a less effective barrier against the outside world, so anything could potentially irritate it at that point. It makes it a challenge to determine the true allergen that caused the initial reaction. But let’s say you suspect propolis is the allergen and you so you stop using lip balm with beeswax or carnauba wax in it (people allergic to propolis often will also react to carnauba wax). Your sensitive lips will start to heal but at first they will be dry, tight and flaky (unless you apply one of to soothe them during this time…a shameless plug for my favorite products, forgive me!). So if they are already dry, tight and flaky, anything can aggravate them, even your own saliva or talking a lot or opening your mouth wide to put food in it. But as the skin heals and becomes more supple and less inflamed, it can tolerate more without getting aggravated. It has been a while, but I think it took a good 2 weeks for my lips to calm down fully after I stopped using beeswax products. So I could brush my teeth without them getting red or hurting. But I cannot ever apply beeswax product to them again. At the height of the worst cheilitis, applying beeswax would make them angry within minutes. Now, if they are accidentally exposed to beeswax (like a new lipstick I try or something stupid like that), it takes them hours or even a few days of repetitive exposure to the beeswax before they become inflamed/itchy/painful. But they now also heal within a few hours instead of a couple weeks.
I commend you for being brave enough to deal with the TSW and stop the steroid use. topical steroids can be of limited use for a short time but are horrible for long-term treatment of skin diseases. If you are familiar with the term “topical steroid withdrawal” then I assume you are familiar with ? Good resources for you there. Chinese herbal medicine is a great treatment option for you as well. I haven’t got anyone I know of personally in Wisconsin to refer you to, but contact – my dermatology teacher keeps a list of practitioners he has trained and maybe they can recommend someone near you. You can try using our easy-to-apply topical herbal oil on your lips when they are weeping and peeling, then try our or herbal lip balms in between episodes. The CSFreedom oil was designed to address cold sores, but the herbs in it are useful for split skin that oozes. The other 2 lip balms are softening and soothing, but would be too stiff to apply if your skin was peeling. I wish you well!
Hello, last summer I came down with a case of what seemed to be dermatitis on my eyelids and my neck. It was extremely uncomfortable — bouts of itching, inflamed skin, and constant peeling. As soon as I thought my skin was healing, it would peel off and start again. I live in Phoenix and noticed that it came on as soon as the weather warmed up at the end of Spring. I removed things from my diet, tried multiple supplements, topical remedies, changed to low-poo shampoos, stopped wearing makeup, etc. Nothing seemed to change. As soon as the weather became consistently cool, everything calmed down. The eyelid issues disappeared completely and the dry/itchy patches on my neck went away about 95%. The healing coincided with when I quit my super stressful job, so I started to think perhaps it was related to stress.