Lip Protection - Lip Problems? Heal Your Child With Food!

Lip Protection - Lip Problems? Heal Your Child With Food!
By Sofia Segounis, Nutritionist

Chapped lips, cold sores and canker sores are embarrassing, painful and unattractive. Unfortunately, in the winter months, our children are likely to experience at least one of these culprits. Luckily, there are natural approaches to help deal with and even prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Chapped lips
Even though our lips are an outer layer of skin, their composition differs from the rest of the skin. Lips do not have a protective layer, nor do they have sweat and oil glands. A lack of sweat and oil glands creates a lack of moisture causing our lips to dry out more than any other skin surface. The only type of moisture lips have is our saliva.

What can I do to prevent dry lips?
1. Lips require extra moisture. For starters, drink plenty of fresh water. This will ensure that your body is well hydrated.
2. Exfoliate dead skin from lips by using your tooth brush and warm water. After you have finished brushing your teeth, give your lips a once over.
3. Apply moisturizer to lips daily, you could use brand name lip balm or make your own natural lip balm, click here for recipe. Honey is also a great form of lip protection-and it tastes good too! Honey is a humectant-that is, it draws moisture from the air to the skin, keeping it moist.

If I have chapped lips, how can I treat them?
The same steps should be taken to treat chapped lips. Moisture is the key. Drinking plenty of water and applying some form of moisture directly to lips is the best way.

Cold sores
Cold sores are small, fluid-filled blisters that appear on your lips and around the mouth area. They are also known as the herpes simplex virus-1. Although the cold sore typically goes away within 5 to10 days, the virus lays dormant in the body and can be triggered by various causes. Triggers include: a cold/virus, fever, stress, exposure to sun or wind and hormonal changes. Cold sores are very contagious and therefore special attention should be paid to items that are shared such as towels, utensils, lip products and direct contact.

How do I prevent cold sores?
Unfortunately, once you've had cold sores, there's no way of knowing when you will get another. Special attention should be made to not contract them in the first place. There are ways to decrease your chances of recurrence such as:
1. Eat a well balanced diet, ensuring that you are eating a variety of wholesome foods. See 10 best foods.
2. Drink plenty of fresh water.
3. Decrease your level of stress. Relax with a meditation CD.
4. Protect your lips from the elements such as sun and wind.

How do I treat cold sores if I have one?
There are certain vitamins and minerals that help to heal cold sores such as lysine, vitamin B, zinc, vitamin C, calcium and essential fatty acids. Foods that aid in treating cold sores containing these vitamins and minerals include:
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Dairy products, including yogurts and kefir
  • Eggs
  • Legumes and beans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Soy products

    Canker sores
    These are small painful ulcers that appear in the mouth; lips, gums, cheeks and tongue. They appear suddenly and last for 4 to 20 days. They can be triggered by poor dental hygiene, dental work, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, stress or fatigue.

    How do I prevent canker sores?
    1. Take care of your mouth. Proper dental hygiene is important, so brush and floss your teeth regularly.
    2. Follow a balanced diet. A diet that is both hormonally and pH balanced. Visit the Truestar nutrition philosophy (for kids) for the details on healthy eating.
    3. Avoid any foods that you know irritate your mouth.
    4. Decrease stress levels.
    5. Get plenty of rest. For tips and information about sleep visit the Truestar Sleep section.

    How do I treat canker sores?
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, especially raw onions. Onions contain healing properties.
  • Consume soured milk products such as, yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese.
  • Avoid sugar, citrus fruits, processed and refined foods.
  • Do not eat meat or fish for two weeks. These items increase acidity levels in the body. High levels of acidity will slow down healing in the body.

    The best way to avoid chapped lips, canker or cold sores is prevention. Thanks to clever marketing and social pressures, children often eat the wrong foods that can suppress their immune systems. It is best not to seem too strict with a child's diet as it can often backfire. Follow the 80-20 rule for optimal success. In other words, ensure your children eat a healthy nutritious diet and drink plenty water when they are at home or when packing lunches (80% of the time) and allow them to fall off the health wagon at birthday parties and other special occasions (20% of the time). By creating this sort of balance, your child's healthy eating habits are much more likely to stick-and their lips will remain healthy.

  • MORE