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Anyone have / had dry Lips?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by lazydaisy, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. lazydaisy

    lazydaisy Peer Supporter

    I am journalling and working through the treatment programme.

    My episodes with things that I (now) know to have been TMS are wide and varied - back pain, sciatic, IBS, and, most notably, TMJ.

    I've also had intermittent eczema (which weirdly started in my mid 20s). When I really started looking at TMS I got terrible eczema on my neck. I thought it was likely travelling symptoms, so I paid it as little attention as possible, and behold, it went away, although I get occasional small patches on my neck.

    Anyway, onto my dry lips. I have always had dry, chapped lips, as did both my parents. I have used lipbalm daily (um, hourly) since I was about 15.

    I always have to know where my nearest lipbalm is. I once went away for the weekend without some, and was ill - I had to send my husband out to procure some (interestingly I wasn't interested in cold medicine, only lipbalm!).

    I have been trying to cut down on usage following receiving therapy to help cure compulsive lip-picking. I think it's unhealty for me to apply lipbalm, as I naturally feel areas I want to pick.

    Most of my therapy revolved around curing my perfectionism (not much of a surprise on these boards, right?). My therapist said that by treating that she hoped to cure my complusion to pick, or at least to really reduce the frequency. I have followed the programme, done the work, in general I feel so much better. I didn't realise half the crazy stuff I was doing to myself, therapy has been SO helpful. However, I am still picking just as much as before.

    So, as I was applying lipbalm yesterday, I had the thought, 'What if I always need it? What if my lips are always so dry that I can't ever give it up? What if I never get better...?'. And that's when it hit me - could this be TMS? It sure gives me something to fixate on and worry about (especially in social situations where I worry about whether I've got anything for my lips on me. Once we went to a restaurant and I didn't - I kept some olive oil from the bread course and used that!).

    So, could this be TMS? My lips are so dry and flaky I don't see how it could be... but then, the eczema likely was. So I just wondered - has anyone had dry lips that have got 'better'?
  2. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Hmmm...I never thought about it, but it makes sense. Funny, I never thought, what if I always have to use it? That would be like asking myself if I will always need water. It is interesting to think about though.

    I also started using lipbalm around age 15. One in my purse, console of the car, nightstand, on the dresser, coat pocket...NEVER without several. Conditioning too: I have to have it in the car, last thing before bed, extra on a plane. Really, my life would have a horrible end if I didn't have it.

    We both seem to have a lipbalm serving the same purpose as orthotics, or special pillows. Truth be told, if I think about not using it I feel anxious.

    Yep, sounds like it could be TMS.
  3. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    Rosie O'Donnell is also addicted to lip balm. She has a case of the stuff.

    My problems is slightly different, but very similar. I pull my hangnails, my fingers become a bit of a mess. I use hand lotion to help. I am also addicted to my hand lotion. When I get nervous I either pull my hangnails or put on my lotion, or tap my fingers, etc. Over the years I have tried to quit with no luck. Truth be told I could easily quit for 23 - 23 1/2 hours per day. Ha, ha! It's the 1/2 hour that I pull them that really seems to matter.

    I notice that when I swim they get better. My skin seems better when I swim. I wonder if just forgetting about it helps and also being tired from swimming probably helps my nervous system as well (a happy tired). Interestingly, I wear rubber gloves while doing dishes in an attempt to help my skin. Doesn't make sense.

    As far a the psychology goes, I feel if I just work on myself in one way or the other this problem will get better. Sometimes I think my hangnail problem is just a reflection of where I am at. It's really at the end of my list of things to work on. Maybe it should be at the beginning. I don't doubt it's the nervous problem that creates all the other problems.

    The one thing that has changed over the years is that I don't worry about it as much anymore. I am not compounding my worries in this area, not worrying about my worries so to speak.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  4. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Pull hangnails? Check.
    Use lotion to help with that? Check.
    Need a 23 1/2 day to be considered cured? Check.
    Haha, but what's behind it all is no joke
    Anyone know why my emoticons don't work? I use my phone, not my laptop... oh well.
    riv44 likes this.
  5. lazydaisy

    lazydaisy Peer Supporter

    Thanks for your responses Peggy and Lizzy.

    And uh-oh, I think I'm addicted to hand lotion as well! I use is several times a day, and MUST apply it after using soap...

    I think what made me think of the lipbalm thing as not necessary is that few men seem to need it. I don't know if I'm conditioned to need it (need that slipperness when I rub my lips together), or if I have somehow made my lips drier by using it...

    Anyway, I'm just going to keep asking myself if anything is bothering me, and not focus on the physical, but the emotional.

    I must mention though ... after writing that all out last night, this morning my lips weren't as dry as usual...! So maybe I am onto something.
    Walt Oleksy likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's the secret, lazydaisy. Focus on the emotional, not the physical.

    Our pains and anxiety are only in our head. When they get me down, I laugh them away.
    Start with a smile and it broadens into a laugh.
  7. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    I was thinking a little more on this subject. I do think areas of dry skin could be TMS, like eczema . If we think something is there, like dry chapped skin, maybe it is there. If we think about it in general, maybe we are creating the problem. So last night I was watching TV. This is the worse time of day for for me. I was noticing I had nervous energy and wanted to do something with my hands. I guess that's could be why people knit. So I just tried to focus on my body, breathing and what I call staying in my body (mindfulness). It seemed to help. Maybe I should be focusing on mindfulness more often.

    I started seeing a therapist around Christmas. She gave me a couple of exercises. One is tapping, which is well discussed on this forum. The other is to help balance the left and right sides of the brain. Is that conscious and subconscious? Not sure. But balancing them seems to be a good thing. You hold your hands out in front of you, with an object in them. It could be chapstick, it could be a pen, and you pass the object from hand to hand. I tried that last night, it does have an element of mindfulness to it.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

  9. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wonder if aloe lotion helps dry lips. I use it on my hands and after shaving.
  10. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    I have no experience with eczema, but in my case, my dry lips is not TMS. I don't lick my lips, but have to use lipbalm about twice a day and my lips get really dry and flaky if I don't. What cinched it all for me is this: I've had dry lips since I was young and my youngest daughter(who takes after me) has the same dry lips and she doesn't have TMS.

    If you can stop the lip licking and picking, you will probably be able to cut down on your usage. I've also noticed that some brands of lip balm will make your lips worse. I really like Dessert Essence lip rescue lip balm, it doesn't make the problem worse for me. Good luck! :)
  11. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    I watched Dr Oz from Ellen's link. Thanks Ellen, my mouth fell open when I watched it! I wiped my balm off my lips and have been balm free for 24 hours! I am sick of my sub c controling me!

    I don't pick or lick my lips, but I am becoming aware of so many things I do when something unpleasant comes to mind, or might. If anyone says something that sounds like the first shoe dropping I run to the bathroom, put on lotion or lipbalm, scratch a sudden itch etc. Anything to stop or delay whatever they are about to say. Usually its nothing!

    So I wonder if unpleasant thoughts are stopped before I think them by all these little things in addition to all the bigger symptoms that occupy thoughts.
    Ellen likes this.
  12. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Today is day 4 w/out lipbalm! I am surprised how easy its been, my lips got a little dry and I thought it would get worse, but it hasn't. Yea!
    Walt, I have used aloe for skin before. I don't have any right now, but Dr Oz suggested coconut oil and I used that a few times.
  13. linapina

    linapina New Member

    This topic is really interesting! I don't have a lip balm compulsion or a huge problem with my dry, flaky lips (though I don't love the fact and I do tend to pick on the flaky parts with my teeth ;-)) but I do have a problem with very dry skin and I do consider this a problem, it bothers me. The skin on my legs are so dry that it resembles crocodile skin and they have been as long as I can remember. I always hated that and having dry skin makes it prone to itchiness and other issues. I used to put lotion obssesively and I can still never shower without putting lotion or oil. But I have learnt that using a lot of lotion/oil makes the skin drier and drier and so I try not to overdo it. Giving my skin a chance to hydrate itself. I use only coconut oil now, I try to stay clear of chemicals (lotion). It does very little in the long run for my skin but I like it and it feels good in the moment.
    Well, what I wanted to say was I do think that any compulsion or symptom like this could very well originate from TMS.
  14. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    When I was pregnant the first time, I got a rash right around my tummy in a perfect circle. My doctor was so amazed she called in another doctor, neither had seen such a thing before. I had been using lotion on my tummy so I wouldn't get stretch marks. You could say it was an allergic reaction, which now thinking back, was probably TMS. So I just stopped using lotion period. Lotion is a funny topic, I didn't know it made the skin dryer in so many instances. Due to the problems I have with perfume and ingredients in general, I have resorted to making my own hand lotion.
  15. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Hi all, Last winter was quite stressful and my skin was super itchy, but that was before I really knew about TMS. This year I am working the SEP and seem to be able to stop the itch by "thinking phsychological".

    I am day 10 without my chapstick. My lips have not gotten to where I would like them, but they are not cracking. Anytime my balm wore off and I smiled my lips used to crack, so that is a big improvement. I would not have believed a few months ago that I would try stopping, let alone be 10 days w/out it!
  16. Actualisation

    Actualisation New Member

    This is fantastic Lizzy! Would you mind letting us all know how you got on?

    I found your post via google and find it extremely interesting because I have similar lips.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love it when someone resurrects an older post that I missed (during tax season, LOL). This is a great discussion, which is essentially about the amazing amount of control that we probably have over our physiological processes. The more I do this work, the more I believe this to be true. And possible.
  18. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Hi Actualisation, ( you need a short nick name :) )

    I am 6 months without my usual chapstick! I was soooo addicted, lol distracted!! For more than 30 years I used it multiple times a day. I have to say, even after 6 months it is "odd" to have lips that are not wet, but they don't bother me. I remind myself that my skin is not always wet, so my lips don't have to be either. Only one time did my lips crack, and that was in a dentist's chair while dealing with alot of anxiety, otherwise, no problems!

    As an interesting tangent, my (psychological) allergies haven't bothered me for a year. My husband and I rarely fight, but alas, we did. He gave me make-up roses. For two days they bothered me, then I remembered reading about a study where people, unawares, were put in a room with fake roses, and they had reactions. After remembering the roses didn't bother me at all! I think my brain was still mad, even though we had made up!
  19. Actualisation

    Actualisation New Member

    Jan - I completely agree. The more research and work that I do the more I also believe that we have an incredible amount of control over our physiological processes through our psychology.

    Lizzy - thank you for replying to your original thread. Your reply is fascinating. I find it amazing that anxiety could potentially cause lip cracks. Did it literally crack when you were in the dentists chair? I used to frequently have cracked lips and hands (which would sometimes bleed) and this I believe was likely due to lack of omega 3 (my mum had a similar reaction when she is deficient. So fish oil and freshly ground flax seeds stopped this last year and meant that my lips didn't crack at all (which was amazing!) as opposed to being cracked for 4-5 months in the previous year.

    However recently my lips have cracked again although I got lazy with the flax seed, I was taking fish oil (although it was a generic/supposedly bad quality type) so i'm going to switch to a better brand. But perhaps this is TMS rather than omega 3? I have been anxious recently and perhaps this is an outward manifestation.

    Very interesting. Thank you for opening up this possibility to me, Lizzy!
  20. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Actualisation, yes, about half way through a dental proceedure the dentist said, open wide, and my lip cracked. Wow, I had forgotten how that stings! I was quite anxious and was talking to my brain and thinking psychological, but it wasn't enough!

    I agree your skin could need the oils you were/are taking, but maybe not. Five years ago I started eating coconut oil as a supplement and using on my skin. I began eating it because I would get so tired in the evening I was almost dizzy. I read several books about all the good things it does. Sure enough it fixed a bunch of things, the tiredness, no need for dandruff shampoo, and some others. Last spring after reading on these forums I wondered if it was the oil....I stopped using it as a supplement and none of the problems came back. I think they were mindbody. That said, I do believe its good for you, and I use it for cooking. We do need nourishing foods, but maybe we don't need extra supplements if we eat well. Lol, eating well keeps getting redefined!

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