A woman with a dry mouth

Why Do I Have Dry Skin Around The Mouth? Causes and Treatments

Having dry skin around the mouth can be annoying and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are some easy treatments you can try today.
Updated: January 16, 2023
Article Contents:

Dry skin can affect us at the most inconvenient times, form on any part of our body, and can be caused by a host of different things. Dry skin around the mouth and on the lips is one of the most common and irritating areas this can occur. This can be disheartening and sometimes quite uncomfortable.

Why does dry skin emerge around your mouth and what can you do about it? Read on to discover the causes of dry skin and the best ways to treat it so you can get back to enjoying soft, smooth skin.

What is dry skin?

Dry skin is exactly what it sounds like: skin that is excessively dry. More specifically it is due to a lack of hydration and moisture present in the skin, which then erodes the flexibility and elasticity that are so important for skin health.

Dry skin can be further identified by its other symptoms. It’s not uncommon for dry skin to feel uncomfortably tight, develop flakes, or even start to crack. Anyone who has ever experienced cracked lips will tell you just how unpleasant this can be.

An important thing to note is dry skin can also be a natural skin type. There are 5 main skin types that people display – Normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive. Unfortunately, there are millions of people in the world who have always had naturally dry skin and have to live with constantly maintaining it correctly.

If you want to find out what your natural skin type is, read our helpful guide by clicking here!

The causes of dry skin

The sudden appearance of dry skin, especially dry skin around the mouth, can be due to numerous factors. Here are some of the most common causes of dry skin.

Environmental reasons

It goes without saying that environmental factors have a huge impact on the quality of our skin. For dry skin in particular, the general rule is, the colder the weather, the more likely it is that it can cause the emergence of dry skin. Windy weather can also have a similar effect. If you have recently spent some time outside on a chilly day, you may have noticed your skin reacting by becoming drier. Thankfully, this will probably only be a temporary problem.

Sun exposure

On the flip side, spending too much time being exposed to the sun can also cause dry skin. The sun’s UV rays have the dangerous potential to burn and irritate the skin. Everyone who has ever had a sunburn knows that after a while, skin becomes dry, flakey, and begins to peel off. This is why always remembering to correctly apply sunscreen is essential for keeping your skin as healthy and protected as it can be.


This is a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Being dehydrated is a leading cause of dry skin, especially when it concerns dry skin around the mouth. Taking the time and effort to ensure you are drinking enough water throughout the day will not only make you feel better but will also keep your body and skin healthier.

Too much face washing

We all want to keep our faces clean, but it is possible to overdo it. In actuality, washing your face too often can have a detrimental impact and cause the skin to become dry and sensitive. Constantly scrubbing your face can strip away essential facial oils that keep the skin hydrated and moisturized, leading to dryness appearing. You don’t need to be obsessive when it comes to washing your face, so just take it easy.

Skin conditions

In some people, the cause of dry skin can be due to an existing skin condition. Issues like acne, eczema, and psoriasis can all be massive triggers of excessively dry skin. We’d suggest speaking to a doctor to get the right personalized advice for you in this situation.

Perioral dermatitis

When it comes to various skin conditions, perioral dermatitis is usually responsible for causing dry skin around the mouth. Perioral dermatitis can form irritating rashes around the mouth, eyes, and nose.

Keep a look out for the following symptoms:

  • Burning and itching
  • Red and bumpy rashes
  • Inflammation and redness around the mouth area

The causes of perioral dermatitis can vary between different people but it is usually a reaction to the use of certain skincare products such as steroid creams, heavy face creams, and certain moisturizers.

If you are worried about perioral dermatitis, speak to a qualified dermatologist or your doctor to receive the best advice.

Treating dry skin around the mouth

Now that we know the causes, it’s time we discussed what you can do to get rid of dry skin around the mouth in easy and non-intrusive ways.

Here are our top tips:

Moisturize daily

Dry skin is caused by a lack of hydration in the skin, so the first course of action in treating it is to restore some of that vital moisture. Moisturizers act to help the skin retain water, which then protects it against dryness and other irritations.

We’d recommend finding a gentle moisturizer that contains helpful ingredients such as:

  • Aloe vera gel
  • Coconut oil
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Shea butter
  • Ceramides

Avoid using products that contain alcohol, as this will only amplify the symptoms of dry skin and probably make it worse.

Using a soft moisturizer both in the morning and just before bed can really help to smooth away dry skin around the mouth, and get you back to looking and feeling your best.

Change your habits

Our lifestyles, diet, and daily habits have a huge impact on our skin. For example, smoking can be a big issue when it comes to dry skin around the mouth. Try your best to cut down or even quit. We understand this is easier said than done!

Also, drinking too much alcohol can dehydrate both you and your skin quite severely, so try and limit your drinks or increase your daily water intake.

Finally, check what type of ingredients are inside your makeup. Generally speaking, the more natural the ingredients are, the better they are. However, many makeup brands use a huge amount of potentially irritating ingredients in their products that may be contributing to dry skin around the mouth.


Our bodies go through a natural process of shedding dead skin cells to make space for healthy new cells to grow. Sometimes though, this process can get interrupted which can cause dead cells and other gunk to get trapped on the skin. While this can create the conditions for oily skin, it can also lead to dry patches, flakes, and peeling.

Using a powerful exfoliator (or face scrub) twice a week is a great way of making sure that these troublesome dead cells are properly removed, and gives your skin a better chance of avoiding uncomfortable dryness.

However, overusing exfoliators can have the opposite effect. Keep their usage down to a minimum to get the best results, and improve your chances at removing that dry skin around the mouth.


Dry skin around the mouth can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and sometimes even irritating or painful. Thankfully, the simple tips and treatments above are a great way of keeping dry skin at bay.

If you think you are suffering from a specific skin condition, you should speak to a doctor for more personalized advice. Good luck!

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