I've been following EC forums for about 9 months since I realised I had E.C and thought it's about time I shared my story in the hope it could help somebody.
In January 2011 somebody pointed out my lips didn't look right. I dismissed this as them being chapped, and replied "it's only because I bite them, if I stop biting they'll be fine". So of course I stopped biting them, and they didn't get better.
Realising this could be a bigger problem, I went to the doctors who perscribed me Fucidin H cream (a 1% hydrocortosine with combined anti-fungal). The doctor stated that a yellowy-tindge on the dead skin of the lips suggested a fungal infection. (But that tinge isn't usually there).
After applying the cream twice a day for a week as instructed, there was no improvement. I read lots of bad things about hydrocortosine and decided to stop using the cream. (I've tried using it again since, and it did seem to have a positive effect, but even while applying daily the problem eventually returns).
I then looked back at my old Facebook photos and saw my lips in bad condition in photos taken in December 2008. Meaning I've probably had E.C for 4 years, but only recently has it become much worse and the peeling process much quicker.
I can recall before then, that red wine always used to stain my lower lip (now I realise it was because probably because it was very dry due to E.C).
I then read that applying bar hand-soap several times per day, followed by a protective layer of Vaseline has been known to clear it up. I started doing this and it seemed to work for over 1 week. I was over the moon and relaxed how often I was applying it. But the problem returned.
I then started applying soap regulary again, but this time it didn't help.
The condition appears to randomly get better and worse, and I'm yet to understand what I'm doing differently. Recently, it has been much worse for longer than ever, so I must be doing something wrong
KEY LEARNINGS SO FAR
* I had switched to a toothpaste with no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate during the period my lips got better
* I was using mouthwash twice per day during the period my lips got better
* I have been intermittantly smoking throughout. Maybe a factor?
* I'm a 24 year old male.
* Until the last 12 months or so, I used to have a bad diet of chicken + chips, no vegitables and little fruit.
* I've been tested for vitamin B12 difficency and some others, and results were normal.
* I have an ulcer-like lump in my mouth that occasionaly hurts, it never goes away (could be related?)
* My mouth sometimes becomes very uncomfortable and produces too much saliva
* I've had my wisdom teeth removed, and other dental work (could it be reaction to something used?)
* Clear puss sometimes comes out of my lower lip in exactly the same place from a tiny pin-like hole
* Recently it has spread to my top lip (very near the mouth opening.)
*** It would be really useful to know if anybody else has any of these similarities, please let me know ***