*Warning, very LONG post* :-)
Hello everyone, I'm new to Cure Zone. I have been going through various threads pertaining to this condition called, "Exfoliative Cheilitis." I've been suffering with this condition for over 18 years now. It was just this year (about one month ago) that I decided to really look into my condition and finally found the name of it (after 18 years of being in the dark).
During most of those 18 years I would frequently peel the skin off my lips and would not let them crust over just so that I could try to live a normal life. However, I yearn to feel normal again and just recently left my lips alone to see what would happen. Surely enough, the crusting, whitening when exposed to water, fissuring still continues. This thread definitely sparked my interest enough to become a member because I truly believe that this condition is somehow caused by some type of deep infection of either blood vessels or tissues and the body is trying to fight the infection.
I had braces when I was a teenager and I got EC from puncturing my lips with the protruding wires that kept my braces together. I would do this because I was depressed and ridiculously stressed out & the pain somehow helped.
But, before I began doing that I would ALWAYS have an issue with chapped lips. My lips would get this red irritating ring around them when I was younger and my bottom lip would usually split in the middle and bleed. I would often use Blistex Medicated Ointment but I believe this only made my condition worse. One day I went to brush my teeth in the morning and after I was done, and looked into the mirror, my lips were white, and slimy looking.
To keep this post somewhat short, it was the beginning of my hell on earth to say the least.
Anyway, my theory is: deep infection occurs from biting (teeth have bacteria), picking (fingernails/fingertips also have bacteria), exposure to bacteria from a lip balm applicator (the tip was closed up with a cap that housed bacteria), & introduction of bacteria through licking the lips when they were picked or peeled.
This can't be a vitamin deficiency because if starving people in Africa don't have this extreme condition then it has to be some type of deep bacterial infection.
My lips were so bad at times that I could detect the smell of decay under my nose. My lips were just as bad as Daniel Miller's (such a strong hearted individual) lips, if not worse because of the bad smell.
I had two biopsies done and all they left were painful scars. However, one turned up with excessive yeast so, that led me to the deep infection theory. I had corticosteroid injections (that hurt like all hell) and left my lips looking like if I fought Mike Tyson but, my lips did improve a tiny bit. However, they soon went back to looking like crap.
I found a great relief when I used Neosporin and noticed that it really helped my lips but it wasn't enough. I had a molluscum infection and bought some products at molluscum.com to treat it. The product was an ionized nano silver ointment. It cured my molluscum infection totally so, I decided to try it on my lips. Now, I am not affiliated with the site in any way but the ionized nano silver ointment helped my lips a great deal. I still have EC and I still have the crusting but, it doesn't smell bad anymore and the crusting is thinner.
I truly believe that this is something that needs to be cured from the inside out. Dieting seems to work for a lot of people because they are cutting out the foods that feed the bacteria that is infecting the tissue of the lips.
I did some extensive research and found a product with two yeast killing probiotics. It appears that two doctors found two probiotic strains that actively targets yeast. Those two probiotics are Lactobacillus GR-1 and Lactobacillus RC-14. The only product I've found that has those two strains is a product called "Fem-Dophilus" by Jarrows Formulas. It is a product only for women but, I figured I give it a shot. I'm so damn desperate to get rid of this lip condition that I'd gladly put dog shit on my lips if it meant that it would cure them.
I've only been on the product for a few days but I have been feeling better. I'm also taking: L-Lysine 1,000 MG, Methyl B-12 1,000 mcg lozenges, Niacin 500 MG, Iron 28 mg, Copper 2 mg, timed release Vitamin C 1,000 MG, and Phosphatidylserine 100 mg.
I also bit the calendula flower and bought the Hyland's Calendula 10% ointment. I feel like it just makes the crusty skin fall off sooner. It also really clings on to your lips. It makes my lips super shiny.
I did an experiment & mixed a combination of calendula extract from Nature's Answer with Jojoba Oil from the Vitamin Shoppe and applied the mixture to my lips. I noticed an immediate change in how my lips looked. The crusts became very thin. However, I stopped applying it because the crusty skin began taking the color of the calendula extract which is an Iodine
type of brown color. Jojoba oil is the closest thing to the body's natural sebum and it really helps.
I also mixed it with tea tree oil before and that mixture works really well for dandruff and does improve my EC a little bit.
I am almost 100% convinced that this condition needs to be fought from the inside out more than the outside in. I feel that injections or detoxing programs that target the source of EC may be the only true way of curing the condition.
I will soon try olive leaf extract supplementation and oil pulling with 100% organic, cold pressed, unrefined sesame oil to see if they help.
I don't think a vermilionectomy "lip shaving" is the answer to this. It just might leave a real nasty scar in the process along with potential nerve damage.
Sorry for the long post but, finding a cure for this thing is what I think about 98% of my days and I kinda needed to vent here. I (like everyone else with EC) just want to be normal again.