I've had EC for about 8 months. I am currently 6 months into leaving my lips alone as much as possible, applying no balms or ointments, and eating as healthy of a diet as possible (avoid gluten, White Sugar , all processed foods, no alcohol, etc.). I also exercise regularly and try to get as much sleep as I can.
My EC is improving VERY SLOWLY! All inflammation is gone, there is no swelling, and pain is minimal and usually only after a peeling event. The peeling is becoming less in the form of sheets and more flaky. My upper lip is almost healed and my bottom lip shows signs of improvement, but in very modest ways. I don't track the days in between cycles as they are sporadic and do not seem to correlate with my improvement.
I recently had a set back, which was a bad cold with a fever. Skin build up and peeling increased (no swelling or inflammation) during this time. It is now getting back to near where it was prior to my cold. This leads me to believe that EC is (for at least me) an immune response to some imbalance. Plain and simple. During the cold my immune system had to work harder to kill off the cold and thus my lips worsened. Now that my immunue system is able to slow down a bit with the cold going away my lips are improving. The underlying trick is get the body back into balance so that the immune response affecting the lips can slow all the way down.
I think the best thing we can do to get a proper balance and heal is to care for our lips as gently as possible, eat as well as possible, and take good mental and physical care of ourselves. By the way, I do not think extreme diets such as the one plugged by Montreal Homegrown is necessarily in our best interest (plus I can't take his sarcasm and condescending tone). I think an all natural, well-balanced diet that accounts for individual allergies and sensitivities is the best dietary route. This natural course will take a long time to work - likely at least a year or two. I think it is a rare individual who sees it through this long - I'm determined to be one of them.