You make some interesting points. In my own case, I donít have any symptoms of inflammation, and personally believe what I have is a different condition to those with inflammation(though potentially not totally unrelated), but I have some questions to ask.
From what Iíve previously looked up on autoimmunity, Itís pretty complex and still little understood (I have Type 1 diabetes, now universally recognised as an autoimmune diseaseÖ the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas). Iím firstly interested in how surgery could potentially tackle your lip problem. Given that the immune system is often involved with inflammation, and in your case you are convinced it is, iíd be interested to know what changes would occur with the surgery. For example, with inflammation, the stinging/pain/burning sensations are mostly caused by the release of certain immune chemicals; and redness is usually caused by increased blood flow to the area of inflammation; and for those with swelling, this is usually caused by a plasma fluid flowing to the tissue area. So I just wondered what is the surgery doing that will stop these reactions. Is the dermatologist hoping to remove whatever the immune system is potentially over-reacting to (the allergen), such as bacteria or whatever? Or is it something else? I donít want to put a dampener on hopes you have for the surgery, itís just that Iím interested in knowing what worked for the other cases of surgery you allude to. Because unless you are removing the allergen (and Iím not sure how the surgeon would know for sure where in the lip area the allergen was or what allergen exactly), I cannot see why the immune system wouldnít continue to react after the surgery by releasing the immune chemicals etc, and for the other symptoms to continue, such as redness etc. Iím not an expert on it, iím just genuinely interested in knowing what exactly the dermatologist is intent on undertaking with the surgery.
In a previous post I wondered if an immune over-reaction was potentially the cause for all our conditions on this forum. I talked about research I came across looking at how the immune system can over-react/become highly sensitive to certain triggers when the body becomes overloaded with toxicity (termed ďToxicant induced loss of toleranceĒ). While this is a possible cause for those with inflammation, Iím starting to think that for most of us without inflammation symptoms, high toxicity levels in the body may be the main cause. I believe that the skin environment of the lip has become toxic, either solely the lip area, or more likely in conjunction with an overall overburden of toxicity in the body and/or lymphatic congestion (the lymphatic system plays a big role in removing toxins, and also in supplementing the immune system). This toxicity could potentially be disrupting the cycles of cell regeneration in the lips.
Or it may be that any toxic stuff, such as toxic chemicals from toothpaste, washing products, etc, are firstly being absorbed by the skin, and then potentially being discharged again through the skin, thus leading to the flaking. I have read that when the body becomes overburdened with toxicity (through toxins from microorganisms such as parasites, ďbadĒ bacteria, fungi/yeast etc; or from heavy metal toxicity/other external toxicants; or stress-related toxicity), then the main organs of toxic elimination, the liver and kidneys especially, become overtaxed and cannot handle the high levels of toxicity. Then the body bypasses these organs and starts dumping the toxic stuff elsewhere, including the skin. Likewise, with lymphatic congestion, the lymphatic system becomes sluggish and doesnít absorb toxins properly or move them properly to the eliminatory organs. Again, this could have the effect of toxic stuff absorbed in the lips not being removed properly by the lymphatic system and being discharged back out through the lips. Or congestion elsewhere in the body could potentially manifest in the lips.
This is speculation on my part, but if it was the case it would make sense for the body to release the toxic stuff into layers of skin and release it by flaking/peeling the skin, with the intention of releasing the stuff externally outside the mouth, as opposed to just releasing the toxic stuff through the pores in the skin into the mouth, where it would just be ingested back into the system by swallowing. Thatís my two cents anyway on why flaking potentially occurs, but your scenario for your particular case seems plausible enough.
I personally have had great success with detoxification methods in recent weeks in improving my condition(see my post on immune update). I agree with you that stress makes a difference. In my view, it may be related to the fact that stress increases the toxicity levels of the body in a number of ways, among other things.
Lastly, you mention that a diet of no Sugar and low carbs helped. Have you looked into potential digestive system problems? Iíve read that certain digestive problems can manifest themselves elsewhere in the body, including the skin. Non-sugar, low-carb diets often help people with microorganism problems (basically starving the ďbad bacteriaĒ, fungi etc). Such diets also help with fermentation problems (whereby food doesnít digest properly over time, often due to stress, leading to a hardening of the food in the digestive system, where it essentially ďgoes offĒ, leading to the release of toxins over time). I just find it interesting that this type of diet helps your condition, as I cannot see how this diet would impact on the immune system directly. Iíd be interested to know.
So if it was me with the inflammatory symptoms, I would get tests done (stool tests, urine tests) on the digestive system, preferably with a good naturopath (a type of alternative health/medicine practitioner) if there is one in your area, just to cover all angles. Also, allergy testing should be looked into if you havenít already (certain food allergies lead to lip swelling and stinging, for example).