I posted a picture a little while back. To be honest it is really hard to describe the process and I think this is the reason most people give up. Sometimes you will look at your lips and think "wow they are nearly healed" and then the next day you will wake up and they will look awful and you will think "ahhh they are never going to heal". What you have to keep in mind and notice is long term general improvement, dont look at your lips on a minute by minute basis. Generally I go on the feel and consistently through this whole process when I leave my lips alone completely for a few days that is the only way I noticed improvement, I tried everything else before I gave up an entire weekend to not rub the skin off my lips and on the Monday morning got up to work and noticed my lips felt better. That was the start of the journey.
I picked up EC through accutane tablets and using too much creams etc to try and control the dryness but thinking back ive probably been picking my lips before that.
The thing I would say is enjoy the little victorys. For example I would say my little victorys have went like this:
1) Noticed lubrication return to my lips and the ridiculous dry feeling disappeared and I could talk again
2) Noticed the rawness look of the lips fading and they became a lighter red shade
3) Noticed little wrinkles in my lip again
4) Noticed a real thick ish layer of skin growing underneath the lip
5) Able to go an entire day with absolutely fine lips after rubbing them off allowing for easier social interaction etc
6) Finally I am now noticing the white lines fading as the skin on lips have built so thick they now seem to be joining up with the top bit of the lips that always looked ok.
It really is a hideous process but there is no alternative im afraid. Use straws to drink with, a flanel to wash your face. And keep smiling and enjoy the little victorys dont always think of the final cure that WILL come with time.