So. You came here for an answer, right? Or maybe you don’t even know what this site is about. Anyways, I hope you leave feeling like you have just learned something worth knowing. There are a lot of people dealing with what I’m about to discuss, and they painfully hide it each and everyday–spinning on an endless carousel. As my story begins, the past couple years no one had known that anything was wrong with me, except for a few of my closest friends who even still knew little about the magnitude of my condition. The following video is a documentary I created for people dealing with the same lip condition that I have been dealing with for the past four years. It has been a great struggle, and by the determination and constant reminder of never having to look at chapstick again, I am making it through! What I am talking about is a condition that I am going to call peeling lips. Its real name is Exfoliative Cheilitis. However most doctors and dermatologists seem to be unaware of this name. Every doctor I visited never once mentioned this name to me; and they usually prescribe some horrible ointment that does nothing but make it worse. As it stands, most people would never let their lips get like I did to cure them mainly because the embarrassment is so strong that unless they are one-hundred percent sure it’s going to work they see no use in trying–which is why so many people dealing with this believe it’s incurable. I’m here to give you that one-hundred percent. So what am I talking about? This is a condition in which the lips continue to grow skin, the skin dies, and then peels off–this happens daily for some people. That was the condition for me. Whole layers of skin would turn white and dead looking and then just rub off every morning when I took a shower, and it would build up during the day, it was embarrassing and a constant quick where’s a mirror, did she just see me do that, do I have my chapstick with me?, what about my tube of ointment–oh no now I won’t make it through work! It was horrible! So here is my answer to those crusty, peeling, flaking, chapped, cracking, embarrassing lips. Keep in mind this condition is not a disease. There is no allergic reaction to anything. There is no vitamin deficiency going on. You do not have a virus. You didn’t catch an STD. Put simply, the lip skin just heals differently than the rest of the skin, and if you continue to peel off that seemingly dead skin you are only making it worse. Take a look at my documentary below, and then continue on to watch me battle through and beat peeling lips for good. Oh yeah, and stop wasting your money on those dermatologist appointments, they won’t get you anywhere with this condition. (Legal stuff I am required to say to not get my blog taken down: I am not a doctor, so make sure you do what your doctor says! Also take this advise at your own risk, and, since I haven’t gotten a “degree” in medicine, I can’t possibly know anything!)
1.5 Year Update!
1 Year Update!
Introduction (Outdated Info)
This page is extremely long, and some of you might have already been here before and need to jump to different sections, so I’ve carefully laid out each section to make it easier to jump to different parts of the page:
- My Contact Information
- Back to Basics (what is peeling lips?!)
- My Story – The Beginning
- Blog Videos and Progress Pictures
- Change Your Diet!
- Success Stories!
- View or Create your own Progress Gallery!
- Enter the Forums!
I suggest you subscribe to my YouTube, and follow with me as I battle this and become brand-new again. Plus it’ll help me support this site as well, YouTube is my “2nd Job” and any subscribers I get seriously helps …(did I mention subscribing is free?) Also feel free to tweet me if you have any questions or concerns. I want to help you through this too…I know it’s not easy, and I’m here to support you. I got yo back! We also have a group on Facebook for everyone going through this, so if you would like to join the group you must add me as a friend and send me a message asking to join the group. (it’s a private group so you must be a friend of one of the members to join). I strongly suggest joining as we have a lot of discussions that might help as well as motivate you on your journey! Follow @danielxmiller Send Me a Tweet! @danielxmiller
Now, Back to Basics…
Okay, so I already know most of you probably wondering what peeling lips is? Like I said earlier it’s not a disease or anything, so how in the world does someone get it?! It’s actually quite simple–and it all starts with trauma, in my personal case, which is what I’ll be discussing on this page–chapstick. First I’ll go into an explanation of using eye drops as most people may be more familiar with this scenario. Whenever you use eye drops, this causes your body to naturally stop creating its own tears since it doesn’t have to. Once you quit using eye drops your eyes will be extremely dry, thus causing you to reach for those eye drops again, and until you actually quit using them completely your body will never start making tears on its own again–same thing here. Recovery is slow, but eventually your eyes will make the tears needed without an external aid. My lips stopped creating the natural barrier and lubricant that is on a normal persons lips, because I kept using external products everyday. So, based on some research I have done, this is the answer to the why-and-how, on the cellular level, peeling lips continue to occur (for those of you knowledge seekers, remember this is all my opinion–I welcome other ideas as well in the comment section below). First quote: “Skin cells normally are constantly being formed deep beneath the surface of the skin. Over about a month, these cells die and flake off, making way for new skin cells. If you have psoriasis, skin cell turnover can happen in a matter of days; layers of skin build up, forming a white, flaky crust.” So what this is saying is from the cells “birth to death” the timeframe is about one month. It then goes on that this can be sped up to a mere few days, but doesn’t explain why. However, what is next will explain WHY it starts to happen in a matter of days. One more quote: “Because the lips are an area of low-intensity trauma (similar to knees and elbows), Koebnerization leading to psoriasis on lips can easily occur when lips become chapped, sunburned, or cracked — or even when a psoriasis patient eats a mild irritant or allergen.” Lips–LOW INTENSITY TRAUMA…KEY WORD LOW INTENSITY. And what is EVERY SINGLE person struggling with peeling lips doing day and night? Traumatizing their lips. “How? I’m just taking the dead skin off…” No…you’re not just taking dead skin off, what you’re doing is making a cell, which wouldn’t normally be exposed to the elements of the air, which has no protective coating on it yet, which is still a “baby” in its cycle and setting it as the very top layer, something which in a normal persons lip wouldn’t be happening for at least two to three weeks. Okay…so Now it’s just have to heal right? Actually no…what happens then is when a cell is traumatized it starts the “healing process,” which if you haven’t noticed the cells cycle through much faster while trying to rebuild what was lost. Ever scraped your knee? What happened? The cells quickly built up and created a scab. Ever picked a scab? It starts the process over again. Same thing here except the lips don’t have the ability to scab since they are a mucous membrane (what looks like a scab in my pictures is actually just dried skin cells that are still connected to the underlying tissue and if removed also take the living tissue with it even if it doesn’t hurt). In my opinion these quickly-created cells are more of a fundamental structure, like the frame of a house. This is to get the framework in, and it will finish the inside later so to speak. So, you’re tearing down the framework every single day, thus causing further trauma and eventually followed by several complete layers of skin that are completely missing. What you need to do is STOP PEELING YOUR LIPS. Eat strong, healthy foods (which I’ll get into later), exercise (try fat-burning yoga at home if you can’t get to a gym)…get yourself back on track. Don’t do some three times a day gloss then brush your lips in the evening kind of thing..that is the equivalent to putting a tarp over a broken down car, looking at the tarp a few days later, and since the tarp looks good as new, the car must be too! Then taking the tarp off and begin to drive it thinking it’s fixed. Guess what, it’s not. Don’t let the embarrassment of being in front of other people while your healing yourself make you live like this forever, a few months of embarrassment is nothing, and I promise you people will forget you ever had it. You won’t, but they will. Remember the cell cycle from birth to death is over a month, and we are going to need several cycles to completely rebuild what we’ve removed over the past several years, so I’m not promising quick results, I’m promising the result. But it will mean several months of unattractive lips. I am going to invite you to take a journey with me, and read my story.
My Story – the Beginning…
I hope you enjoyed the video, and, if any of you like me might be going through this very same thing and feel like the world is about to end, I really hope I may be of some help and confidence that the world is still spinning! Please feel free to share it with your friends, as getting people to know about this condition is the first step before actually showing someone you have it. Let me be your first step. I wanted to start with some background information about myself. When I was young my lips would become dry very easily, especially during the winter time, and they would crack and bleed. This was the beginning–chapstick. I had to use it a lot during the winter. As time went on and I got older into my teen years I started using it religiously several times a day. My lips never peeled and looked perfectly normal–I just needed chapstick all of the time. I don’t know what would have happened to them had I stopped using chapstick at that point, but I can only suggest anyone who is at that point to discontinue use immediately. In 2006 when I was 18 I moved to Florida after graduating high school. For the next year or two chapstick was my best friend, it was always with me..right by my side. My lips still appeared normal. No problems. However one day in 2008 I went to the dentist and they were working on my mouth and had to stretch my lips a bit more than normal, this caused them to become very dry…and is the only thing I can relate to the very start of my peeling lip condition. I started using floss by hand where you wrap it around your fingers and I stretched my lips a lot while doing that as well. At some point early that year, which is most likely only coincidence with the dentist event as I believe this would have happened either way, small parts of my lips started getting irritated and red. It wasn’t a lot so I thought nothing of it and put chapstick on it. Eventually the persistent irritation started causing my lips to swell and start the healing process. This caused them to die faster as well, which is where the cells started shedding. I wiped the dead cells off thinking nothing of it as it wasn’t on much of my lips. As I did this it caused the healthy cells nearby to be wiped off as well and become irritated–thus starting a new cycle and healing process. This continued for a while and consistently irritated more and more parts of my lip until nearly all of it was covered. Each morning I would wake up, take a shower, rub the skin off which would be an entire layer at times…and then put chapstick or some other skin lubricant on it. After I would get out of the shower my lips would be red and mildly swollen. They never really hurt or burned though. It literally looked to me as if I were missing layers of skin…which I clearly was; however, to everyone else they appeared normal most of the time. Over four-years later and after countless dermatologist appointments, I was still stuck here getting worse and worse each day. Finally the dermatologist said something that actually made sense, which was based around “well the only time I’ve ever seen this is with cases where the person constantly picks a scab…and it never heals. They tell me they don’t pick at it, but it’s clear they do, they do it without even knowing it–they’ll sit there and pick it while they’re telling me they don’t pick it.” This sparked a thought in my head…maybe the skin I’m taking off isn’t dead? I began to think on it for a while and decided that I really do pick at my lips, every day in the shower! I hadn’t considered it picking because I was only taking the “dead skin” off. I started my first journey at the end of October in 2011. The doctor said it was okay to get wet, just not rub it off so each day I would shower and get my lips soaking wet and then head to work after they dried. The reason I stopped my first attempt was because I was going on two vacations throughout January and March and I did not want to have unsightly lips during my vacations, which you can read about on my blog at the top of this page if you wish.
Starting my Attempt at the Cure
So I started vlogging on my fifth week during my second attempt. There wasn’t really much point to record the beginning, which I wish I would have at least recorded the very first week where I went from normal-looking lips to extreme growth. But oh well, it just builds up. I’m going to post my vlogs for you to watch, which I talk about my thoughts and theories already discussed earlier. One video even has me taking the top layer of dead skin off in them so it’s definitely going to be a little bit of a shocker video!
Progress Pictures and Blog Videos
-Saturday, March 3rd, 2012-
Now it’s time for some progress pictures, and, I apologize, these started around the same time as the videos unfortunately…but it’ still a great reference to see how the skin grows. I’ll post a picture of how normal my lips looked on day one. Click any image for a full-sized picture. If you hold the CTRL button while clicking it will open up in a new tab so you don’t have to press the back button to continue reading. There is also a Button on the bottom of each week to show more pictures and videos, these will be very helpful to a lot of people, so I seriously suggest reading each “Continue Reading” page! There is a lot of detailed information that is important…I just couldn’t put it on all this page because it was becoming insanely long. Notice: If you’re on a mobile browser you won’t be able to see the following section, so please click here to see my progress pictures and videos. Additionally you can also click that link if you’re on a regular computer as well if you’d like to see each week all stuffed on one page. The password is lips.
I am mostly just using aquaphor at the moment. And only use the steroid cream like once a week if that. My lips were starting to build up the past week, but I haven’t been out in the sun as much as it’s been cloudy and I’ve been really busy, but I was out for several hours yesterday and today my lips look amazing! So just keep on truckin guys, we’ll get there someday P.S. if you want to see what my lips look like on a day to day basis I make YouTube videos very often now, feel free to check them out…I don’t really talk about EC in them anymore though. www.youtube.com/danielxmiller
6-21-13 Final update for a while
This is what is really working for me, and my lips appear to be slowly healing! I’m getting the lines back on my lips so they are starting to turn normal on the outer parts. The inner parts I am still working with Watch the video for everything I am doing! (video is now located at the very top of this page) …and soon to be healed completely!
Change Your Diet and Get Some Sleep!
This should be self-explanatory, but it really matters about what you eat. As what you eat contains all the nutrients your body is going to be using to heal your lips and keep you alive. You need to treat your body right. Since week 9 I have changed my diet considerably. I am eating a lot of raw and fresh foods. I eat peaches, grapes, bananas, kiwis, strawberries, spinach, cantaloupe, eggs, and practically anything else you can find in the natural section of your grocery store. I’ve also been eating lots of chicken too. Just make sure when you cook it you don’t cook it in grease, just either grill it in a pan or over a flame. I’m not the best dietician kind of guy, so this is going to be very long. Just stop eating processed foods, especially products with enriched flour or high fructose corn syrup. Just stick to the natural stuff. Do some research on raw organic diets and you should come up with some good recipes. And to add to this, make sure you are getting as much sleep as possible, sleeping is when the body heals, so the more you are sleeping, the more you are healing!
I created a forum for anyone who wishes to post their progress pictures. This will be motivation for you, me, and everyone else dealing with this…as well as show you progress that you may be unaware of. I hope some of you can find the courage to post pictures of your lips on there as I feel it is important. If you are uncomfortable with that, then just crop it out so only your lips show. It’s been a huge motivator for me and has really helped!
Click here to view the galleries!