Actinic Cheilitis Lips: Definition and Causes

Actinic cheilitis is the inflammatory condition when the borderline between the lower lip and surrounding skin fades, and the lower lip gets dry, hardens and cracks. Due to the symptoms, it has nicknames like “sailor’s lip”. Mostly, only the lower lip has these symptoms.

What are the causes of actinic cheilitis?

The causes vary. The common ones are:

  • chronic exposure to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun
  • chronic use of tobacco
  • use of products (for example, lip balms) that contain allergens
  • poor hygiene of mouth


Keywords: actinic cheilitis lips: definition and causes; actinic cheilitis lips; actinic cheilitis

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.