The last year and a half or so I've been dealing with what I thought (at least for a while) was a nice case of servere chapped lips. In the begining I assumed it was because I wasn't drinking enough water or maybe the weather or maybe the universe was being mean to me who knows. Anyway after a while I started to think that maybe it was something else because really who has really horrible chapped lips that flake, rip off, crack and bleed for months on end? Yeah well anyway about 5 months or so ago I went to a dermatologist (i'm pretty sure I blogged about the moles I had removed) and he kinda brushed off my lip concerns and told me to use aquafor - in case you don't know that's pretty much vasoline so thanks dickhead that was super helpful. Fastforward and my lip is still being all weird even with the awesome vasoline so I made an appt with a different chick. Went yesterday and found out I was right - dang couldn't guessed that was coming - and I have Actinic Cheilitis.
Actinic cheilitis, sometimes known as "farmer's lip" or "sailor's lip," is a precancerous condition related to cumulative lifetime sun exposure. The lower lip is most often affected. Individuals with actinic cheilitis often complain of persistent dryness and cracking of the lips. They will frequently exhibit other effects of sun-damaged skin, such as precancerous lesions on the skin called actinic keratoses and extensive wrinkling. A certain type of skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) develops in 6–10% of cases of actinic cheilitis.
So she gave me a script for fluorouracil which is pretty much a topical anti-cancer drug used to treat cancer and precancerous conditions. She advised me that I will HATE using it because it's pretty much going to make my lips look and feel like I ran over them with a cheese grater (she didn't use those words but she should have) for about two awesome weeks. She said I'm not going to want anything touching my lips and they will hurt after a couple days. I'm really hoping this works and my lips stop being all chapped and crap because it really is annoying. I am a little tiny bit worried because the packet that came with the cream (that would have by the way without my insurance been $207 - thats even the generic!!) said it can cause color pigmantation and my lips even look lighter today than yesterday so I'm hoping it's a fluke and I don't have white lips when this is over!! I used the cream last night before bed and here is my lips on Day 1 - we shall see what they look like in a few days!