"leaving them alone" means not applying any creams or ointments (or at least only doing this rarely, eg. if it's very cold outside), leaving the skin on as long as possible. if the edges are already detached, you can very well trim them with a nailclipper. this approach has helped many people, especially those who used to lick and bite their lips a lot prior to the outbreak. over time, peeling cycles slow down and the flakes become thinner.
i warn everybody against doing any type of plastic surgery. one guy on here did it and he regrets it, saying that it a) didn't help and b) made his lips look unnatural.
i also advise you against applying ointments everyday. i have stopped applying anything about 9 months ago and my lips look more natural now most of the time. i only use a tiny bit of cream without all kinds of preservatives
and perfumes after washing my hair and if it's very cold outside. i also started to not fiddle with my lips and leave the skin on until it is very easily detachable. i also trim the edges with a nailclipper. peeling cycles have slowed down and the crusts look more like very dry lips than any kind of disease. in the beginning, i put tons of all types of creams on. they did not help and made my lips look sick and gooey.
stress reduction, positive attitude, healthy Diet
& lifestyle are always recommended!