I've had this problem for over four months. I thought it was just extremely dry/chapped lips, but when looking for solutions on the web, I discovered that it was actually exfoliative cheilitis.
After days and days of researching and reading peoples' experiences here on CureZone and elsewhere, I decided to try something I hadn't seen anybody try yet. This protocol was inspired by popular remedies on another folk remedies forum. I'm working under the assumption that this lip problem is some kind of bacterial and/or fungal infection.
This is what I used:
Borax powder ("20 Mule Team")
3% hydrogen peroxide
Whole Foods "365" shampoo
Pure HPA lanolin ("Lansinoh")
Pure cold pressed Castor oil ("Home Health")
Bottled purified water
I prepared these solutions and kept them handy by the sink:
---> Borax solution (dissolve 2 Tablespoons of borax in 1 liter/quart of purified water). This amount should be enough to last about four days.
---> Borax/hydrogen peroxide solution (4 parts borax solution and 1 part hydrogen peroxide). Put it in a one liter/quart bottle.
---> Shampoo solution (1 part mild natural shampoo and 1 part purified water). An 8-ounce bottle of this would be enough to last a long time.
THIS IS MY PROTOCOL:
I did this routine twice a day (morning after breakfast, and evening after dinner). It takes about 5 minutes.
Brush teeth with water only (no toothpaste!) to remove food particles. Rinse.
Pour some of the borax/hydrogen peroxide solution into a glass. Wet toothbrush with the borax/hp solution and brush teeth. Rinse mouth with borax/hp solution.
Then wash lips very gently with the mild shampoo solution. Rinse well.
Take another sip of the borax/hp solution and gargle and swish with it for about 20 seconds. Spit it out. Rinse mouth with more borax/hp solution.
Pat-dry the skin surrounding the lips. Then wet the lips with the borax/hp solution and allow to air dry. Then gently apply glycerin to lips, and then a thin coating (one tiny drop) of castor oil.
I did this routine twice a day (morning after breakfast, and evening after dinner). After lunch I only brushed with water and/or borax solution and re-applied the glycerin and castor oil. The thick flakes/crusts on my lips fell off on the third and fourth day after I started with this protocol, leaving smooth lips. They were a little raw/inflamed where the crusts had been, but I continued with the protocol for a couple more days. Don't rub or pull the dead skin flakes/crusts. If they didn't fall off during all the washing and rinsing, just leave them alone. They'll fall off when they're ready.
Same as Week 1, but using the borax solution only (no hydrogen peroxide), and Lansinoh instead of glycerin.
I'm still doing this routine twice a day. I'm at the end of week 2, and my lips are still soft and have not hardened or peeled at all. But they're still delicate and a bit sensitive. I'll continue the same protocol as week 2 for another week and see if I need to make changes. I'm very happy with the results of this method so far.
I carry some of the borax solution in a little plastic bottle and the Lansinoh with me in case I need to use them when I'm out.
I'd love to hear opinions of my protocol, and if anyone else here decides to try it, please let us know how it works for you.