I can't remember exactly when my lips began to peel and when I began biting them, but I was tested at the age of 14 for food allergies
. I had digestive problems and frequently had diarrhea and gas/bloating. A blood test determined I was "moderately allergic" to wheat. I seem to have grown out of digestive problems, and the only time I have them now, are from opiate withdrawal. For the past 3 years I've been a recreational user of Oxycodone, and just recently I've stopped using this drug. It's been a few months now and I never have any issues, but when I recreationally used the drug, I would use it once a week for fun on the weekend, and it seemed as if my body got used to this over time. I would withdraw during the week sometimes (Frequent diarrhea as one of the symptoms) and then the symptoms would go away once I used the drug again on the weekend. I'm wondering if my drug use has irritated my intestines, combined with my "mild" wheat allergy, enough to cause my lips to dry out and peel. I do have OCD, so I have issues with biting my lips and peeling the skin off. But I don't bite them if they're not peeling so they had to have dried up or started peeling first.
Now I know some of you are probably thinking my wheat allergy could be the problem, but like I said, I kind of grew out of my digestive problems by the time I was 17 or 18, and I NEVER had hives, or diarrhea or any symptoms related to a wheat allergy. I eat wheat literally everyday and I don't notice problems from it. I'm wondering if all of my issues combined can be causing EC. I have tried for so long to "leave it alone" but my lips get so tight and dry and eventually a smile or a laugh or talking or singing (I scream vocals in a metal band so it's 10x worse, my lips get torn apart immediately) and they just never heal. I've been putting coconut oil on them for the past two months or so, and it seems to lubricate them but they still peel and burn a bit. My lips don't turn yellow or bleed but this is seriously bothering me and making me anxious and depressed. I've tried olive oil and vaseline and blistex, nothing helps. I don't want to make my lips look pretty without solving the underlying issue. I want to CURE my problem. My brother had issues with his lips and they weren't as bad as mine. Only his top lip peeled and only a small portion of it. But for a very long time. He "left it alone" and trimmed the peeling skin without ripping it off, while applying shea butter to the area until it got better. He said it took a long time but it's gotten better and he never stopped eating wheat (He is also allergic to wheat, possibly more than I am).
So I have no idea what my issue is, but my lips are bad. My entire bottom lip peels and when I leave it alone my lip looks armor plated with dead dried up skin. My top lip peels in the exact same spot as my brother's did but I also have a white line across all of the top that peels. I have been exfoliating the dead skin with a toothbrush (Not the same one I use for my teeth) for now and applying coconut oil. I try to forget about my lips sometimes but it's really pissing me off lately. Any ideas? I haven't found much about people using drugs on here and possibly relating it to EC. Oh and my brother never used opiates, so comparing myself to him I'm starting to figure certain things out and rule out certain possibilities. I'm just curious if my long-term opiate use could have affected my intestines enough to cause my lips to have issues (Combined with my OCD - Biting and peeling my lips, exfoliating them, and having a mild allergy).