Hi there White Shark, Thanks for your input. I will say I am quite sceptical about alternative medicine and diet related therapies. In addition to my other illnesses, I have also had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for over ten years. In the first five years of my illness , due to desperation, I tried every alternative therapy going. I have been in the raw food diet, the anti candida diet, the paleo diet, the gluten and lactose free diet, tried innumerable supplements and so on. Not only did this cost a considerable amount, it also was psychologically difficult to constantly get hopes up and be disappointed. Moreover, I even think the raw food diet worsened my (then undiagnosed) Hypothyroidism because I was consuming a large amount of cruciferous vegetables (which interfere with Iodine
absorption). That said, I do certainly agree that diet has a large role in maintaining health and think that eating well is important. I also agree that some people may be hypersensitive to certain food produce so eliminating food groups if you have a genuine sensitivity (like bread if you have celiac disease) is a good idea but can't say that I noticed any significant changes in my health on any of these stricter diets (and believe me, I put everything into these diets. I even grew my own wheatgrass to juice at one point). Of all the diets I tried, I think a more lax version of the paleo diet made me feel best. Thing is, my lips are so bad now that a have a hard time eating a wide variety of foods - I have been making a lot of smoothies and drinking them through a straw. Maybe I'll start doing more veg smoothies again since I have nothing to lose at this stage, Of all the things I tried, I do think meditation helped me a bit as well. I highly doubt this alone will fix my lips, though since it became really severe after I had filler injected (since removed with an enzyme but the peeling continues).
I was diagnosed with desqueamation of the lips due to hypersensitivity to the filler but I'm not convinced this is the case at all , even though it seems like the most plausible and straightforward explanation. Why? Because I had mildly peeling lips to begin with (even prior to the filler) but did not consider I had a problem because it was totally under control, with Aquaphor and Vaseline and was really quite mild. The worst it ever got was looking like chapped lips with a tiny triangle of dead skin on my upper lip. It seems plausible that it could be an autoimmune disease of the lip which was made worse by the filler. However, I have also been on several courses of systemic corticosteroids since the severe reaction, which did nothing for the symptoms). Also the pattern of the inflammation is very revealing. It always gets inflamed right on the inner rim - the wet dry border of the lip and then the crusting travels down the lip. If it was simply a hypersensitive (mild allergy) reaction, I do not think the crusting would occur in such a patterned way. Moreover, if it is a hypersensitivity issue, why does the crusting occur only on the outer layers of skin, when it was injected deep into the skin tissues? It all suggests there is some kind of structural problem with the mouth. It took me a while to put the dots together but I now think my lips crust because parts of the mucous membrane that was inside my mouth is now exposed to the air because of being stretched out as a result of the filler. However, if I had normal saliva excretion, this would not have resulted in the problem. However, I don't have a well hydrated mouth. I actually feel it getting dried out when I talk and the inner lip area feels dry and inflamed. So I have dry mouth syndrome. Now I notice Sjoren's patient get exfoliative chelitis. Also EC in confirmed studies is associated with mouthbreathing. So there is clear, independently confirmed association between EC and dry mouth. What is more? In controlled studies, lip filler patients complained of peeling lips after the injection (had I known this before I would have never gone ahead with the procedure). In another post on here, I found that somebody experienced EC after a rhinoplasty because it altered the angle between the nose and the lips, meaning she had to mouthbreathe. So there is clear association between various things that can dry out the mouth (Sjorgen's, anxiety, plastic surgery procedures that alter lip shape) and Exfoliative Chelitis. I doubt mouthbreathing on it's own causes the problem. You have to have predisposition towards dry mouth.
Of course, the causes of dry mouth can be systemic (like sjorgens) or para-functional (like mouthbreathing). If the former is the case, then I think introducing general measures to improve health (like diet would be helpful).