I have probably been been the biggest advacater of leaving the lips alone. I have done this over years.
While they have improved slightly I dont think its the answer. I could leave my bottom lip alone for 3 weeks and the deadskin would just pile up, its like even if you had six months, you would have six months of deadskin on your lips!. ( maybe the lip would heal in six months as you would not be able to irritate it though ).
So with this in mind I think the best way to deal with the lips is just to use the best moisturizer that works for YOU and only peel the deadskin off when its easy to come off. this will have the same affect as leaving them alone without the manky looking crust's and at least you can have half a life.
Also Julie I think if you have stomach issues this is only going to make it worse. I think once we have triggered ( by biting them to destruction ) this thing off our diet can then affect it so try and make sure you have a good diet to start with.