Actually, mine resulted from overuse of chapstick, I know everyone is different but mine did result from a chemical trauma (and it was an addiction, if I apply chapstick now I get a physical relief and the lips go back to normal without peeling for many days, even a week) to the cells and as a result lost their ability to moisturize theirselves and replenish normally. The problem with the lips, as many derms agreed with me, is that their was some type of severe TRAUMA to the cells (chapstick / lip biting) and now the cells reproduce at a rapid rate, at an adnormal rate, and this is the cellular alteration that I was referring to. Im not saying they cant remember the form of the lip, what I was saying is that they cant remember the speed at which is normal to reproduce. This is why our lips go normal to bad to normal to bad. Our lips always peeled like this, everyones does, but in normal people it isnt noticable because it is maybe a layer or two at most. With us it is many many layers. Thsi is why I tried efudex, a medical cream, it kills off faster growing cells in affected areas of cancer and only faster growing cells, the abnormal cells. You should have seen my lip. I applied it to my whole lip yet the only area that the cream targeted was the affected area. It did work, my lips peel at a similar rate BUT the layers are much thinner. SO it did work a little.
Steriods Dont work for me, only fucidin worked which is an antifungus cream. And about empirical proof, what do you think exczema is. Their is abundant proof, just not on our specialized condition.
And for the differences in severity, irritation is the key here, there are things that will irritate it and things that wont like any condition. If you have a flu and dont rest youll get worse and will have it longer. Common sense right.