By Gary M. White, MD

Lip licking

Lip licking represents an irritant contact dermatitis from the constant wetting and irritation of the skin by saliva.


Red, scaly, crusted, eczematous changes of the skin encircling the mouth in a child is characteristic. Only skin accessible to the tongue is affected.


The child should be encouraged to keep his or her tongue in his or her mouth. White petrolatum may be applied several times a day as a protectant. Hydrocortisone ointment is helpful for any inflammation.

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Lip licking


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