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How Do I Treat a Split Lip?

By Patti Kate
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

The first step in treating a split lip is to stop the bleeding. Gentle pressure should be applied to the area, using caution not to further damage the delicate skin. A clean piece of gauze that has been dipped in cold water may be used. Alternately, you may wrap some ice in a washcloth and apply it to the cut lip. Applying an over-the-counter medicated lip balm may provide soothing relief to a cut lip.

For minor cuts without bleeding, homemade split lip remedies may be used. Try applying some natural aloe vera gel to a chapped, swollen, or split lip. You can buy pure aloe gel at the health food store, or squeeze the gel from the leaf of an aloe vera plant. Aloe is a natural moisturizer, as well as being a good antiseptic. Applying the aloe to a cut lip will help promote healing, as it relieves the discomfort.

For natural protection, you may also apply a dab of honey to the area. Covering the split lip with a light layer of honey will help promote healing, as it has antiseptic properties. You can apply the honey to the lip several times a day as needed. Applying a thin slice of fresh cucumber may also provide relief from dry and cracked lips.

Remember not to touch the area before washing your hands thoroughly. To prevent infection, apply a few drops of diluted antiseptic tea tree oil to the lip using a cotton ball. Don't share drinking cups or glasses with others until the wound has healed.

You may notice a scab has formed as a result of a split lip. If this occurs, avoid excessive licking of the lips, as this can delay healing and dry the lips further. If you don't want to use a medicated balm over the scab, try a dab of petroleum jelly. You can apply this several times a day if you wish, and it will form a protective barrier.

Treating a split lip in toddlers and infants can be more difficult, especially if there is bleeding. A young child is more likely to suck his lip, causing more swelling and bleeding. Wrap some ice inside a wet washcloth and apply it to the child's lip for several minutes. After bleeding has stopped, offer the child an ice pop to suck on. This soothing treat can keep also reduce minor swelling.

For a deep cut to the lip, medical treatment may be necessary. Stitches may be required to close a deep gash on the lip. If bleeding hasn't stopped within several minutes, it's best visit the hospital emergency room.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Buster29 — On Jan 20, 2014

It's hard to avoid reinjuring a split lip, since you use your lips for talking and eating. Avoid eating anything salty or acidic, since the area around the split can still feel pain.

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