What happens to your lips when you kiss too much
Your personal motto might be never to kiss and tell, but your lips might give you away without your consent. Last night’s epic make-out session may have left your lips rivaling Kylie Jenner’s after her last filler appointment, but you might also be harboring something less aesthetically appealing on your plumped up pout. Kissing is generally thought of as a good thing. It has countless physical and mental health benefits, including stress relief, relationship bonding, and affirmation, and even increased metabolic rate, and improved oral health (via WebMD).
But there’s a dark side to kissing that isn’t often talked about, and it might make you buy an extra tube of medicated lip balm next time you hit up the drug store. Here’s what happens to your lips when you kiss too much (if that’s really such a thing).
Kissing can lead to a bad case of chapped lips
Unlike the skin on the rest of your body which has sixteen layers of protection, the lips are incredibly thin and delicate with only between three and five layers of protection(via How Stuff Works). That means they can easily be damaged by say an aggressive nibbler, overgrown stubble, or even simply excessive friction from another pair of lips.
When kissing someone, your lips are also subject to the harsh digestive enzymes, amylase and maltase, contained within the saliva of your mouth and your partner’s mouth (via Healthline). When the saliva left over from a lot of kissing evaporates from your lips it takes with it the natural moisture and oils that help protect the delicate skin there. This can lead to dry, cracked, and chapped lips (via Consumer Health Digest). Your best defense, in this scenario, is a good offense. Keep your lips moist and happy prior to your smooch session with your favorite lip balm, and be sure to replenish them again after a good lip lock (via Elite Daily).
Kissing can put you at risk for cold sores
Chapped lips are a bit irritating, but not nearly as painful as getting a cold sore. Herpes Simplex 1 is a highly contagious virus that is easily and frequently transmitted by kissing, and it’s also the cause of those unsightly and uncomfortable blisters on your lips that most people call cold sores (via Consumer Health Digest). Unfortunately, the virus can be transmitted even when there are no visible sores on your partner’s mouth, so in terms of prevention, there’s not much you can do (via Cosmopolitan). There are thankfully, over-the-counter and prescription antiviral medications you can get to treat and shorten the lifespan of these cold sores so you can get back to kissing as quickly as possible (via WebMD).
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