His Red Cheeks and Dry Cracked Lips

His red cheeks and dry cracked lips, are the bane of Parker’s winter…..and sometimes summer too.   We’ve tried cool mist humidifiers.  Lip balms, face creams, extra oil in his blenderized diet and more water boluses, but we’ve yet to find that magic bullet.

a little boy with special needs

The problem persists.  Red cheeks, dry cracked lips.  There have been times when the cracks in Parker’s lips are so deep they bleed.  I know it has got to be painful.

Utah winters are so dry and alligator skin already runs in our family.  We hoped that by adding a humidifier to our furnace might help Parker’s red cheeks and dry cracked lips.  So far all I’ve noticed is my hair frizzing out into a rather unflattering brillo pad.  sigh.

a little boy with Down syndrome making an Easter Bunny craft

I know it has to be uncomfortable.  Yet he fights me when I try and put anything on his lips, so I need something that can’t be easily licked off.  Not to mention that the thought of him licking anything off and having it go straight into his lungs.   sigh.

I often try and put salves on his face while he’s sleeping so that it tends to stay on longer.

Still, we battle his red cheeks and dry, cracked lips.

I know the chapped cheeks and cracked lips often go hand in hand with an extra chromosome.  So I’m making this plea to other Mamas with children who have dealt with this:

What has worked for you to soften and protect your child’s cheeks and lips?




About Tammy and Parker

Special Needs Blogger, and homeschooling Mom, heavily involved in advocacy for all kids with special needs in Utah.


  1. Charlotte Mayo says:

    we use something called baby kisses it is like vasiline in a tube and Makayla does not like me to put anything on her face or lips.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi There,
      Try This:
      • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 2 Tablespoons beeswax pastilles
      • 20 drops Lavender essential oil and a few generous drops of drops Melaleuca Alternifolia Oil (Tea Tree)

  2. Pure organic coconut oil!

  3. I love Coconut Oil. I use it myself as a moisturizer both morning and night. I also like to add just a dab of Lavendar Oil (make sure its a good brand so it is okay internally). If the Coconut oil is licked off it isn’t full of any other chemicals. I don’t know how that would affect his lungs. It has some great properties. I use it on diaper rashes and in my home made wipes for my baby. When I pull out my little portable container of oil my baby insists on sticking her fingers in it and eating it and I don’t have to worry one bit because is it so great for you internally and externally!

    Good luck!

  4. Coconut oil or lanolin are my two go-tos here. The handle all but the worst eczema flares, and most other skin issues to boot.

    I would be cautious about adding essential oils, as they can irritate the lungs in susecptible people.

  5. We just go with straight Vaseline but that seems like a bad idea w/his lungs!

  6. Coconut oil. Looks like others already suggested it, but it’s great!

  7. Greta says:

    I think the humidifier will do wonders! I know ours helped a lot. I think you need to keep up on them because our recently stopped working and you can tell. I think the hubby better change the filter and do some tweaks this weekend.

  8. Chris says:

    The lips are from saliva which is salty. You have to use a moisture barrier. Lanolin that is sold for breast-feeding mothers- straight lanolin- works great. It is what chemotherapy MD’s recommend most, too. His cheeks might need a few days of BID hydrocortisone 1% lotion (just a few days, though). I like the Aveeno brand the best.

  9. Have you thought about adding vitamins to his daily regime. A really good quality multi and extra vit c and D? It will be best tackled from inside rather than out, it may take a good 6 months to really get into his system but it’s worth it long term. :)

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