Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy

  • Can You Be Addicted to Lip Balm?

Can You Be Addicted to Lip Balm?

Jan 20 2018 Read 1915 Times

Addiction isn’t a word to be thrown around lightly. With 144 lives taken each day from drug addiction alone, it’s no surprise that there is a certain sensitivity around the word. That being said, there are many questionable forms or conceptions of addiction from eating toilet paper to bathing in bleach which may not have the death total of others, but will still be a struggle to the ‘addicted’ individual. Read on as we explore whether you can really be addicted to lip balm.

Lip Balm anonymous

Taken seriously by those who acknowledge it, with its own online help site, lip balm addiction seems to affect people globally. Lip Balm anonymous states that the addiction sees the individual become dependent on the use of lip balm, whether that’s due to excessive dryness or physiological dependency.

On their website, Lip Balm anonymous go on to define an addiction, and express that they ‘use the substance habitually, often without realising’. They also explain how prolonged use of lip balm can cause irreversible effects unless their ’12 steps’ are followed. However, the extent in which this can be called an addiction is questionable as there are other factors to consider.

Could it be the product doing all the harm?

Dermatologist Melanie Grossman argues that there is no clinically defined addiction to lip balm. However, there may be an explanation behind its overuse. Grossman states that some lip balms contain ingredients such as preservatives and fragrances that may irritate and dry your lips. This creates a vicious cycle of using lip balm to sooth, yet in effect drying them out more. These physical symptoms can go on to trigger a compulsive psychological reaction, where the individual feels dependent on the lip balm.

Disorder vs Addiction

Joel Rose, director of OCD Action suggests that the triggered reaction may be a form of OCD. Rose states that while an addiction is about getting a stimulation from an outside factor, a compulsory disorder is more about lessening a source of anxiety. Similar to nail biting, the habit of applying lip balm over time may become a form of comfort or response to anxiety, and in addition to the irritation that may be caused from the product itself, a painful pattern for the individual is created.

All in all, the over use of lip balm can be argued to conform to the compulsive traits of a disorder opposed to an addiction. That’s not, however, intended to belittle an individual’s struggle.

What’s passing your lips?

Your lips are just one of many things affected by the contents of drinking water. The article ‘Reduced Injection Volume Applied to the Quantitation of Cylindrospermopsin and Anatoxin-a in Drinking Water According to EPA Method 545’ explores how the quantities of different toxins are measured accurately in drinking water to ensure it’s safe for consumption.

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