The lips may get sticky or have a gluey appearance to it as a result of dry mouth. There are times when one gets a coating or layer between the lips which tends to be extremely irritating. This tends to happen especially in smokers due to nicotine. These coatings can also be seen in people who consume a lot of caffeinated products. People taking a lot of medications also tend to have a sticky coating on the lips.

What Can Cause Sticky Lips?

What Can Cause Sticky Lips?

Sticky Lips can be Caused Due to Dehydration:

One of the causes of sticky lips can be dehydration. If an individual gets dehydrated, there is a severe loss of liquids, mainly water, from the body. Dehydration can be caused due to many reasons like being out in extremely hot weather conditions, high humidity, or stomach problems which may lead to sticky coating on the lips, as when the body gets dry, the throat and mouth gets dry resulting in sticky lips.

Diarrhea Can Cause Dehydration:

Diarrhea is also a cause for sticky lips. If an individual has diarrhea, then a lot of body fluids are lost as a result of which the individual gets dehydrated causing the throat and mouth to get dry resulting in sticky lips or sticky coating on the lips. Diarrhea can be caused due to a variety of reasons including bacterial and viral infections, or eating foods that causes stomach upset.

Sticky Lips Caused Due to Yeast Infection:

Yeast infection or candidiasis is also one of the causes for sticky lips. This mostly happens in humid weather conditions. Since the lips get moist, it can lead to the breeding of yeast. This excess overgrowth of yeast near the lips results in Sticky Coating on the Lips. This usually happens to elderly people who have a compromised immune system but younger people with immune deficiency can also have sticky lips due to overgrowth of yeast in and around the lips.


Diabetes is yet another cause for sticky lips. High levels of blood sugar tend to cause sticky lips. There is also an increased chance of a diabetic getting infected as the germs or microbes tend to invade the body due to high blood sugar.

Sleeping With Open Mouth Can Also Cause Sticky Lips:

There are a lot of people who sleep with their mouth open. This causes dryness of mouth resulting in sticky lips or sticky coating on the lips. This is more prevalent in people who snore or have breathing issues.

Sleeping With Open Mouth Can Also Cause Sticky Lips

Sticky Lips Caused Due to Medication Use:

Certain medications can cause sticky lips. Medications especially used for some neurological conditions can cause dryness of the mouth resulting in Sticky lips or sticky coating on the lips. A few pain medications have also shown to cause sticky coating on the lips.

Other Causes of Sticky Lips:

Vitamin C Deficiency is also a factor which causes Sticky Coating on the Lips hence it is advised to consume as much of citrus foods especially in summer season in order to avoid conditions like dehydration which can cause sticky lips.

Vitamin A deficiency can also cause sticky lips or sticky coating on the lips, as it is an important factor responsible for healthy skin and if an individual is vitamin A deficient then he or she is prone to sticky lips. Hence they are recommended to take plenty of foods rich in vitamin A like cod liver oil and eggs that contain high amounts of Vitamin A.

Zinc deficiency can cause sticky coating on the lips. Zinc breaks down vitamin A in the body and helps in transportation of vitamin A to various parts of the body. It also helps prevent skin dryness and hence if an individual has low levels of zinc then he or she is prone to have dry skin which can cause sticky lips.

Potassium deficiency is one of the leading causes of sticky lips as potassium deficiency can lead to loss of water content in the body which in turn may lead to dehydration.

Sodium deficiency causes skin dryness and in turn can cause sticky lips.

Certain Hormonal issues in the body may also lead to sticky lips.

Nicotine tends to affect the skin and make the skin age faster than normal. The dryness of the skin starts when the individual starts smoking and continues throughout the session of smoke. This in turn causes sticky lips or sticky coating on the lips over time.

In summary, there may be a lot of causes that may lead to sticky lips but with certain activity modifications and eating a well balanced and nutritious diet one can overcome this problem and have a beautiful and perfect lips which will make you that much more presentable and attractive and get rid of sticky lips.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: August 4, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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