Since only the lower lip was initially affected, I could still drink normally, and I even remember thinking to myself at the time, "Thank God it's only on the lower lip". I began reading a few posts here once I looked up my symptoms and read about how leaving them alone "would eventually heal them", so I did.
I left them alone by stopping what I was initially doing to them, which was rubbing them. I still drank and ate normally although I was more mindful. I think it wasn't even a week, it was more like within 3 days that they spread. Anyway, I go about my normal day, drink water normally (obviously drinking normally means you let water touch them, and the upper lip is the lip that is mostly in direct contact when drinking) and what do you know, the dreaded triangle in the upper lip and some small sections that flake appeared, I wasn't even causing trauma to them.
I personally think that EC is primarily immune-driven. How or why it happens I honestly have no idea. As someone who suffered from dry or chapped lips from time to time before EC happened, I can assure you that the lips are one of the fastest to heal despite the trauma, which is why I don't think that anyone here should be blamed at all. It's probably different if you had chronic, dry lips that you almost had to peel everyday but it seems that most of us here have stated that we all had a period where we wake up and saw or felt the lips were suddenly very dry and started to apply chapstick and then EC happened.
In my case, I was peeling my lips a few times because they were dry, but I'm sure they returned to normal because I wasn't a chronic lip picker anyway (since I never had chronic dry lips). Then after many months of normalcy, I woke up one day and realized my bottom lip was severely dried out which was why I asked for chapstick, although what confuses me is that I barely used the chapstick after that since everything went back to normal as I expected, whereas most people here say they started getting dependent on the chapstick. Many months later, I just woke up with EC.
I have to emphasize 'months' in my case because that's how it really happened, sort of like a really late delay between normalcy (I mean I was peeling my lips because they were so dry back in January '15, but I have pics of me on Feb '15 and March '15 where my lips went back to normal, so why didn't EC happen sooner and not almost a year later after so many months of normalcy? Do you get what I mean?). Logically, trauma may honestly have something to do with it, but I think the sudden nature of lip drying is more suspicious and perhaps has something to do with the immune system.
Sorry if this is was quite long, it's just frustrating and confusing that I really have no clue on what's going on with us. As someone who usually always has a solution, this condition is honestly an insult to my intelligence.