I think I saw improvement 6-8 months after starting the diet. My lips were REALLY terrible. I can't tell you what a crimp EC was on my dating life...I could not imagine anyone wanting to even kiss someone with ugly peeling, yellow lips like mine. After 8 months, my lips improved to a point where I could mask the peeling with emollients because the layers had thinned and weren't as noticeable. One time, though, I felt and SAW my lips peel off as I was kissing someone. Let me tell you, that is a pretty mortifying experience. My lips weren't strong enough and this created a huge mental obstacle for me. So I went back to being a social recluse.
Fast forward to now. 18 months later, lips are great, social life is great, and I have a girlfriend. Kissing is good. Drinking is good. The lips still peel but when they do, the skin underneath is not completely raw like before. I know that I have regrown normal layers because my lips will sometimes bleed when they're chapped and if I don't moisturize enough (like normal lips do). This never happened before.
I followed a strict anti-Candida diet for 1 year. I slipped up sometimes but for the most part, I was good about sticking to it. I bought a book called the Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook on Amazon and this really helped me through this trying time. The book taught me what foods to avoid and was very thorough in explaining why to avoid them. It gave good tips on how to plan your meals. I'm not trying to advertise this book--you can find other info about the diet on the internet, but I thought this book was the most educational source I read.
I think to get through this, it helps to have an interest in cooking for yourself. The diet really isn't that terrible, in my opinion, once you figure out that its main emphasis is on weeding out processed foods from your system (refined sugar, refined flour, etc.). I learned to cook due to EC and for that, I'm grateful because cooking is a huge passion for me now. You'll find that Italian, French, and other Mediterranean cuisines that utilize simple ingredients is pretty adaptable to the anti-Candida diet. Just cut out things like bread, pasta, cream, potatoes and vinegar. I should note, I never gave up liquor during this period although you're supposed to on the diet. I did try to cut down. :)
I can't tell you that candida is the main culprit for our lip condition. But I do think the anti-candida diet will improve your overall health by encouraging you to eat more vegetables and whole grains, introducing better nutrition into your diet. You will lose weight initially but I gained it back eventually. I've relaxed my diet since my lips have almost healed and nowadays I mostly adhere to a gluten-free, sugar-free diet. I'll let myself slide sometimes when I'm out with friends, but honestly, I don't miss anything.