I've noticed that I no longer get redness after brushing with toothpaste. See pictures. It's no longer there, and the worst of the peeling always occured after the redness. I actually contacted the manufacturer of this paste and they were kind enough to send me free samples and so far so good.
In theory the lip biting may have opened the wound up to irrtation from harsher toothpastes, OR the other toothpastes were causing the red area to irritate which was causing the EC. I honestly can't say which theory I am more convinced by.
These are the latest pictures :
I feel this is undeniable progress. I must mention that I use this product:
If you check earlier in the blog you can see I have been using this product, but I think eliminating the toothpaste and using this has helped speed the healing the most. I don't think it really matters which emollient you use because I think for some of us here the toothpaste is the source of irritation, BUT to speed things along a good emollient will help, especially with some of us having years of EC. I think some are better than others from experience. I no longer use aquaphor because it's slimey and difficult to apply, and the huge tub I have of it is difficult to carry, especially when you are in public. The calendula can be applied with a little finger and I keep it in my pocket which allows the ointment to go a little greasy in the pot from the heat off my leg, which makes it easier to apply. I was carrying around a mirror when I travelled to keep check of things.
I have to say, and I can't say this enough, the biggest improvement has come from no longer using the original toothpaste I was using. The OraNurse has very few ingredients by comparison but is DOES have fluoride. I think in my case the fluoride is not causing any kind of irritation to my lips because they are not redn anymore on that inner part of the lips!!! Something common within ALLL the other toothpastes I've used over the course of my lip have been the culprit in my EC.
The redness did not go immediately, it's taken at least 3-4 weeks for it to go slightly lighter pink in colour and the lips are still peeling but there is ( I can't quite describe this in words) a difference how they peel. The skin still goes white in contact with water but the skin is more stubborn to remove. I've also made a thing of applying the calendula ointment right inside that red area into the mouth just to give it the best protection I can. I don't apply it over night because I think the body heals best on it's own. I only apply it after brushing teeth in the morning and then throughout the day, after eating etc. I think there are still many weeks of healing left, but I feel this is definitive improvement and I am so happy about it. Could the travel/walking/hiking/being in the outdoors/in the sun have helped? Potentially yes, but I think the key here is stopping using the toothpaste, and I would urge anyone reading this to assess their toothpaste and see if they can find a flavourless one because this may be the golden ticket for some of us. Mint is a common irritant to a lot of people, and low and behold spearmint has been in every toothpaste I've ever used up until now!!
I think I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now. More updates to come.