Dry, chapped lips can be painful and unsightly. Although this condition is often caused by cold weather or excessive licking, you could also have a dry lips vitamin deficiency.

Some vitamins are essential for bones, others for cell growth, and still others, like B-complex vitamins, are supporters of skin. Your lips, which have extremely sensitive skin, depend on vitamins to keep them healthy and prevent them from drying and chapping. Signs and symptoms of chapped lips include dry flaking skin, visible cracks, tightness, pain and sometimes bleeding. Chapped lips can be caused by frequent licking of lips, cold dry weather and dehydration. However, deficiencies of some vitamins may even make them crack. Eating a healthy diet helps prevent dry lips vitamin deficiency.

Vitamin B-2 Deficiency

Lack of some vitamins, particularly B vitamins, may cause chapped lips. Deficiency of vitamin B-2 may result in mouth or lip sores, according to the National Institutes of Health 24. Good sources of riboflavin include:

  • dairy products
  • eggs
  • green leafy vegetables
  • beans
  • nuts
  • lean meats

Male adults require 1.3 milligrams of riboflavin and female adults require 1.0 milligrams, according to the National Institutes of Health 24.

Vitamin B-3 Deficiency

Niacin, or vitamin B-3, is another B-complex vitamin needed for healthy skin 5. They recommend consuming 13 to 20 milligrams of niacin per day. To get enough niacin in your diet, eat foods such as:

  • tuna
  • halibut
  • beef
  • pork
  • poultry
  • cereal grains
  • been
  • green leafy vegetables
  • milk

Vitamin B-6 Deficiency

Vitamin B-6 deficiency is also related to skin disorders, dermatitis and cracks at the corners of the mouth. To get enough B-6, also called pyridoxine, in your diet, Colorado State University recommends adult men and women up to age 50 should consume 1.3 milligrams per day. Food sources of B-6 include meats, whole grains, legumes and green leafy vegetables.

Zinc Deficiency and Your Lips

The National Institutes of Health lists hair loss, weight loss, sexual dysfunction and skin lesions among the signs of zinc deficiency. Your diet should provide 10 to 25 milligrams of zinc each day. Consuming 100 milligrams of zinc per day can be toxic. Foods containing zinc include:

  • whole grains
  • beef
  • pork
  • turkey
  • beans
  • nuts
  • ricotta
  • Swiss
  • Gouda cheese

Vitamin A Deficiency

This vitamin is linked to dry skin and lips when consumed in excess. Vitamin A toxicity can be fatal. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most people get enough vitamin A from their diets 1. There are two sources of vitamin A; retinoids, which comes from animal foods and carotenoids, which comes from plants. However, taking supplements increases the risk of toxicity. The UMMC lists 10,000 international units as the upper safe limit for vitamin A . Foods high in vitamin A include dark-green leafy vegetables and yellow-orange fruits and vegetables, beef, calf and poultry liver, eggs and dairy products.