GHENT, WV (WVNS) — With the winter season creeping closer, many people will experience such things as dry, flaky skin, cracked hands, and windburn.

But, one such problem that naturally occurs with everyone is dried, cracked lips. However, there are ways to prevent this from happening so that you do not have to suffer all year round.

Check out some of these tips to avoid chapped lips this winter.

Choose lip products that are non-irritating: According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you will want to use products for your lips that contain ingredients like castor seed oil, ceramides, dimethicone, or mineral oil. Look for keywords on the labeling such as “fragrance free” and “hypoallergenic.” You should also avoid ingredients such as camphor, menthol, or eucalyptus because these tend to make your lips more irritated. If you experience problems such as burning, stinging, or tingling, stop using that product for your lips.

Apply balm throughout the day and before you go to sleep: You may want to try a thick balm such as petroleum jelly to help lock in moisture if your lips are severely chapped or dry. It tends to last longer.

Protect your lips outdoors: The American Academy of Dermatology Association also suggests, a balm with an SPF of 30 or higher will help your lips before going outdoors, especially in the colder weather. Any balms with titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide should be reapplied every couple of hours while being outdoors.

Keep your skin hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. A humidifier is suggested as well to help lock in moisture.

Try to stop licking, biting or picking: This can make the problem even worse, especially if you try licking your lips to keep them moisturized. Biting and picking can worsen the problem as well and can cause pain and bleeding. Always carry a lip balm on you to prevent yourself from this habit.

Try to avoid holding metal objects with your mouth: Holding metal objects in your lips such as paperclips while at work, jewelry, and reusable metal straws can actual be more harmful your lips as metal can irritate them.

Although this is a common problem with many people, if your lips continue to worsen, you should seek medical assistance as this could be a sign of a medical condition. If you follow these tips, your dry and chapped lips should heal up in no time.