Ask the Addict: Am I addicted?

I really did not think I had a addition until I took the quiz because I am on Accutane and if I don’t put any on for a few hours my lips crack and bleed and I have always had dry skin on every wear except my face (which is extremliy oily) with on exception my lips which were usually dry and I have dandruff because of a dry scalp and a rash becuse my skin is so dry (this started two day affter going on Accutane) and I usually forget to put any on until they crack but I put it on a lot and if I lose mine I just have to buy another and I put it on no matter were I am except on stage.

So do I have a addition or not?

Kara C.

Addictions of all types are not uncommon in the performing arts, so your question is important and timely. The good news is that your acne should fade as you age out of your teenage years, making your skin much more moist and less susceptible to dryness and cracking. But, given the issues, it is probably best to talk to your dermatologist about your problems with your acne medicine.

Are you addicted? Well, your rambling description might be signs of being “out of it” due to your addiction, or might just be poor grammar. It sounds like you use lip balm only when your lips are really cracked and dry, and once they return to normal you stop using. That would lead me to believe that no, you are not addicted at this time.

Oil Glands the Cause of Addiction?

Today someone offered me some lip balm,  I said no, it’s addictive in my experience.  They seemed surprised.  I explained why I thought so.  I figured I’d look around on the net too, seeing what others thought about this.   Of course, came across this site and many others dealing with the issue.  I was surprised not to see anyone mention the reason I had.   Now, I didn’t read your whole site, or every site of course, so maybe I missed it.

The idea about the drying chemicals makes sense.  But, I think there’s even a more simple reason that could apply to all brands.  Back in high school my biology teacher said that when you continuously apply oil to your skin, such as with balm, the oil glands will eventually stop producing the normal amount of oil.  It may take several weeks of discontinued use for things to return to a more normal state.

I think this idea explains the addiction very simply.  Stopping the balm cold turkey, of course, leads to a burning discomfort.  The discomfort and misunderstanding of how long it may take to heal could lead to a quick reapplication, just keeping the glands dormant.

Maybe you already knew this, I just don’t get why I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere on these sites.

Take care,
Rob M.

It certainly is as good a concept as any we’ve seen. Now, if we could only confirm you teacher’s hypothesis…

Step by Step, but not the 12 Steps

Think lip balm addiction isn’t a serious problem in our schools and with our kids? Think again.

Hi, I’m 15 and have been gradually getting more addicted to lip balms for the last 10 years. It has come to the point where I can no longer go 20 minutes with out the need to apply lip balm. I find your site very supportive, however there is no advise on how to quit lip balms. Please could you post a step by step method on how to stop, opposed to your current 12 step program that does not help the user stop their addiction.

Thank you for the help the LBA has already given me and I hope I will be able to post my story when I quit in the optimistic future.

Yours sincerely, Alfie S. (addict)

Our Recovery page lists three methods: Cold Turkey, Weaning, and the 12 Steps. The first two don’t really lend themselves to the step method you’re asking for.

  • Cold Turkey Step One: Stop using
  • Cold Turkey Step Two: there is no step two.

Weaning inherently has a step process, but this will differ quite a bit from person to person.

There’s a reason by the 12 Steps exist. For some people that’s the only way to overcome their addictions to lip balm. It doesn’t work for everyone, though, which is why we do mention these other techniques. If you have any other ideas, just leave a comment below.

Teen Addiction… and Recovery

The saddest part of lip balm addiction is that it ensnares people as young as five years old or even younger. Unlike cigarettes, alcohol, or hard drugs, it is socially acceptable to get your kids balmed. The inherent dangers of such practices are described in this testimony we received this week.

After ten years of a crippling addiction to Blistex, I am finally free.  My name is Sarah and I am fifteen years old.  When I was at the tender age of just five, my poor, uninformed mother noticed that my little lips were badly chapped.

And so the addiction began.

Blistex Lip Medex

Blistex Lip Medex

I can recall several mornings when we were standing outside my house, and I would suddenly exclaim, “Mommy!  I FORGOT TO PUT ON LIP MEDICINE!”  Little drama queen (and addict) that I was, I would proceed to scream, cry, and wave my little pudgy arms in practical hysteria as my dear mother sprinted into the house, grabbed the little barrel of evil, sprinted back outside to her bawling daughter, and applied it to my dependent lips, all before the bus even arrived to take me to Kindergarten.  Over the years, it saddens me to tell you that my addiction only worsened.  Blistex became my constant companion, always ready and eager to soothe my lips (and my soul).  Sadly, I had no idea of the danger of my obsession until my mother happened to inform a friend of hers of how much I adored Blistex.  He quirked an eyebrow and wondered suspiciously, “When she puts it on, does it tingle?”  My mother, of course, had no idea what he could mean by this strange question, and when she relayed it to me, I, too, was oblivious.  Finally, the turning point in my painful addiction:  I happened to Google “dependence on Blistex,” and a world opened up to me.  I discovered that there were two dangerous ingredients in Blistex, Camphor and Menthol (which cause a tingling sensation), that had led not only to a weakening of my poor lips but also to further dryness, thus increasing my want (and need) for the malevolent Blistex.

I was distraught; I had nowhere to turn.  How could I destroy my addiction when it had all but consumed me?

Finally, the heavens smiled upon me:  I stumbled upon Lip Balm Anonymous.  Without your fantastic web site and liberating 12-step program, I would surely be applying Blistex at this very moment!  I just had to write you and thank you for the wondrous new life you have given me!  “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”

Very Sincerely and with Many Thanks,
Sarah

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