Cheilitis. Lip dermatitis is quite common. Lip-licking, as an attempt to add moisture, often flares the problem. A greasy ointment (petroleum jelly) can help. Stopping lip-licking is essential. In addition, some people develop contact dermatitis to gum, toothpaste, or other cosmetics. Flavored lip balm is a frequent cause. Greasy emollients, otc hydrocortisone, and stopping flare factors will improve lips.