[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 6, 1923


JAMA. 1923;81(14):1183-1186. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650140027010

The purpose of this brief report is to call attention to a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lip, due apparently to the actinic or chemically active rays of sunlight. In a review of available literature and of current textbooks on diseases of the skin, no mention could be found of sunlight playing an etiologic rôle in chronic cheilitis. Montgomery and Culver1 mention "the scurfy, scaly lip of the outdoor worker," as seen especially in the hot, dry interior regions of California, but they apparently attribute the effect to "wind and weather," without any specific mention of chemically active light. Dry heat and wind no doubt do cause a drying and an eczematous condition of the lips, just as it may affect the skin. That sunlight may exert a very pronounced effect on the lips is a matter of common observation to many city folk after their first excursion to