Eating Chapstick: What will Happen?

Short Answer: If you accidentally eat chapstick, you may have some mild stomach upset, but nothing serious. However, eating large amounts of chapstick can be harmful and cause serious complications.

Chapstick is a brand name of lip balm that is used to moisturize and protect the lips.

It often contains ingredients such as petroleum, beeswax, lanolin, sunscreens, and various flavors and colors.

If you accidentally eat chapstick, you may experience some mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

This is because chapstick is not meant to be ingested and may irritate your digestive system.

Petroleum, which is a common ingredient in chapstick, is generally safe for topical use, but can cause problems if swallowed in large amounts.

Petroleum can block the intestines and cause abdominal pain, constipation, or bowel obstruction.

It can also interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Beeswax, which is another common ingredient in chapstick, is a natural substance that is derived from honeybees.

Beeswax is edible and has some health benefits, such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

However, eating too much beeswax can also cause digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, or cramps.

Lanolin, which is a type of wool grease that is obtained from sheep, is used to soften and moisturize the lips.

Lanolin is generally safe to eat, but some people may be allergic to it and develop symptoms such as itching, swelling, or rash.

Sunscreens, which are added to some chapstick products to protect the lips from UV rays, may contain chemicals such as para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), oxybenzone, or avobenzone.

These chemicals are usually harmless when applied to the skin, but may cause adverse reactions if ingested.

Some of the possible effects include allergic reactions, hormonal disruption, or liver damage.

Flavors and colors, which are used to make chapstick more appealing and pleasant, may also have some risks if eaten.

Some of the artificial flavors and colors may contain substances that are toxic or carcinogenic, such as benzene, lead, or coal tar.

Some of the natural flavors and colors may also cause allergic reactions, such as cinnamon, mint, or citrus.

It is quite uncommon to eat chapstick, as most people use it only on their lips.

However, some people may accidentally swallow some chapstick while licking their lips, or intentionally eat chapstick out of curiosity, boredom, or stress.

You can usually treat chapstick ingestion at home by drinking plenty of water and monitoring for any signs of distress.

If you experience severe or persistent symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or blood in your stool, you should seek medical attention immediately.

You should also call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 for further advice and guidance.

To avoid accidental chapstick ingestion, you should keep chapstick products out of the reach of children and pets, and use them only as directed.

You should also avoid eating or drinking anything while wearing chapstick, and wipe off any excess product from your lips before doing so.

Finally, remember, chapstick is a lip care product, not a food item.

It is designed to moisturize and protect your lips, not to nourish your body.

Eating chapstick may not be fatal, but it is certainly not healthy or advisable.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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