Things One Can Tell
Just by Kissing You
As if there aren’t enough excuses for us to avoid touching each other, it’s now easier than ever to spot a few health conditions just by looking at someone. Or, at the most, with minimal physical contact.
If such contact would happen to involve the lips, it’s natural that people would be paying extra attention to their general appearance. To get more aroused by their lusciousness? No, silly, to check for signs of some lurking ailment, if not for poor hygiene habits.
Certain things are common knowledge. Swollen lips, for example: they can surely indicate a severe allergic reaction to some foods. That is, when the swelling is not being caused by an excessive amount of Botox injections. Allergies can also cause lips to exfoliate and peel, the same way that extreme cold and over exposure to the sun also do.
But did you know that chapped lips could denote anemia or even diabetes? These conditions may not be transmissible, but can be harbingers of even worse things to come.
But wait a minute, don’t we already have one too many ways of being careful to add yet another layer of concern, that would ultimately ruin any spontaneity or unscheduled displays of affection? These are serious matters, ladies and gents, so we’d better seek the expert advice from a top source on the field: a British tabloid.
Take herpes, for example. There, we said it. According to The Sun, hot lips could indicate the presence of the highly contagious, virtually invisible-until-it’s-too-late eternal parasite, feared by lovers and bachelors on the prowl alike.
The paper, which liberally quotes without attribution from a 2006 research conducted by Dr. Bruce P. Robinson of Mount Sinai Medical Center, lists other ailments that can be spotted by the lips’ general appearance. So, if they’re swollen, it may be Crohn’s disease. If there’s blue around the mouth, it may be related to a chronic heart disorder. A rash? it could be eczema. Cold sore? sleep better and improve your diet.
But it’s the way The Sun enhances its coverage with lurid innuendo what muscles its newsstand performance against the likes of Robert Murdoch and his own cadre of crass U.K. tabloids.
A woman with “a prominent and pointy tubercle, the middle part of the top lip that points upwards, also known as the ‘cupid’s bow,’ is up to 12 times more likely to hit the heights during sex than those with flat lips.”
Take that, News of the World. Oh, sorry, we forgot it already folded. Anyway, you may believe in all that at your own risk, but one’s got to give it to them: the simplest of the scientific studies can be boosted 100 percent just by the use of the word “tubercle” on that context.
We can’t wait then to see their take on the latest research by a team of geneticists at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA: how your saliva can show your age.
The technique, which analyses specific segments of DNA to determine the age of a sample’s donor to within five years, can also reveal your true biological age, which sometimes is younger, but most likely is older than what your driver’s license may say.
This is all thrilling, of course, but pales when compared to the intuitive knowledge that any garden variety kisser already possess: being able to distinguish whether you’ve been around the block a few times, or are just taking time off of your homework.
In other words, with all due respect to our scientific community, working tirelessly from the depths of their fluorescent-lit labs, to elucidate the mysteries of Bette Davis’s eyes, or Angelina Jolie’s lips, we’re still rooting for the kisser.