Some of us really enjoy being licked by our dogs, possibly because we relate this behaviour thinking "Oh, he loves me so much!". Is it true though, is licking an expression of love or is it something more than that?
Have you ever thought a dog likes licking you, simply because...you taste nice? As weird as it might sound, many times food remnants left on our hands, after eating a donut for example, might make our hands very appealing to our furry pooch.
You probably know that cats lick to groom themselves, but dogs do so too. However, if you notice that they do it excessively that might indicate a skin issue like allergies and it is good to contact your vet for advice.
"I am hungry","I need a wee", "I need you to pet me", "I surrender to you master"... Obviously dogs cannot communicate this way, so instead they lick you! Don't skip this behaviour, have a good look around as maybe you are missing something, from an empty water bowl to an "enemy" outside your door!
Pain can cause a compulsive behaviour like constant licking. It is not necessary that they lick the painful area but many times it can be an indication of a painful limb for example. You might also notice other unusual behaviours, like adopting an unusual posture or drinking excessively. All the above are serious reasons to take them to your vet for an examination or contact a vet for advice over the phone.
Finally... in dogs' language "to lick is to care"! Yes, they lick you for affection and it is believed that this behaviour releases calming hormones that make them feel more chilled.