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Pimple on Lip

A pimple is a soft, tiny red nodule filled with pus. It sometimes have black tip or none and may be painful. Unlike other kinds of acne, lip pimples are sometimes linked with an upsurge in the male hormone levels secreted by the adrenal glands.

Lip pimples can be displayed as skin lesions in the form of papules or pustules. It is caused by obstruction of the sweat glands. The follicles get congested and infected by bacteria, causing in swelling and inflammation. The inflammation process begin from a papule, pustule, and will then progress to a nodule.

Pimples on the lips are extremely painful and they will affect the way you chew and eat your food. When the lip is exposed to microorganisms, it can further worsen the condition of the pimple on the lip, which could further lead to a more serious problem.

There are bumps that can arise in tiny nodes and can affect both the upper and lower lips. Lip pimples are sometimes interchanged with cold sores (fever blisters-like lesion or herpes), with zits like acne or bumps, swollen blister appearances particularly on lower, upper, inside and on lip regions.

In facts, cold sores are caused by viral infection, a small blister, fluid-filled, itchy, and hot to touch. Other associated symptoms are fatigue, myalgia (muscle pain) and hyperpyrexia (abnormal increase in fever) (1, 2)

A rampant lip pimple due to cold sores or herpes.picture

Image 1 : A rampant lip pimple due to cold sores or herpes
Photo Source : www.healcure.org

Nevertheless, if appropriate care is given, it can easily heal. However, the pimple in the lip might become worse. Moreover, the serious part is if you do not give proper care, it may lead to popping up of the horrible zits, which will deteriorate the skin’s appearance and similarly, slow the healing period. Therefore, it is better to understand the appropriate treatment and measures to cure the pimples.

Common causes of pimple on lip

  • Acne
  • Cold sores
  • Cancer
  • Bacterial infection
  • A contact allergy
  • Fordyce’s spots-commonly occurs in the mucous membrane, found in the border of the lip.(10)

Patient diagnosis with Fordyce spots.photo

Figure 3 : Patient diagnosis with Fordyce’s spots
Picture Source :www.hkma.org

  • Sunburn (3)

Other causes are:

  • Allergic reactions – people have different types of skin and others are allergic to cosmetic products of the lips including lipstick and lip tint.
  • Chemical Lip products and makeups – The use of cheap lip products can cause harm to your lips, primarily because of the chemical ingredients.
  • Herpes infection – it can be a source of lip pimples.
  • Hormonal changes – Changes in the hormone level takes place during puberty. Stress can also cause hormonal change. The skin becomes oily which leads to the formation in some parts of the body including the lips.
  • Poor hygiene – unhygienic practice is one of the primary causes of lip pimples.
    Lip pimples after waxing
  • Certain chemicals in toothpaste – it is very important to use high quality products oral hygiene. Using no fluoride or less fluoride can minimize chances of lip pimples. Fluoride can cause acne and it can easily penetrate the mouth mucosa, but do not enter the skin wall. Look for a chlorhexidine-gluconate mouthwash, instead of a fluoride based toothpaste and to prevent tooth decay. Also, try to gargle with baking soda or sodium bicarbonate rather than other branded/commercialize mouthwash. This contains antibacterial properties and it whitens your teeth naturally.
  • Smoking – people who smoke is more likely susceptible to lip pimples.
  • Expired face products (4, 5)

The location of lip pimples

Upper Lip pimple

It is the most common part of the lip that gets pimples. It could be a normal pimple, but can be associated with herpes or cold sore. The common causes of upper lip pimple are:

  • Lip piercing – if the instruments use is not sterile, it produced an infected bump on the piercing site.
  • Waxing – wrong techniques of removing hair can irritate hair follicles that causes ingrown hair.
  • Threading – proper mechanism and clean techniques are important things to remember to prevent bulging or blister in the hair follicle. (6)

Bottom Lip pimple

Same with the upper pimple lip, we can also get zits on lower lip. Waxing, threading and piercing are some common reasons. Depending on the cause, it can be small, big, swollen and scattered.

Largely, other common sites of lip pimples are on the side portion of the lips and the adjacent portion of the lips. Pimple inside the mouth is caused by cold sores. In addition, appearances of the pimple also differ. Some become swollen due to forces of popping it using deity hands and accidental biting of the pimples during eating.

Others are big pimples secondary to swollen lip, which can become a cystic acne when not treated right away. To decrease swollen lip, use of warm/cold compresses is very significant. Pimples are not painful compared to cold sores, however it’s normal to have swollen pimples. Keeping away of the habit of pricking, popping out, or squeezing plays a great role in preventing further infection. (7)

How to get rid of pimple on lip?

The lip is a very sensitive part of the face and so extra attention is important. Never squeeze or pop lip pimples. Avoid touching it with dirty hands as it may spread the bacteria. It could worsen the existing pimples or could lead to the appearance of more pimples.

To prevent the infection and somehow ease the condition, you should do the following:

  1. Do not touch the pimple. Touching your lip frequently with your dirty hands can irritate and spread the bacteria onto your face.
  2. Clean the affected area of the lips with clean, antibacterial soap (sulfur) or glycerin soap.
  3. Maintain adequate hydration. Don’t allow your lips to become dry. Have an oral hydration.
  4. Use benzoyl peroxide/ salicylic acid. This can eradicate fungus and bacteria faster. Also, you may add tomato and green tea as they contain potent antioxidants, which helps get rid of pimples.
  5. Use only organic lip products. Avoid products that can irritate your lips. It is better to use water-based products as they have natural ingredients.
  6. Apply SPF Lip Balms during day time. Make it a habit to apply moisturizer daily.
  7. Apply a hot/cold compress for painful pimples.
  8. Always have a good oral hygiene. Stop touching your lips, or lip mocking to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  9. Take nutritious foods. Vitamin C can help increase immunity. Avoid oily foods.  Apply lime juice as it has antibacterial properties that will fight against germs.
  10. Consult your doctor for proper medical attention. If the lip pimple does not seem to go away despite desperate measures, then you need to see your doctor. It could indicate a more serious condition that warrants medical attention. (8, 9)

Medical and Surgical approaches

  • Use of steroids
  • Use of antihistamine
  • Use of antibacterial drugs
  • Pain relievers
  • Acyclovir
  • Laser therapy (cosmetics) (10)


  1. http://acne.knowfacts.org
  2. http://www.rightdiagnosis.com
  3. https://www.healthtap.com
  4. www.med-health.net
  5. http://www.glamcheck.com
  6. http://www.buzzle.com
  7. http://healththerapy.org
  8. www.skin-evolutions.co.u
  9. http://www.healcure.org
  10. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

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