Pimples on lip or lip pimples are often confused with cold sores (fever blisters or herpes), among other conditions that are characterized by swollen blister like, acne like zit or pimple appearances near, around and on your lips ( including on lip corners, side of the lip, upper lip, lower lip or even on the insider or inner lip).
Pimples on lips vs. cold sores (fever blisters or herpes pimples)
To make everything clear, let us start by doing a small analysis of lip pimple vs. cold sores. This will ensure that immediately you get a pimple on lip, you know if it is a cold sore or just a normal pimple. We will then look at the causes of pimples on lips and much more.
Cold sores, Oral Herpes (HSV-1, Herpes Simplex Virus-1)
Cold sores are “are small and somewhat painful blisters that usually show up on or around a person’s lips, are caused by herpes simplex virus-1(HSV-1)”. These painful fever blisters can show up on your lips, in your mouth, face, gum, chin, neck, mouth roof, throat, tongue, on your genital area among other parts of your body. If you have these sores on your genitals, they are caused by specifically herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2).
Some of the common symptoms of sores on lips caused by oral herpes include “pain, burning, tingling, or itching occurs at the infection site before the sores, bumps, pimple-like lesions, or blisters” appear.
Afterwards you will have “clusters of painful blisters or vesicles erupt or ooze with a clear to yellowish fluid that may develop into a yellowish crust” and they will tend to quickly break down, become crusty and yellow.
You should definitely know you have cold sores if you have other symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, irritability and unexplained tiredness. Therefore, if you have pimples on your lips and feeling sick, it might be herpes.
Normal pimple on lip (including acne or zits)
On the other hand, a lip pimple “is a kind of a condition of the skin in which the dead skin cells and oil get stuck in the hair follicles, turning them in to small reddish lesions [med-health.net]. Most people will tend to have a whitish tip on their pimple, an indication they are filled with pus and/or are an inflamed hair follicle.
In most cases, pimples do not heal fast and there is a tendency of them reappearing again. You might also end up with some sort of marks or lip pimple scars.
If you are suffering from normal pimple on your lips (acne or zits), you will not have any of the symptoms of cold sores. These pimples can appear on your lip line, at the corner of your lips (mouth), inside your lips, under nose above lips area, on lower lip, among other areas near your lips.
We are now done with the issue of herpes or pimple on lip. You should be able to tell the difference easily. Let as look at the causes of lip pimples.
Can you get a pimple on your lip or what causes pimple lips
If you are wondering whether it is possible to get a pimple on your lip, the answer is yes. Anyone can get lip pimples. In fact, many people often suffer from both pimples and zits on their lips at certain points of their lives. In some extreme case, these lip pimples won’t go way no matter what they do! Perhaps an important issue we should focus on is the actual causes of these pimples on your lips before looking at ways of treating them.
In general, pimples on human body are caused by bacteria build up, hyperactive oil glands and hair follicle irritation as the dead skin cells are being shed off. To be specific, of the common causes of pimples on lips include:
1. Hormonal imbalance
Hormonal imbalances during various stages of growth can cause pimples including the ones on your lips. For instance, most women will have pimples on lips during pregnancy due to hormonal changes at this critical stage of their lives. Similarly, during puberty (especially in teenagers) there is a higher likelihood of pimples due to hyperactive glands and hormonal changes.
2. Sexually transmitted diseases
As seen already, contracting herpes, a sexually transmitted infection, can cause lip pimples. However, you can easily know them since they will be in small clusters, have an ulcer-like look and be painful. We do not intend to dwell much on lip pimples caused by herpes as we have already discussed much on them.
3. Skin type
Another possible reason for pimple on your lips could be your skin type. Generally, people who have oily skins have been found to be more prone to pimples even on their lips compared to other skin types. Therefore, if you have an oily skin type, these could be the reason.
4. Inexpensive and low quality lip makeup
Some of the inexpensive lip glosses, lipsticks, moisturizers, and lip balm have been associated with pimples on lips. Most of these products may contain harmful and low quality ingredients which get absorbed into your skin. Furthermore, they “log the pores on the skin surrounding your lips” [cosmopolitan.com]. This can promote bacterial build up and be behind your pimples.
5. Allergic reactions
If you often develop pimples on your lips each time you use certain lip care products, you might be allergic to some of the ingredients present. In addition, some people are allergic even to the finest qualities of lip care products due to the ingredients they have.
6. Contaminated and expired lip care products
Using contaminated and expired lip makeup can also cause these pimples. Once these lip care products expire, or get contaminated they can easily harbor some pathogens which will bleed onto your lips and be a cause of pimples and other infections on your lips.
7. Greasy, fatty and poor diet
Eating greasy unhealthy foods as well as a poor general diet can result to pimples on your body including your lips. You are likely to develop acne like pimples or even whiteheads on your lips because of such foods.
8. Personal hygiene
Just like body pimples, pimples on lips can be caused by poor hygiene that might include not cleaning your lips after eating greasy foods (this can results to oil build up that will block pores on your lip line) as well as not clean and exfoliating your lips regularly.
9. Medication that contain corticosteroids or lithium
People who use medications that contain corticosteroids or lithium tend to suffer from pimples generally. These medication are thought to be behind these pimples even on lips.
Other causes of lip pimples
There are many other causes of these pimples that affect some people while the do not affect others. Some of these causes include:
- Smoking – it has been observed that smokers tend to have these problem that non smokers
- Fluoride in toothpastes – some people react to fluoride in toothpastes and they may develop pimple or zits on their lips.
- Stress – some people complain of ‘pimples near lips that come back with stress’. They deserve to know that too much stress can also cause pimples including the ones on lips.
- Harsh environment conditions and pollution
- Genetic factors in some people.
Chronic pimples on your lips
If you suffer from chronic pimples on your lips, some of the common causes will include the following:
Pimple on upper lip or pimple above lip
One common area you are likely to have lip pimples is on your upper lip. Just like any other pimple on your lips, it can be either be a cold sore or normal pimple (zit or acne). The symptoms are not different depending on whether it is cold sore or not. The above lip pimple could make your upper lip to swell if it is big or if you try to pop (popping it then it does pop) or irritate it.
Other than the already discussed causes, other causes of pimples on upper lips or pimple under nose above lip include:
- Waxing – If you get pimples or a pimple on top of lip after waxing, it can be as a result of irritated hair follicles. However, if it happens after some time, it could also be due to ingrown hair.
- Threading – if you develop upper lip pimple under nose after threading, this could be the cause.
- Lip piercing – if you have an upper lip piercing, an infection could cause a pimple or bubble. However, the bubble or bump will be on the piercing. This is due to an infected lip piercing.
On how to get rid of pimples on your upper lip, try the various ways we will discuss on the section on treatment and getting rid of lip pimples. Quick fixes or home remedies you can try include applying toothpaste or a mixture of baking soda and water to help dry it out.
Many people have reported that Clearasil Night Cream is also very helpful. If you have a pimple on your upper lip that won’t heal, you should see a dermatologist.
Note: a lip pimple can also be red. This is way is commonly known as red pimple on lip. The causes of red pimples include sores, cankers or acne,
Pimple on bottom lip or lower lip
Just like your upper lip, you could also have pimple on lower lip or on your bottom lip. Its causes are just the common causes we have seen. However, treading, waxing and piercing could also cause such a pimple. Furthermore, it could be swollen, big, small or a cluster (if caused by herpes), depending on the causes.
Pimple near lips, around, next to lips, on lip crease and on chin
Other common locations you might get lip pimples are near, around and at the corner of your lips or next to your lips. You can also have pimple on side of lip. Causes of such pimples are the usual ones we have already mentioned that include stress, STIs, hormonal changes especially at puberty and pregnancy among others.
These zits or pimples can also be painful, swollen, small or big depending on the cause. For instance, a cystic acne might be big, painful and it won’t pop easily. To manage them, you will follow the various ways we will discuss later in this article.
One common area that often has pimples is the chin and on the lip crease. Chin pimples are generally bigger, more painful and often pus filled. They are as a result of reaction of the excess sebum and bacteria on your skin. To get further details, see chin acne.
Pimple inside lip or inside mouth
If you have pimples inside your lips, they could be caused by cold sores, “canker sores, mucous cysts, oral lichen planus and inflamed papillae”. You will generally feel pimple like bump on inside mouth. They do affect toddlers, teenagers or even adults.
In terms of location, these pimples can be on the surface inside of lip, inner lip corners, roof of your mouth, and on the inner surface of your checks.
On treatment, most of these conditions can heal on their own. However, you can also see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment especially for cases where they make it hard for you to eat, swallow or talk. Furthermore, in case the pimple inside lip won’t go way and it hurts, treatment will be necessary to do away with the discomfort.
Swollen lip pimple, fat or huge
At times, you might end up with swollen lip from pimple, especially if you have a very big lip pimple or if you tried to squeeze or pop it. Swelling of pimple on lips can also be aggravated by accidentally biting the pimple or food touching it as you eat. Don’t be surprised if you end up with a fat lip from pimple attack.
Other than having a big pimple, irritating it or trying to pop it, another common causes of swollen lip from pimple could be cystic acne which is normally very huge Sometimes, you can have a swollen pimple not just on the lip but also on your chin..
To help soothe a swollen lip due to a pimple, go for warm compresses, cold compresses and apply some toothpaste on the pimple. It is advisable not to use some of the topical products which can be harmful if ingested. Finally, avoid licking the pimple or trying to pop it.
Are lip pimples painful?
When compared to cold sores, pimples are not very painful unless you irritate or try to pop them unsuccessfully. However, it is normal to have “inflamed lesion you call a pimple”.
If you have a lip pimple that hurts so bad, it could be cystic acne under your skin. This kind will always be very painful and any attempt to pop it will only make things worse. You are also likely to develop a scar if you attempted to forcefully pop it before it is ripe.
To soothe s painful pimple on lip, try home remedies such as cold compresses, warm compresses and avoid touching or irritating it. If you have redness, you can try neosporin to reduce it.
Small pimple on lip
In terms of size, you can have small pimple on your lips or a huge one. If you have little pimples on lips that are clustered and any of the other symptoms of cold sores we saw earlier in this discussion, it could be an indication you have cold sores.
As shape.com reports, when you have cold sores “small groups of fluid-filled blisters will form, usually on the outer border of one of your lips. Eventually these will pop, crust up, or form a yellowish scab”. However one small pimple that is not painful or not accompanied with other symptoms of cold sores might just be a zit or acne pimple.
Huge pimple on lips
A huge pimple on your lip caused by an insect bite or ingrown hair. The other common cause of big pimples on lips is hormonal imbalance. It is advisable not to mess up with it as it can get bigger and cause a lip swollen from pimple. To sooth it, try applying cold compresses.
How to get rid of a pimple on your lip, cure, treatments and home remedies
The most important part of this discussion is perhaps how to get rid of lip pimples. As we look at lip pimple treatments, will discuss various ways including home remedies that will be helpful. So, what do you do to zits, acne or pimple on your lips?
1. Careful choice of lip makeup
As seen previously, lip makeup can clog air pores around your lip skin and cause pimples. When choosing lip makeup, go for sheer lip glosses and those that have less pigment (less opaque brands). The more pigmented a brand is, the more likely it will clog air pores.
Furthermore, go for lip makeup whose main ingredients are olive oil and panthenol while you avoid coconut oil (it’s oily and can clog pores). Olive oil and panthenol are less irritating. The Kiehl’s Light Lip Gloss is a perfect choice for people who have pimples on the lip.Avoid any lipstick that will tend to encourage dust and dirt to stick on your lips or any that has ingredients you are allergic to.
2. Keep good lip hygiene and anti-acne products
Another way to get rid of lip pimples is to ensure you always keep your lips clean. After eating greasy foods, ensure you get rid of excess grease on your lip line. Using a pad soaked with salicylic acid toner can ensure your lips are thoroughly clean. A good product to use on your lips after washing your face is Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Cleansing Pads.
If you have stubborn pimples on your lips that won’t go away easily, you could try using the various anti-acne products in the market as well as some medicated mouthwashes. It is also advisable that you do not use soap when cleaning your lips.
Creams containing 20 percent of azelaic acid and 5% benzoyl peroxide are good for acne and pimples. In addition, go for lotions and creams that have zinc as it helps fight pimples.
Finally, avoid licking your lips since this can worsen the problem and ensure you also keep your bed sheets and you general environment clean. Do not put dirty mobile phones close to your lips.
3. Lip scrubbing and exfoliation
Ensure you always scrub your lips to get rid of any dead skin regularly. Lip exfoliation can be done with any of the good lip exfoliators available in the market or homemade and natural ones. An easy way to exfoliate your lips is gently scrubbing your lips after you have brushed your teeth. This will remove any dead skin whose accumulation can lead to acne, zits and pimples.
4. Hot or cold compresses
A good home remedy for lip pimple is hot compress. Take a clean piece of cloth, deep it in warm water and apply it on the part of your lip with a pimple. This will help soothe it and reduce its appearance especially if you have a swollen lip from pimple or one that hurts. At times, cold compresses can also be equally helpful.
5. Face care products
Some of the face care products might be affecting your lips and causing it to have pimples. Try changing the face washes, lotions and soaps to see if the problem can go away. Cleanser with lavender oil, tea tree oil and arctium lappa can be of help on your lip pimples.
6. Do not pop or squeeze pimples
If you are trying to get rid of lip on your lip pimples fast, one temptation you are likely to get into is popping the pimples. Do not pop them. This does not just apply to pimples on lip (upper, lower or inner lips) but to all pimples generally. Popped pimple on lip will only worsen the situation since they might spread bacteria around your lips. Bacteria accumulation is one of the causes of pimples as seen earlier.
7. Apply foods with alpha hydroxyl acids
Another simple home remedy for zits on lips is to topically use foods rich in Alpha hydroxyl acids. Try to use citrus fruits such as grapes, apples and oranges on your lips to help remove any dead skin as well as open any clogged pores on your lips.
8. Good diet and plenty of water
Always ensure your diet is rich in zinc, magnesium, vitamin A and E as they can work well in reducing acne and pimple breakouts. Retinol for instance is rich in vitamin A and that is why it is used to treat pimples. Keep way from products that have caffeine and ensure you drink enough water. If you smoke, quit it.
9. Stress managements
If you lead a stressful life, ensure you use various ways and therapies to manage it. Stress is also harmful to you in many other ways including generating free radicles that can cause early aging.
10. Try herbs
Some herbs and herbal medicated ointments can be of help. Get for herbs such as castor oil, eucalyptus, basil and neem and apply them on the affected areas.
How to pop lip pimple
To be realistic, waiting for the pimple to disappear on its own is not easy. Popping is not recommend but it is a fact that some people cannot stand seeing the pimple on their lips. I once tried popping a pimple and this pimple above lip won’t pop because I did it so early. Wait until you see the yellow or whitish head of the pimple. To pop it,
- Apply a hot compress for a minute to make popping easier
- Get two cotton swabs and gently start pushing them towards each other, one on either side of the pimple. Be gentle as you increase the pressure until the pus begins oozing out after the skin has broken.
- Continue squeezing until all the pus gets out. When you see blood, you can stop because it means all the pus has come out. Do not wash it immediately as this can cause irritation.
Note that if you pop a pimple before it is ripe, you can end up with lip pimple scar that will take so long to disappear.
When to seek for lip pimple treatment
If in trying all the above, you do not see any signs of improvement, you need to see a dermatologist for further treatment and advice. This is recommended for individuals who have chronic pimples on their lips. Treatments such as vaporizing laser therapy can be ideal if you have chronic lip pimples that leave dark marks and spots.