How do bumps on corners of lips arise? Are all bumps on lips itchy and contagious? Can chapped lips cause lip bumps? Below are overviews of different authorities in field of dermatology [University of Michigan, university of Birmingham, The Indian Journal of Dental Research, The American osteopathic collage of Dermatology and various Doctors on WebMD]. Also in the article you will find, Treatment and how to get rid of bumps on lips using natural remedies.

Bumps on Lip

bumps on lips

white bumps on lips

Bumps on lips are sometimes embarrassing and discomforting and hence need to be addressed quickly. These bumps can come in small patches either on the upper or lower lips. Sometimes, though, both lips are more concerned if they are cold sores. But there are a lot of other possible causes other than a type of STD [sexually transmitted disease] infections. Below are the causes of bumps on lip as per different authorities in the field of dermatology.

I2 Causes of Bumps on Lips

  1. Mucous Cyst [mucocele]

Mucous Cyst can start out as a small red spot on the lip and turn into a cyst.  They are also called mucocele. According to Dr. Linda J. Vorvick on WebMd, mucous are caused sucking the lip membranes between your teeth or by lip piercings and if left untreated they can cause a permanent bump on the lip.

According to The Indian Journal of Dental Research found, mucous lip cyst, usually appear on the inside of the lower lip and also appear under the tongue. And that stress can also be a factor that cause mucous lip cyst. The research found that 39% of men in their 20s and 30s were more likely to bite their lips or cheeks while under stress, thus causing mucous cyst.

  1. Cold Sores [fever Blisters]

Cold sores can also be referred to as fever Blisters, according to Dr. Varnada Karriem-Norwood on WebMD, fever blisters or cold sores can start out as a small bump on the lip and then turn into a group of small blisters around the mouth which are red, swollen, and sore.  He also says that cold sore or fever blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus [HSV] which can also cause swollen taste buds.

 According to University of Michigan, herpes simplex virus HSV enters the body through a break in the skin and can be transmitted by kissing an infected person, sharing eating utensils or razors. And that the most common triggers of cold sores are; stress, fatigue, fever, menstruation, intestinal problems and sunlight.

Cold sore is a very common infection in America affecting 26% of adults and 8% of children every year.

  1. Perioral Dermatitis

The American Osteopathic Collage of Dermatology says that Perioral dermatitis is characterized by a red rash around the mouth, which can appear bumpy and slightly scaly. And that the exact cause is not known, but though overuse of steroid creams and sprays could cause the condition.

  1. Acne

Bumps on the lips can also be a sign of premature acne development. People who suffer from hormonal imbalance and practice poor skin care often fall victim to oral acne. If you observe that the bumps are pustule-like in nature [ Skin elevations or encapsulations with liquid material inside] then this might be a case of oral acne.

  1. Contact allergy

Those who are thought to be non-allergic might actually be hypersensitive to certain lip balms, lip glosses, lipsticks and other lip creams. These products may contain chemicals that irritate the lip mocusa, like mica and titanium, which adds a sparkling or glossy look to the lips when applied. If you are not using these products, you must also examine if your partner is using them. You might be kissing somebody who’s frequently using lip products that you are allergic to. Other than food products, according to DR. Rob Hicks on WebMD says that, certain environmental allergens can also cause small bumps on the lips, like molds, mildew, pet dander and pollens.  He also says that this could be a sign of anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.

  1. Milia Spots

Milia spots appear as little white bumps. They occur when small, dead skin cells becomes trapped in the skin. While milia spots most commonly occur on the face, they can also appear on the lips.

  1. Oral cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer forms malignant cells in the lip or mouth and these can cause a lump or sore on the lips. The lips could also thicken and you may see white or red patches on the inside of your mouth.

Also according to DR. Rob Hicks on WebMD, says that an unexplained bump on your lip could be a symptom of lip and oral cancer and that if you have a bump on your lip that doesn’t go away, you should see your doctor because early diagnosis is the key to treating oral cancer successfully.

  1. Sunburn

According to DR. Michael Friedman on WebMD, says that overexposure to the sun, can cause blisters to appear on lips. Usually, the lower lip is affected more often because it is exposed to the sun more than the upper lip. These blisters can become painful and swollen and cause discomfort when eating.  He also says sunburned lips can also trigger cold sores.

  1. Fordyce Spots

Fordyce spots are tiny white bumps under the skin of your lips, and can be simply described as sebaceous glands in the lips without any hair follicles. Usually, if you stretch your lips the bumps become more visible.

According to doctors at University of Birmingham, Fordyce spots are a natural occurrence, which are harmless and not contagious. They do not require any treatment, provided you do not squeeze or pick the bumps.

  1. Canker sores

Canker sores are small round white sores that form inside your mouth. They can range from tiny bumps on your lip to large clusters of sores in your mouth. According to The Indian Journal of Dental Research, the exact cause of canker sores is unknown. The research further indicates that, small injuries, food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, ulcers-causing bacteria or stress can all cause outbreaks of canker sores.

  1. Bacterial infection

You may not recognize it immediately, but as soon as you feel a slight itch on your lips, you can never rule out the possibility that it may also be an acute bacterial attack. The use of old lipsticks and infected Chap Stick tubes that are shared between several persons are common sources of bacterial infection.

  1. Oral Thrush

Oral thrush usually causes white spots or bumps to appear in the mouth and it can also cause white spots on your throat. However, oral thrust can also cause the area around the mouth to become sore, cracked and red. This can cause discomfort when eating or drinking. Dr Michael Friedman on WebMD, Says that oral thrust is caused by the Candida fungus and this can spread to the mouth when the delicate balance of microorganism in the mouth is upset.

You can be more at risk to oral thrush if you take antibiotics or have a weak immune system. Because Candida is yeast, you should limit sugar intake to help prevent thrush. Good dental hygiene practices can also help to prevent oral thrush.

Why do I have a Bump on the inside of my lip?

white bumps inside lips

bumps inside lips

According to John Hopkins School of Medicine, Small, pimple-like bumps inside your mouth can be caused by multiple conditions such as canker sores, mucous cyst, oral lichen planus and inflamed papillae. These conditions usually resolve on their own, but certain medications can relieve some of the accompanying pain and discomfort.

  • Canker sores-Canker sores are ulcers that usually appear on the base of your gums, tongue, the roof of your mouth and the inner surface of your lips and cheeks. Canker sores start as painful, red bumps, and then develop into open ulcers with a yellow or white middle. Canker sores could be triggered by hormonal changes, food allergies, menstrual periods, stress and poor diet.
  • Inflamed papillae-Little pimple like bumps on your tongue may be inflamed papillae, this inflammation can be caused by injury such as biting your tongue or burning it with hot food. This condition typically heals on its own, however medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may decrease pain caused by inflamed papillae.
  • Oral lichen planus-Oral lichen planus is an inflammatory condition affecting mucous membranes in your mouth. This inflammation causes raised bumps or lines on the sides of your tongue and inside of your cheeks. You may also have red, open sores in those areas. Triggers of oral lichen planus may include liver disease, hepatitis C infection, certain medications and vaccines or allergies. They can be treated with drugs such as, corticosteroids, retinoid and antibacterial agents.
  • Mucous cyst-Mucous cysts usually appear on the inner lip surface. Less commonly they affect the inside of the cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth and the tongue. Mucous cysts are painless, thin, fluid-filled sacs. These cysts can be caused by damage to a salivary duct, such as trauma caused by sucking your lips between your teeth. Trauma from lip and mouth piecing may also cause mucous cyst to form. These cysts may rupture and drain on their own, however more frequently surgery is required to remove the cyst.

Can Chapped Lips Cause Bumps on Your Lips

Chapped lips caused by dehydration usually start out with mild irritation or redness and worsen over time if you fail to remedy the conditions causing the dryness. If you go outdoors without protecting your lips with sunscreen, sun damage can cause the same blistering, drying and scaling on your lips as it does on other parts of your body.

Your mouth may tingle for several days before a cold sore flare-up. Cold sores start with small blister that break and ooze, then crust over. The sore usually clear up within two weeks.

White Bumps on Lip

bumps on lips

pus filled bump on lip

On rare occasions, a hard white bump on your lip could be a symptom of a more serious condition like lip or oral cancer. According to Journal of The America Academy of Dermatology, one of the signs of lip cancer is a white sore on the lip that doesn’t heal. This could develop into a thickened white or red patch on the lips gums or mouth.

Bumps on Corners of lips

According to American osteopathic collage of dermatology, Bumps on corners of the mouth can be due to either canker sores or cold sore.  Some of the bumps on the corners of the lips may have No serious medical complication while others have ability of resulting into fatal complications.

If the bumps on the corners of the mouth are identified as canker sores they may have arisen due to due to:

  • Immune system suppression
  • Stress or bacteria
  • Hormonal changes
  • Exposure to sodium lauryl sulphate in oral hygiene.
  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Injury

On the other hand bumps on the corners of mouth identified as cold sore may have arisen due to herpes simplex.

How to Get rid of Bumps on Lip-Home Remedies

Below are home remedies to get rid of bumps on lips as captured by Journal of the America Academy of Dermatology.

  1. Cold or Hot compress

Ice reduces swelling and constricts the oil glands in your skin. As a result, the excess oil and bacteria are flushed out from the inflamed glands. The hot compress works similarly by reducing the swelling and increases the blood flow to the affected area.

How to use cold or hot compress:

  • Place the ice cubes in the towel and press it gently against the pimple for a few minutes.
  • Dip the towel in hot water, wring out the excess and place it on the pimple.
  • Repeat this a few times a day as you may like.
  1. Castor oil

Castor oil cleanses and unclogs your pores by absorbing the impurities present in it. Its antibacterial properties get rid of the acne causing bacteria. All essential oils recommended in this remedy also possess antibacterial properties and can speed up the healing process of the pimple on your lip.

How to use castor oil:

  • Add the essential oil to the castor oil and mix well.
  • Apply a drop of this on the pimple and the area around it.
  • Leave it on overnight.
  • Repeat this every night before going to bed. This remedy can also be repeated during the day.
  1. Benzoyl peroxide

    cold sore on lip

    cold sore on lip

Benzoyl peroxide is considered highly effective and ideal by various medical practitioners in treatment of acne. Benzoyl peroxide treat acne by primarily unclogging the skin pores. It also kills the bacteria responsible for acne and other cystic skin lesions.

How to use Benzoyl peroxide:

  • Wash the affected area with a mild soap and pat it dry.
  • Take a small amount of the gel and apply it on and around the pimple.
  • Leave it on for as long as it is recommended on the tube.
  • Use the gel once or twice a day or as suggested by your doctor. For children below the age of twelve years, it is always better to go by what the doctor says.
  1. Turmeric

Turmeric has antimicrobial and healing properties which help to get rid of you lip bump without leaving any scar behind.

To use Turmeric:

  • Make a paste by adding some water to the turmeric powder.
  • Apply this on the pimple and leave it on for as long as possible.
  • You can rinse it off with plain water.
  • Apply turmeric paste twice a day.
  1. Honey

Honey can effectively exert bactericidal effects on different strains of bacteria. Its low PH will make the atmosphere unsuitable for the bacteria and also dry out your pimple.

How to use honey:

  • Apply some honey on the pimple and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Then, wash off the honey with distilled water.
  • Repeat this twice a day.
  1. Tomato

Tomato contains organic acids that have antimicrobial properties. Its vitamin C content will help in repairing the damaged skin cells at the affected sites.

To use Tomato:

  • Cut the tomato into small pieces and mash it.
  • Apply a few drops of this pulp on the pimple and let it dry.
  • Rinse it off after about ten minutes.
  • Store the remaining pulp in the refrigerator for use during the day.
  • Do this 2-3 times a day.
  1. Use non-gel Toothpaste

Non-gel toothpaste contains antibacterial agents that kill the acne- causing bacteria. They also contain hydrogen peroxide and baking soda that can help to dry out the pimple and heal it faster.

How to use toothpaste:

  • Cleanse your face and pat it dry.
  • Apply the toothpaste on the pimple.
  • Keep it on for 20 minutes and then wipe it off with a damp washcloth.
  • Repeat this twice a day.
  1. Diluted tea tree oil

Tea tree oil and acne treatment are synonymous in the skin care industry. Its high potency in killing the pimple-causing bacteria is what makes it a go-to remedy for bumps on lips.

How to use diluted tea tree oil:

  • Dilute the tea tree oil by mixing it with olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Apply this on the affected area and leave it on to sit for over 30 minutes.
  • Reapply twice a day.

 Bump on Lip Treatment

  • Topical painkillers such as acyclovir are prescribed for cold sores. They speed up healing of the sores.
  • Use natural lip products as much as possible. Artificial additives that add flavor and extra shimmer to the product may irritate your lips.
  • Vaporizing laser therapy is used to treat Fordyce’s spots among patients who consider them aesthetically bothersome. But most doctors won’t recommend the procedure because the condition is pretty minor and may even be considered normal.
  • Steroids and antihistamine are used for small bumps on the lips caused by certain hypersensitivities [allergies] while antibiotics are prescribed for oral bacterial infection.
  • Dryness of the lips can be prevented with frequent hydration either by drinking water regularly or by patting water on your lips to make them wet.
  • Use lip balms with the recommended SPF if you are constantly doing outdoor activities like swimming and outside sports.

Further references:

  1. Bumps around mouth, corners, Lips, Nose, white, itchy, painful, child , get rid healtreatcure.org/bumps/bumps-around-mouth-corners-lips-nose-white-itchy-get-rid/
  2. White bumps on lips https://www.healthline.com/health/white-bumps-on-lips
  3. Bumps on lips https://smptomchecker.webmd.com/multiple-symptoms?symptoms=cracks-at-corner-of-mouth/
  4. Callah, R,” what are little Bumps on the Lips?” Livestrong https://www.livestrong.com/articles/what-are-little-bumps-on-the-lips/