Bumps on Lips: Causes, Home Treatments, Prevention Tips for Tiny Bumps on Your Lips

Bumps on Lips

Did you just notice the tiny red or white bumps on your lips? Well, there are many causes why you suddenly develop bumps on lips. It could be just due to a bite, consumption of hot food, or some serious health condition. While it’s not a major cause for concern, a white bump on the lip can sometimes indicate oral cancer, and it’s important to seek medical attention.

The painful lumps appear because of an irritant. Infections can create tiny bumps along or on the lips. In this article, we’ll discuss the underlying causes of lip bumps, home remedies, and the prevention measures.

Causes of Bumps on Lips

Following are the common causes of bumps on lips.

1. Cold Sores

Also known as oral herpes, the cold sores are a cluster of small blisters located on the lining of lip or mouth area. These tiny blisters are filled with pus and can rupture easily. Cold sores go away on its own within 1-2 weeks. Herpes simplex virus 1 is the main culprit behind these types of bumps on lips.

2. Acne

An early, premature acne development can also cause bumps on your lips. These are pustule-like bumps with a white cap, filled with pus. They can be painful since the lip is a sensitive area. Poor hygiene and hormonal imbalance are the main causes of acne.

3. Bacterial Infection

The lip bumps can be a symptom of a bacterial infection. Some infections could prompt the tiny red or white bumps on lips. It usually starts with an itchy feeling or twinging sensation on your lip. Old lip balms and lipsticks or contact with the infected lips can cause the bacterial infection.

4. Contact Allergies

Bumps from contact allergies look like papules or small lip blisters. The contact allergies often come from the allergen irritants found in lip balms, lip glosses, lipsticks, and lip creams.

The primary cause of the irritation is the harmful chemicals present in these lip products. Individuals can get contact allergy by kissing someone using these products. Other factors that cause contact allergies are pet danger, food, mold, and pollen.

5. Canker Sores

Canker sores are flat, small, white ulcers that pop up inside of the lip or mouth. They do not contain fluid, but they are often painful. These bumps show up where a previous cold sore was located or from previous bites inside of the mouth. Most cases are found in individuals ages 10-30.

Before these sores appear, you may feel a burning or tingling sensation on lips. Certain vegetables, acidic fruits, stress can worsen the condition. Canker sores usually appear three to four times a year.

If it’s more than four times, it could be a sign of malnutrition, ulcerating gastrointestinal disease or Crohn’s disease.

6. Fordyce’s Spots

These are the yellow or white spots found on your lips. These bumps are harmless, painless, and not contagious. They appear in clusters and are variants of the sebaceous glands. Fordyce’s spots can also appear inside of the mouth and on the genital area.

7. Oral Cancer

Lip bumps from cancer are rare and seen mostly in men smokers. The bumps appear on the face as the white patches. These bumps do not heal or vanish on their own, and eventually turn red from white. HPV (Human Papillomavirus), alcohol abuse, chewing tobacco are known to cause oral cancer.

8. Sunburn

Exposure to the sun can cause small bumps on the lip. These tiny bumps on lips look same as the color of your skin. The bumps are the repercussions of injured salivary glands, and the swelling of the glands produces the bumps.

9. Skin Tags

Skin tags are benign, harmless skin growth caused by constant friction. These type of small bumps on lips have the same color as your lips. Skin tags may appear on the other parts of your body too.

These bumps are not painful, but they can cause embarrassment. You dermatologist may use freezing, cutting, and burning methods to remove the tags.

How to Get Rid of Bumps on Lips?

Most cases of bumps on lips are treatable if they do not go away on its own. Here are a few treatments based on their causes.

1. Treatment for Allergies or Dermatitis

A doctor’s diagnosis is needed to rule out any other conditions that produce the same symptoms. Also, there are special cases that require certain treatments. Doctors often prescribe medicines that counter or reduce reactions. An example of this type of medicine is immunosuppressants.

2. Removal and Treatment for Fordyce Spots.

People wonder if the Fordyce spots go away on their own. The answer is yes. These spots do not need treatment, but they do appear irregular.

Doctors do not recommend getting these spots removed because these bumps do not produce pain. Fordyce spots are not harmful nor pose any serious health risk. Though, there is an option for removal if the individual wishes for it.

It is best to talk to a dermatologist before Fordyce spots removal to make sure other health issues will not impede the process. Typical removal procedures include carbon CO2 laser, pulsed-dye laser, and micro punch treatments.

3. Canker Sore or Cold Sore Remedies

There are no treatments available for treating canker or cold sores since they tend to come back. There are some canker sore remedies to ease the unpleasant symptoms.

4. Treatment for Lip Pimples

Getting rid of pimples on the lip is more challenging. Low-quality make-up products, certain lip care products can cause the pimples on your lip. The first thing you need to do is avoid the product that triggers a pimple.

The lip pimples can be cured using the acne medication that is often paired with antibacterial creams to maintain effectiveness. Stop using the lip products until the pimples are completely disappeared.

5. Other Medications

There are other medications to try depending on the cause of the bumps on lips. For example, bumps from oral herpes require antiviral drugs. The tip to keep in mind is medicines ease symptoms and not the virus.

Medications that treat acne include benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic acid, oral Isotretinoin creams and Azelaic acid. A dermatologist would probably prescribe Lidex ointment due to its potent antiviral properties.

Effective Home Remedies for Bumps on Lips

The bumps can form around the lip or inside of the mouth. Depending on the location and cause, these are some home remedies to try for bumps on lips.

1. Ice

Ice can be used to reduce pain caused by fever blisters or cold sores. There are two ways you can use ice as a remedy. One method is to place ice chips or cubes on the blister, and the other method is to suck on the ice.

2. Steam

The purpose of steam is to reduce inflammation and swelling when it is cold. This method is best used for pimples around the lips.

3. Wipe or Gentle Brush

Facial cleansers are best to use around the mouth after meals. They help clean the area and remove food particles. When using benzoyl peroxide, only use the recommended concentration. Another method is to use a soft toothbrush to gently remove dead skin and food particles from the lip area.

4. Licorice Tea

Licorice Tea is good for healing canker sores on the insides of the lip. Boil the water, steep licorice tea and leave it there to cool down. Take a sip of tea and cover the sore for five minutes. You can also spit out the tea after five minutes.

How to Prevent Bumps on Lips?

There are preventative measures to take for bumps on lips that do not need medical attention. These prevention tips can act as home remedies too. These tips help quicken the healing process and lessen unpleasant symptoms.

  • Brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss regularly
  • Replace toothbrush after an outbreak on the lip
  • Gargle with a warm saltwater rinse solution
  • Wash hands after touching the lip/bump area and avoid touching the bumps
  • For outdoor activities, use a lip balm containing SPF
  • Use lip products made with natural ingredients
  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated

When to See a Doctor?

There are a couple of categories of medical attention for bumps on lips. Though, it depends on the severity of the symptom. Seek immediate medical care when these symptoms arise.

  • Bleeding on lips that will not stop
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden swelling of lips
  • Rash break out that spreads rapidly

Make an appointment with a doctor when these symptoms arise

  • Very painful bumps
  • Bleeding bumps
  • Swelling jaw
  • Bumps that become bigger or worsen over time
  • Soft, white patchy area on lips
  • Tongue numbness

Bumps on lips can create embarrassment and self-consciousness when in public. They can be painful and sore too. Many bumps on lips cases are treatable or go away in a short period.

There are severe cases that do require medical attention. Before a doctor’s appointment, take notes on the size, shape, and color of the bumps to help the doctor pinpoint a cause and solution.

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Irene Entila

Irene is a health and fitness consultant based out of Albuquerque, NM. She was a personal trainer during the years of 2010-2013. She holds a Bachelors of Liberal Arts with a focus on creative writing from The Evergreen State College. She obtained her personal trainer license through Seattle Central College in 2010. Irene has been an athlete since childhood. She currently train and compete in ultra-marathon running and jiu jitsu. She started health writing in 2009 as a hobby through her personal blog. She believes that people can seek help from a trainer or trained profession to reach fitness and health goals. Though, people can learn a lot about them and promote self-sufficiency if they had affordable resources. By 2010, Irene started contributing to several health websites while completing her personal trainer certification and training for marathons. She saw how certain health variables affected her training and wanted to share this information with the public. Since then, Irene has written various articles about health and fitness featured on different magazines.