Pimples on Lip : Causes & Treatment


Pimples in themselves are bad enough and we all dread waking up in the morning to find one marring our face. Pimples on lip can be even worse, because the lips are not an area where pimples normally occur and you know that other people are bound to notice it. Pimples on lip can draw a lot of attention to your face, and not in a good way.

Pimples on lipPimples on lip can be unsightly. They also hurt a lot because the lips are one of the most sensitive areas of the body. Pimples on lip are made worse by the fact that your lips are an integral part of eating and drinking, so you will be irritating them every time you put something in your mouth, especially if it is salty or spicy. Most of us also tend to sometimes press our lips together a few times a day too, which will cause further pain and irritation.

A quick note. Pimples on lip should not be mistaken with the goose-bump like protuberances on the side corners of your lips. If you take a closer look in the mirror, you will notice that the corners of the lips have small raised white or skin-colored bumps. These are not pimples, they are merely sebaceous glands that are raised to slightly protrude from the skin. All people have them. In some, it is more noticeable than in others. But these are not pimples and will not go away. You just have to learn ways to minimize their appearance or live with them.

Causes of Pimples on Lip

  • Using cheap quality lipstick, lip gloss or lip balm can cause pimples on lip. The low-grade chemical  ingredients in these products can easily penetrate the skin of the lips and the skin surrounding the lips to cause damage that will manifest as a bacterial infection which causes pimples on lip. So think twice before cashing in on ‘bargain’ cosmetics.
  • Sometimes, an ingredient in even a good quality lip balm can cause an allergic reaction and give rise to pimples on lip.
  • Using expired face makeup can also cause pimples on lip as the cosmetics bleed onto the lips and can thus affect them.
  • One of the main symptoms of herpes – a sexually transmitted disease – is pimples on lip. These will be large, painful, and ulcer-like in appearance. They can often be mistaken for cold sores.
  • A poor diet is often the cause of pimples on lip.
  • If your body is going through hormonal changes caused by stress, puberty, menstruation or pregnancy, then you may develop pimples on lip.
  • Many people who have oily skin are more prone to pimples on lip than those who have normal or dry skin.
  • The fluoride in your toothpaste can also react badly with your skin and cause pimples on lip.
  • People who smoke seem to develop pimples on lip more often than people who do not.
  • If you do not clean your lips after eating fried or greasy foods, you may get pimples on lips as a result of all that buildup of oil.
  • Can your pimples on lip just be caused by bad hygiene? Yes, indeed they can. If you do not take care of your lips just like you do any other part of your body, there will be problems. So if you do not clean and exfoliate your lips regularly, you should be prepared for a bout of pimples on lips at any time.

Dealing With Pimples on Lip

Fortunately, pimples on lip can be gotten rid of and avoided with some simple alterations to your skin care routine and habits. The following tips for dealing with pimples on lip should be applied at all other times too so as to prevent pimples on lip from occurring in the future.

Adapt A Skin Care Routine for Lips

You probably have a skin care routine for your face, so why not include your lips so they too can gain the benefits? Yes, lips too can use daily cleansing and moisturizing, and the occasional exfoliation. You do not need to buy separate products for lip care. Just extend your normal skin care onto your lips as well. So when you are cleansing, make sure your fingers cover your lips too. When you are moisturizing, include the lips. A good way to exfoliate the lips is to use a toothbrush to gently brush away dead skin cells from the surface of your lips. This will prevent dead skin cells from developing on the surface of the lips, and will make your lips pink and healthy.

  • If you are using medicated skin care products, they may contain ingredients that are too sensitive for your lips. Always check with your dermatologist to ensure that the skin care products you are going to use for the lips will not affect them negatively. If not, at least check the directions for use. If they say to avoid lips, then follow the instructions.

Discard Offending Skin Care and Cosmetics Products

  • Firstly, throw away any lip care products that you think might be the culprit of your pimples on lip. Also check the expiration date on all your face makeup; don’t keep anything that’s older than three years. The makeup you apply on your face can easily cross on to your lips. So you need to make sure that what you put on your face is safe.
  • Change your toothpaste to one that does not contain fluoride.
  • Get rid of all cosmetic products like shampoos and soaps that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. This is a common ingredient in many cleansing beauty products today, but it is actually pretty bad for your skin and hair overall. Sodium lauryl sulfate is so strong and harsh that it is used to clean engine oil off machinery in big factories. Do you really want that stuff on your skin and hair? There is plenty of evidence to show that this is one of the worst irritants that a majority of the population react to without knowing it.   

Eat Well to get Rid of Pimples on Lip

Drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated. Take multi-vitamins to make up for any vitamin deficiency that may have caused your pimples on lip. Eat foods that have high levels of calcium and magnesium. You don’t really need to go hunt for foods that have nutritive value for pimples on lip. If you just eat a balanced diet high in fruits vegetable, nuts, seeds, grain, and pulses, you will easily combat not just pimples on lip but other health problems as well. Avoid caffeine. This includes tea, coffee, and sodas. Also avoid smoking.

Apply Compress

Hot and cold compress both work well for pimples on lip. After you have washed and cleansed your face, apply hot compress with a washcloth. Do this for a couple of minutes and you will notice a reduction in the pimple size and texture. Then continue with toning and moisturizing.

If the lips hurt or the pimple is unusually large, apply cold compresses. Do this at night just before you are going to bed as the cold compress can numb your lips, make your mouth feel lopsided, and prevent normal speech. The cold compress will also help to dry out the pimples.

Other Tips for Pimple on Lips

  • Do not touch your pimples on lip. Your hands are full of awful bacteria which are just waiting for the right environment to proliferate. You don’t want to get bacteria on your pimples on lips and make it worse. So make sure you make a conscious effort to keep your hands away from your face.
  • Don’t lick your lips either. This will dry out your lips and it can aggravate the pimples.
  • Apply an ointment with salicylic acid on the pimples on lips every few hours. The best thing to do if you have oily skin is to use a toner with salicylic acid as one of the ingredients. This will be better in the long run too as it can help prevent pimples on lip in the future.
  • Some people benefit from applying calamine lotion on the pimples on lips. Give it a try. Do not apply the calamine lotion all over the lips. Use a Q-tip to apply it directly and only on the pimple.
  • Wash your face with warm water, not hot.
  • Avoid any kind of makeup on your lips until the pimples go away. This means no lip balm, lip gloss, lipstick or concealer. These contain pore-clogging ingredients that will just worsen your pimples on lips.
  • Wash or wipe your lips clean after eating greasy foods. The longer the oil from that food settles on your lips, the worse your pimples on lips will get.
  • This may sound like a strange tip, but it’s a valid one. When you talk on your cellphone, make sure that the receiver is far away from your mouth and not touching the lips. There is more bacteria on the average cellphone than there is in your bathroom. Really, no kidding. So keep that thing well away from your lips. While you’re at it, you may want to hold it slightly away from your face too so it does not touch your face when you’re on the phone.

As your pimples on lips heal, they will harden, then start to scab like a wound, and eventually the scab will fall away and your lips will be back to their pre-pimple state.

Should you Pop Pimples on Lip?

This is really more of a personal choice and its hard to say whether or not pimples on lip should be popped. Ideally, you shouldn’t touch your pimples at all except when you are washing or cleaning the affected area. But it is not always possible to wait patiently for a pimple to go away. If you can see the head of the pimple – that’s the yellowish or whitish part that shows the pus trapped underneath the skin of the lips – then there is a chance that you will be able to pop your pimples on lip easily. Here’s how you do it.

  • First apply a hot compress on the pimple for about half a minute. This will help to relax the pimple and will make it easier to pop.
  • Next, take two cotton swabs and place on either side of the pimple. Start gently pushing each swab toward the other with a little pressure. This will encourage the pus in the pimple to come together in a single place, and the pressure will cause the skin to break. Pus will start to ooze from the pimple.
  • Repeat the process until you can feel that no more pus is in the pimple. This is usually the case when the pimple starts to bleed. The blood means that the pus is gone and is giving way to the blood cells underneath.
  • Do not wash immediately. The site of the popped pimple is raw and washing will simply aggravate the exposed skin. Wait for a couple of minutes. It might surprise you but this is all the time needed for your body’s healing system to start those cells on knitting a new layer of skin over the raw area.
  • You can now wash your whole face with warm water and a non-comedogenic face wash.
  • Finally, apply an antibiotic directly onto the are where the pimples on lip used to be. You can forgo the antibiotic and simply use aloe vera gel as it works wonders in accelerating the healing process.

Remember though that a pimple needs to be ripe for the popping. If it isn’t, you risk being scarred. And pimple scars can take months or even years to heal. Another thing to consider before popping a pimple is that if you do not get it right, the pimple will return again and again. So before you go down this road make sure its worth it.


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