Bump on Lip

Bump on lip can occur due to minor causes or severe underlying conditions. Some of the common causes and associated symptoms and treatments of bump on lip are listed below.

Causes of bump on lip

Bumps on lips may occur due to the following causes:

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  • Cold sores: Also known as oral herpes, cold sores is one of the most common causes of bump on lip. It occurs due to infection by the herpes simplex virus 1 or HSV 1. The condition is highly contagious and can spread via oral sex, kissing, and sharing drinks with infected people. Most American adults are carriers of the infection. Children are also vulnerable to developing it.
    • Cold sores is marked by formation of fragile blisters on the inside portion of the cheeks and mouth, the lip surface, and other parts of the mouth. The lesions are prone to rupture, leaving a roughened lip surface which can last for about 2 weeks or more.
    • It is quite easy to manage the signs and symptoms of HSV 1 infection. Malnutrition, poor hygiene, an impaired immune system, use of immunosuppressant drugs, and underlying diseases like HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc., can however worsen the condition and make it difficult to manage and treat.
    • Cancer: Bump on lip can also be a symptom of oral cancer. The associated sores or bumps usually fail to heal easily, they may be whitish or reddish in color and occur in clusters/patches, and the swelling may spread to other parts of the mouth, the tongue, and the jaw. Some patients may experience loosening of the teeth and changes in voice.
      • Frequent smoking and increased use of tobacco and tobacco products, an underlying HPV/human papilloma virus infection, as well as alcohol abuse can increase the risk to development of oral cancer. Men are more prone to developing oral cancer than women.
      • Oral cancer carries the risk of metastasizing to other tissues; it is therefore very vital to diagnose the causes of bump on lip. Oral cancer is treated via surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.
      • Fordyce spots: Fordyce spots is a non-contagious and benign condition marked by occurrence of tiny reddish or white papule-like spots/bumps on lips. It can also affect the inside wall of the mouth and/or the genitals. The solid bumps on skin usually occur in clusters of 50 or 100 and can affect a large percentage of the adult population. It is caused due to overgrowth of the sebaceous glands.
        • The harmless bumps on lips are not associated with any health complications and hence do not require any medical treatment. Patients may however contact a dermatologist for cosmetic reasons.
        • Bacterial infection: Reddish and itchy bump on lip, as well as on the corners of the mouth, typically occurs due to a bacterial infection. The bumps may look like blisters, cause pain, and may be filled with pus.
          • Bacterial infections of the lips and mouth may occur due to use of old chap sticks or lipsticks or sharing them with an infected person. It is treated with antibiotics.
          • Acne: Premature acne formation is another known cause of bump on lip. The bumps are similar to pustules and filled with fluids. Oral acne often occurs due to poor skin care and hormonal disturbances.
          • Lichenoid Inflammation/Spongiosis: It is a type of infection that causes small reddish bump on lip. It is a mild condition which clears on its own after 4 to 5 days. Contact of the lips to certain medications or allergens is the main cause.
          • Contact allergy: Hypersensitivity to lip glosses, lip balms, lipsticks, and other kinds of lip creams can trigger an allergic reaction and cause bump on lip. The chemicals present in different lip products can irritate the mucosa of the lip and cause the abnormal bumps. Kissing a partner who uses lip products that you are allergic to can also cause bumps on lips. Allergy to certain foods or environmental elements like pet dander, mold, pollen, and mildew, etc. is another known cause.
            • Antihistamines can help alleviate the symptoms. Avoid exposure to allergens and allergic causing lip products to prevent future cases of bump on lip.
            • Improper lip hygiene/care: Inadequate lip care can also trigger the development of sores or bump on lip. It is especially prevalent during winter and cold conditions when the lips tend to become flaky and dry. Lack of moisture in the environment and continuous licking or biting of the lips are other causes. In some cases, the bumps on lips may exhibit bleeding.
            • Sunburn: Unprotected and excessive exposure to UV light can damage the lips’ salivary glands, thereby increasing the risk to formation to bump on lip. The bumps are flesh colored and the lips feel like sandpaper on touch.

            bump on lip line

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Treatment of bump on lip

Treatment of bump on lip is dependent on the underlying cause. A few common treatment options are listed below:

  • Acne and other mild conditions are treated with medicated creams. Pain, soreness, discomfort, dryness, and blisters are treated with varied topical lip ointments and creams.
  • Home remedies include application of cocoa butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera to moisturize the lips and alleviate flaky lip skin.
  • Bump on lip can be removed via cryotherapy and/or laser therapy. Severe cases may require surgery and skin grafting to repair any damage to lip skin.
  • Good personal hygiene, quitting smoking, limited alcohol intake, and safe sex can help prevent bump on lip.


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