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Pimples are a type of acne that can develop on most parts of the body. A pimple may sometimes appear on the surface of the lip.
There are many possible causes of a bump on the lip, but pimples are typically due to clogged pores.
Various factors can lead to pores becoming clogged, including excess oil on the skin, bacteria, and trapped hair follicles. If a clogged pore becomes inflamed, a pimple develops, which may contain pus.
Pimples are not an indicator of poor hygiene, and a pimple on the lip is not usually a cause for concern. As with pimples on other parts of the body, people should refrain from popping a pimple on their lip because this may cause it to become infected or leave a scar.
A recent social media trend shows users anecdotally discussing a “love pimple,” referring to a link between a lip pimple and an attraction toward someone. However, there is no medical link between falling in love and having a pimple on the lip.
This article examines ways to get rid of pimples on the lips. We also provide advice on how to prevent them and when to consult a dermatologist.
Typically, a lip pimple will not require medical treatment.
Therefore, there is little research into medical treatments that specifically target lip pimples. However, some treatments that address pimples on other body parts may be useful on the lip.
Over-the-counter (OTC) options include topical medications that a person can apply directly to the skin. These may be useful for pimples that develop on the lip.
Products that contain benzoyl peroxide may come in the form of:
- face washes
Caution is necessary when using products that contain benzoyl peroxide as it may bleach clothes and hair.
It is best to ask a pharmacist which type of product may be most useful in treating the lip pimple. If a person experiences pimples regularly, they may wish to consider consulting a dermatologist.
For multiple or recurring lip pimples, a dermatologist or doctor may recommend other treatments, such as:
- Prescription-strength topical medications: People may find these more effective than OTC products.
- Oral medication: In some circumstances, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat pimples. These work by targeting the bacteria that may cause pimples.
- Laser therapy: Less commonly, people may undergo laser therapy, which involves using
pulses of lightto kill the bacteria that cause pimples. Multiple sessions may be necessary to produce results.
- Pimple extraction: A doctor or dermatologist uses sterile tools to remove the pimple during pimple extraction. This procedure is expensive and time-consuming, so it is typically a last resort when other treatments have proven ineffective.
If a bump on the lip tingles and looks more like a blister than a pimple, it might be a cold sore and will require different treatment.
Some anecdotal evidence suggests that certain home remedies may help get rid of pimples on the lips. Options include:
- Tea tree oil: Research indicates that products containing tea tree oil can help treat pimples. These products may
reduce inflammationonce a pimple has surfaced and stop more from developing. Follow the instructions on the product to use it safely.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory, soothing, and moisturizing
properties. Due to these, it may be useful in treating a lip pimple. People should use the product containing aloe vera safely by following the instructions.
- Apple cider vinegar: Research suggests that apple cider vinegar has
antibacterialproperties. Some people say that placing diluted apple cider vinegar on a pimple may help get rid of it quickly. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this.
- Ice: Using ice on inflammatory pimples may help reduce swelling. A person should always wrap ice in a clean cloth before applying it to the skin and avoid applying ice directly to the pimple.
Certain measures could reduce the likelihood of pimples developing on the lip. These include:
- Taking zinc: Taking zinc supplements or increasing dietary zinc may aid in preventing lip pimples. One study suggests that there is a correlation between
low levels of zincand more severe cases of acne.
- Taking fish oil: There is some evidence to suggest that taking
fish oil supplementsmay help reduce pimples. Fish oil contains omega-3, which may help manage acneif a person uses it alongside other options.
- Reducing stress: A 2016 study found that students experiencing low levels of stress were less likely to develop pimples than those with high levels of stress.
- Avoiding touching the face: The hands can carry bacteria and transmit infection. Anecdotal evidence suggests that because of this, touching the face or lip may cause pimples to develop. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.
- Limiting dairy intake: A systematic review concluded that dairy products
increase the chanceof pimples developing in people aged 7–30.
- Following a low-glycemic diet: This means favoring fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains over white bread, cookies, candies, and other foods high in processed sugars and carbohydrates.
Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in treating skin conditions. In most cases, a pimple on the lip will not require an appointment with a dermatologist.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends visiting a dermatologist if many pimples develop on the skin. It may also be beneficial for a person to consult a dermatologist if they frequently develop pimples on their lip or the pimples do not go away within 4–8 weeks of using OTC treatment.
A dermatologist will decide the appropriate course of treatment to remove the pimples and suggest follow-up preventive care.
Several OTC medical treatments can help get rid of a lip pimple, and some people might find that certain home remedies help speed up its removal.
Scientific research suggests that a few supplements and lifestyle choices could help prevent lip pimples from developing in the first place.
It may be worth seeing a dermatologist if the lip pimple does not go away with OTC treatment or if a person has multiple or recurring lip pimples.
Many different treatments and home remedies are available for purchase online. It is important to research products before using them and to consult a doctor if further advice is necessary.