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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Small bumps on lips

 dnflgmn - Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:13 pm

Hi, yesterday small red (well the same color as my lips) bumps appeared on my lips. I have acne and they are similar in size to the little bumps on my face that aren't big enough to be real pimples, they are just sort of clogged pores I guess? The day before the corner of my mouth had felt/looked kind of dry and burned/itched a bit and then yesterday the bumps appeared on my upper lip closest to the top edges. They itch and burn and this morning I woke up with lots of crusty yellow stuff over them. I was thinking this could be a) sunburn or burn from hot food/drink b) allergic reaction to something c) infection d) clogged pores. A few days I finished taking a course of antibiotics (amoxacillin) for a sinus infection. I also recently started using differin and sodium sulfate solution on my face after having stopped for a few months, but I never had this kind of reaction before and I don't put it on my lips anyway. Any ideas? I usually put chapstick on my lips after I brush my teeth and wash my face; if it's (a) I figure I should do this more, but if it's b) c) or d) I would stop. I don't think I've done anything that would expose me to an STD/infection except for share drinks and I don't get cold sores. I'm a 20 yr old female. (Also I'm in Brazil if that makes a difference). Thank you!!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:48 pm

User avatar Hello -

What you describe sounds an awful lot like a common fever blister (herpes zoster virus), from the pre-eruption burning and itching to the appearance of the bumps, to the crusting over. This is something that is extremely common, and in some people is triggered by exposure to sunlight (which, if is the case, can be prevented by application of a #15 sun block on the lips prior to exposure). There are medications which can suppress or stop an outbreak, but they are prescription meds, and it's worth having this looked at by a doctor, who can make certain what the outbreak is. I'd be willing to bet on fever blister, though, based on your description.

I hope this is helpful. Please bear in mind, just in case, that HSV is highly contagious, so don't be kissing anyone til it clears up.

Best of luck to you. Please follow up with us as necessary.

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