Medical Specialty >> Dermatology

Doctors Lounge - Dermatology Answers

Back to Dermatology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics


 MIKA80 - Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:24 pm


I went to Cancun for the week end (biz congress, no fun :)) but I had a chance to sit in the sun 1 full day. I usually pretty good with sunscreen but I totally forgot my lips.

Once back home, I went to sleep and the in morning my lower lip was 3 times bigger than usualy. pretty funny if you don't get scared.
Anyway, together with the swollen lip I got another gift, something that looked like a big pimple on the corner of my lip.
This exact situation had happened to my sister a few years back when she got lip sunburned in the Dominican Republic ... everything the same, including the big pimple.

I went to the dermatologist and he pinched the pimple open and took out the liquid in it.
2/3 weeks passed, went back to the doc as the pimple got smaller but is still there. At the touch you can feel something hard in it .... he thought there was still something in it, so he pinched it open again but nothing came out .... he said to leave it alone and see if it heals on its own.

My question is: Is this common? I feel like it happened only to me and my sister, I searche and searched on line but I don't see anybody else with a similar experience, I saw some people having the swollen lip, but no corner lip zit included.

What can I do about it? I have an important event coming up in a couple of months, what could I do? Maybe a cortisone shot might work?

Please help.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:42 pm

User avatar Hello,
You could have eczema of the lip, or possibly a herpes type 1 infection which can be triggered by the sun. People who have latent (non-evident) cold sores sometimes flare up like this after a sunburn. If so, you would benefit from oral anti-viral therapy. If it's not that, you would benefit from a topical steroid cream. If it is some type of pimple, a cortisone injection might help. Talk to your dermatologist about it.

Best wishes on healing.
 MIKA80 - Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:20 pm

Hi, thank you for your reply.
I have been to the dermatologist and he assured me it is not herpes (I was afraid, even though I never had it but I heard your can get it also at a restaurant is a fork has not been properly cleaned). anyway, he looked at it and he said he sees some pus in it. He pinched it open and drained it, the "pimple" was supposed to go completely down (as my dermatologist said) but it didn't go totally down, it is still there, much much smaller (1/3 of what it was), but there is still something .... I went back to the dermatologist a few days ago, he said he feels something hard in it and thought there was some more pus, he pinched it open again put nothing came out (I knew there was nothing) so he suggested to give it some more time to let it heal on its own ..

I would try a steroid cream are they available over the counter or I need a prescription?

If none of these is gonna work I'll ask my dermatologist for a cortisone injection.

It is very weird because the exact same thing happened to my sister when she got her first (and only) lip sunburn!
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:03 am

User avatar Hello,
The good news is that if it is just a reaction to sunburn, it will eventually heal. My guess is there is still some pocket of infection that is just not yet ready to come to the surface. If you want to try ointment, look for hydrocortisone cream - lots of brands out there at .5% strength. These are not designed for long-term use because you should be under the care of a doctor if something like this continues for long. For urgent, cosmetic treatment, the dermatologist is your best bet.

Good luck.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us