ZocdocAnswersWhy am I getting pimples around my lips?

Question

Why am I getting pimples around my lips?

I'm 35 years old and have started to get pimples around the edges of my lower lip that just keep coming back. How can I make them go away? Are they just pimples or something else?

Answer

From the symptoms you describe, the best thing for you to do is see your primary care doctor right away so that he or she can examine the lesions you describe. They may be true pimples--which form when a skin pore becomes clogged--but the area around the edge of the lower lip is not typical for acne, particularly in adults. What is often much more common around the lips in adults is cold sores caused by a herpes virus. Once a person becomes infected by a herpes virus, the virus is never cleared and the outbreaks of small bumps (also known as vesicles) can keep coming back, often in exactly the same area around the lips. This may be what your are describing, and it is important to know for sure because herpes is very contagious and can also be treated. If a doctor does tell you that these spots are herpes virus infections, it will be important not to have skin-skin contact at that area with anyone else when you have active lesions to avoid spreading the virus. In addition, depending upon how many outbreaks you have a year, your doctor may be able to prescribe an oral antiviral medication which will help the lesions heal faster. Some people even take medication every day to suppress outbreaks. You can go over all of this information with your physician, and he or she can help determine exactly what your are experiencing.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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