ZocdocAnswersI have a bump that looks like a white pimple on my lip?

Question

I have a bump that looks like a white pimple on my lip?

Could it be a cyst or skin cancer? it has been there for a month now an i tried to squeeze it yesterday but nothing came out oddly. it hurts today and is swollen and a little inflamed. i know its not a cold sore or herpes it looks like a white head pimple. what do i do???

Answer

I would definitely show this to your primary care doctor at your earliest convenience, as they should be able to help you figure out if this is something you need to be worried about. I think the fact that it hurts and is a little inflamed today is not very helpful as a clue, because you were squeezing it yesterday which is likely the reason for the discomfort today. One possible cause is something called a mucocele, which is a sort of small cyst filled with secretions that tends to form in the mouth following minor trauma, such as biting your lip. Generally mucoceles will go away on their own and don't need treatment but sometimes if they are large they do need to be removed. Ruling out cancer is also a good idea, especially if you have risk factors for a skin cancer (such as lots of sun exposure or fair skin). Your doctor can determine if the bump has any characteristics concerning for cancer and, if so, they will likely recommend a biopsy, which is a simple office procedure that can remove the spot and send it to be checked out. Please set up an appointment with your doctor.

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

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.