Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes rashes to form on lips?"
What could cause a speckled, red rash to break out on someone's lips? This has been happening to me on and off for a few weeks. Is it a type of acne, or a kind of cold sore, or something else altogether? The rash doesn't hurt or itch, but I don't like the way it looks.
There are many different things that can cause a rash on the lips. It depends on where the rash is--is it on the actual lip (including what is referred to as the "vermillion border") or is it just above the lips or around the lips (ie, peri-oral)? It is also important to know what size the speckled aspects of the rash is, is it pinpoint or larger? For these reasons, it is important to be seen by a dermatologist (a skin doctor) who can examine the lips in better detail. If the rash consists of pinpoint red dots on the lips that are asymptomatic, it could be secondary to what are known as petechiae, which are little vessels that have burst. This could be due to sucking on the lips or when your platelet (cells that help your blood clot) counts are low. Tiny yellow dots on the lips are called Fordyce glands are these are not dangerous. A rash on the lips could be due to infectious causes like viruses such as herpes which tend to look more like small blisters that can often be painful or warts, or from bacteria. A rash can also form if you have used a product you are allergic to, this is called a "contact allergy" and it can be linked to a chapstick, lipgloss or lipstick. Any rash on any part of your body that has been on and off or does not completely go away should be evaluated by a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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