Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Are whiteheads around lips common?"


Is it normal to get whiteheads aroud one's lips? I'm a guy in my 20s and it seems like I get them whenever I shave, which I thought might be irritation from the razor or ingrown hairs. Either way, I don't see these on many other people, so I feel like something's wrong with me.


Whiteheads and other forms of skin rash are some of the most common skin complaints. The doctors who will be best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Whiteheads are a form of acne caused when skin pores are clogged by dead skin debris which allows a back up of oil, bacteria, and white blood cells to collect.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Dermatologists near you

The main treatment is to keep the skin clean and to apply cleansers that remove the debris, such as benzoyl peroxide. It can be quite common to get these whiteheads around the lips in the beard line. Excessive shaving might make the problem worse by drying out the skin, especially in cold weather, so skin care will be even more important in this region. Occasionally, infections of the hair shafts, or folliculitis, can look like whiteheads. If there are large, inflamed, pus containing bumps around hair shafts that do not get better with good skin hygiene, your doctor may prescribe medications. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist might be indicated.

Zocdoc Answers 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 (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.