ZocdocAnswersWhy do white bumps appear around the lower lip?

Question

Why do white bumps appear around the lower lip?

What causes a woman to get white bumps around her lower lip? I don't think these are cold sores or anything, because they are very small and they disappear very quickly - but I still wonder about them. They sometimes seem like small ingrown hairs that just need to burst and heal.

Answer

Concerns about skin rashes and other problems on the face is one of the most common reasons for people to seek medical advice. The doctors who will be qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. A very common cause of white bumps around the lips and mouth are acne, especially whiteheads. Small whiteheads are caused when skin pores become clogged closed by dead skin and other debris leading to a build up of skin oils and bacteria which give them a whitish appearance. As you describe, they tend to come and go and they tend to respond to simple treatments like good facial hygiene and an exfoliating treatment. Cold sores, which are caused by the herpes virus, are less likely as these tend to occur at the corners of the mouth or the lip border and the tend to be very sore, blistered, crusting lesions that that are slow to heal over days to weeks. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor might be indicated.

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.