How to Get Rid of Pimples on Lips, According to Experts in 2022

As person with breakout-prone skin, I ’ ve experienced every type of acne a body can get, including butt acne, neck acne, back acne, thorax acne, scalp acne, and even frickin ’ lip acne ( why do I get no peace ? ). And though I ’ ve partially made peace with my zits, I will never be chill with a pimple on my lip, thanks to the fact that lip pimples can hurt indeed badly, particularly if it ’ randomness cystic acne —which, good luck trying to spot-treat or hide that one—or, my front-runner, a cold sore masquerade as a pimple .
so to find out how to get rid of brim pimples ( and besides prevent them from always coming back ), I tapped board-certified dermatologist Geeta Yadav, MD, and board-certified plastic surgeon Michele Koo, MD, for avail. Keep reading to find out what causes pimples on the lips, if a pimple on your lips is merely a cold afflictive, and of course, how to get rid of a pimple on your lip asap .

What causes pimples on the lips?

The cause of bumps on your lip line:

  • clogged pores
  • dead skin buildup
  • heavy, oil-based lip products
  • dermatitis or allergic reaction
  • cold sores (i.e., not acne at all)

    Pimples on lips are caused when a pore becomes clogged with dead skin cells and oil, leading to inflammation. As for what causes the initial clog, you can thank your hormones ( which trip your petroleum output ) and your genetics ( which can make you more probably to overproduce sebum ). Another common cause of pimples on the lips ? A lack of exfoliation, specially if you regularly wear lip products ( see : your beloved pink lip gloss, bluff sass ointment, and bolshevik lipstick ).

    “ When dead cells are n’t removed from the surface of your hide, ” says Dr. Yadav, “ they can get trapped with acne-causing bacteria inside your pores, leading to a blemish. ” Which makes sense—when was the last time you swiped your chemical exfoliant right up against your sensitive lips ? precisely ; which is why you need one of these formulas if you don ’ t have one already :
    Of course, says Dr. Koo, you may not be dealing with acne at all. rather, the “ pimple ” on your lip may actually be a cold sore ( more on that under ), or an irritation-based foolhardy ( like a reaction from your toothpaste or facial hair-removal product, or a clamber stipulate like perioral dermatitis ( an inflamed, antsy, scaly foolhardy that requires antibiotics or topical steroids to treat ). basically, as with all skin issues, you should make an appointment with a dermatologist ( even about, if you hate leaving your layer ) before trying to DIY a fix at home .

    Why are lip pimples so painful?

    Lip pimples are indeed atrocious because our lips contain a long ton of nerve endings, making them highly sensitive to pain. then, “ when there’s inflammation or an infection around your lips, it can create a lot of tenderness, ” says Dr. Yadav. To help decrease the pain of sass pimples at home, Dr. Yadav recommends holding a quick compress against the bump for 10 to 15 minutes astir to four times sidereal day, then dabbing on once in the morning and at night. And remember : You can constantly head to your dermatologist for a cortisone inject to quickly neutralize your pimple if it ’ randomness excessively annoying .

    How do I get rid of a pimple on my lip?

    To get rid of a pimple on your sass, you ’ ll want to make sure you’re following a consistent skincare routine that involves cleansing and exfoliating your clamber ( to help prevent lip pimples from popping up in the future ) and besides spot-treating your pimple to reduce excitement and pain. here ’ s a breakdown :

    Exfoliate your lips

    “ Exfoliating your lips on a regular basis is key to preventing lip pimples, ” says Dr. Yadav. And no, that doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate mean scrubbing your lips with an acute, game lip scrub either. rather, try an acid-based toner, says Dr. Koo. “ Cleansing with a salicylic acid-toner can help kill acne-causing bacteria, get rid of the excess sebum, and allow your hide to heal, ” says Dr. Koo. Just make sure to follow up with a if your lips feel a little dry .
    If you ’ re already dealing with a sass pimple, you can still use your toner, or dab on a salicylic acid -based spot treatment instead and cover it with a hydrocolloid pimple while while you wait for your body to heal itself. Dr. Yadav besides recommends lightly massaging your lips two to three times a week with a warmly washcloth to lightly exfoliate, “ which will efficaciously remove dead skin without depositing any potentially pore-clogging ingredients. ”

    Cleanse your lips every night

    Make certain you ’ re taking off all your foundation, , —whatever—every single night before bed. If you ’ re feeling a little lazy, just dab a in some water and swipe across your skin to break up some of the oils and pigments. Or leave a tamp down of in your bedside table for necessity occasions only ( makeup wipes can leave pore-clogging sludge behind, which is why washing your expression is constantly well ) .

    Add acne-fighting retinoids to your routine

    To treat and prevent fresh sass pimples from showing up, try adding a retinoid for acne , like , into your skincare routine to help speed up your cellular employee turnover and keep pores clear, suggests Dr. Koo. Just note that retinoids can be irritating at first, specially on an already-sensitive area like your lips, indeed starting signal lento : After moisturizing at nox, smooth on the tiniest, grain-size tap of adapalene around your lip area once a week for two weeks, then doubly a week for three weeks, then three times a week indefinitely. And constantly slather on an oil-free moisturizer subsequently to keep your skin hydrated .

    Switch to lightweight lip products

    If you ’ re prone to lip pimples, “ stay away from waxen, stop consonant lip products, particularly while you have an active lip pimple, ” says Dr. Koo. Heavy formulas—especially those with irritants—can far irritate your skin and potentially lead to more ignition. alternatively, skip the balms and spread your across and around your lips, or try a lightweight.

    Soothe inflammation with heat

    Holding a warm, damp washcloth against your lip pimple might lessen a little pain and tenderness. Pop a in the microwave for 25 seconds and hold it against your pimple a few times a day. Just make sure to wipe the pack down with soap and water after each use .

    Should I pop a pimple on my lip?

    No, “ under no circumstances should you pop a lip pimple on your ow n, ” says Dr. Yadav. “ The thin skin around your lips is highly delicate and scars well, so it ‘s better to have a pimple mend naturally preferably than create a scab. ” If you ’ re tempted to pop the pimple, stick on an to help you keep your hands off your peel, or you can dab on to help reduce some inflammation .

    Is a pimple on your lip a cold sore?

    Yep, a pimple on your lip could actually be a cold sore (aka not a pimple at all), which is why it ’ s therefore authoritative to understand the differences in appearance and location and treat them correctly. Pimples are a bacterial infection, while coldness sores are a virus, says Dr. Koo. “ All brim cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus—HSV1—and look like a watery blister, ” Dr. Koo explains, adding that they often feel irritating and normally take several weeks to resolve .
    How do you know if you have a pimple or a cold sensitive, though ? “ Pimples will typically have one head that appears to be filled with pus, like a whitehead, or clogged sebum, like a blackhead, or no visible mind at all, ” says Dr. Yadav. “ cold sores, however, look like a cluster of blisters, which will be filled with a clear liquid, not pus. ”
    Keep in mind : A pimple and a cold sore are treated very differently, says Dr. Yadav. Cold sores require an antiviral medicine, like an antiviral cream, to help shorten the duration of the cold sore and prevent it from spreading. If you load descry treatments and salicylic acerb toners on a cold sensitive, you ’ ll be left with an even more annoy bump .

    How long does a lip pimple last?

    A lip pimple will last anywhere from one to three weeks depending on how kindle it is, says Dr. Koo. Why ? “ Unlike areas like the impudence and chin, which go relatively undisturbed throughout the day, your lips are frequently used, causing far aggravation that can slow a pimple ‘s ability to heal, ” says Dr. Yadav. But a lip pimple can go away on its own, deoxyadenosine monophosphate farseeing as you ’ re washing your makeup off every night before sleep together and keeping your skin moisturized .

    Final thoughts:

    If you ’ ve got a on-key pimple on your lip, don ’ metric ton stress. It ’ mho just the result of clogged pores from genetics, constitution, or not exfoliating adequate. Swipe it with a , and wait for it to heal on its own. And if you get consistent pimples around your lips, possibly incorporate a retinoid for acne, like, to prevent breakouts. But pls remember : if you think you have a cold sensitive alternatively of a lip pimple, talk with your dermatologist for an antiviral treatment plan .

    Meet the experts:

    • , MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon and the founder of Dr. Koo Private Practice in Aspen, CO. She is also the founder of a full skincare line, .
    • Geeta Yadav, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Facet Dermatology in Toronto, ON, CA. Dr. Yadav is an expert in both medical and cosmetic dermatology, as well as in treating concerns of BIPOC patients.

      Why trust Cosmopolitan?

      Beth Gillette is the smasher editor at Cosmopolitan with four years of experience research, writing, and editing skin care stories that range from skin barrier to cleansing balm. She ’ s an authority in all skin care categories, but is an expert when it comes to pimples around your lips after a decade of dealing with acne. She regularly tests and analyzes acne products for efficacy, while working with the industry ’ s top dermatologists to assess new formulas and brands .
      Beth Gillette

      Beth Gillette is the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers skin care, makeup, hair’s-breadth, nails, and more across digital and print .

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