White Bumps on Lips: Causes and Natural Remedies

Have you just noticed a tiny bump on your pretty lips? Lips are one of the first things that people notice in you. An unsightly bump on your lips is a big turn down for your appearance.

The bumps appear as white spots on your rosy lips. You may develop these small lumps on both of your upper and lower lips or one of them. The bumps vary in sizes depending on their types. (1)

The tiny bumps may cause pain and irritations on your tender lips. Some of them are infectious and may spread along your lip lines.

Do not worry though. Most of these bumps are harmless. They indicate simple medical conditions that you can easily deal with at home. A few of the bumps that don’t go away easily are of matters of concern. You need to seek medical help for these types of bumps. (2)

Continue reading this article to learn all about tiny white bumps on your lips. Moreover, you are going to learn some of the excellent home remedies for treating these little buggers.

Causes of Tiny Bumps on Lips


There are various causes of developing tiny white bumps on your lips. Let’s get a closer look at each of them.

1. Cold Sores

Cold sores or fever blisters are a tiny cluster of blisters along your lip lines or on the areas surrounding the lips. You have an inflamed, red and swollen skin around the cold sores.

Fever blisters are a viral infection due to the common Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) type 1. A survey shows that 90% people suffer from cold sores at least once in their lifetime. (3)

You may experience a tingling sensation on the lips before the sores actually appear. A cold sore is swelled up with pus and can burst easily. Once it breaks open the fluid gives birth to a host of blisters.

The sores dry on their own in 7-10 days leaving dried crusts behind. The crusts fall off in the next few days. Cold sores are highly contagious. You should avoid using common towels, razors, etc. to prevent the infection from spreading. (4)

2.Canker Sores

Canker sores are white tiny ulcers with round edges. These painful sores may appear on your lips, tongue, and on the inside walls of your cheeks. People between the age group of 10-20 suffer from canker sores. (5)

You must be confused about canker and cold sores. Many people have the wrong conception that these two types of sores are the same. They differ from each other based on the reasons they appear.

Cold sores are the causes of herpes simplex virus type 1. Whereas you may develop canker sores due to many reasons. Some of the common causes of canker sores include minor lip injury, stress, deficiency of vitamin B-12 and nutritional foods and by eating acidic fruits and vegetables, etc. (6)

You experience high fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes due to canker sores. The sores heal on their own in 3 weeks time.

3. Acne

The tiny bumps on your lips can be as simple a skin condition as acne pimples. Teenagers around the world suffer from acne.

You can develop an acne pimple on the lip lines. Since your lips are delicate skin tissue, the pimples may be painful and irritating.

The pimples have whiteheads and are filled with fluid. The acne pimples usually go away after a week. Some of the common reason for developing them is a hormonal imbalance and lack of hygiene. (7)

4. Bacterial Infection

The tiny bumps on your lips can be a bacterial infection. You may pick up harmful bacteria from expired lip balms, lipstick, etc.

Kissing a bacteria infected person may contaminate your lips as well. The red inflammations on your lips may cause you pain and irritations. (8)

5. Contact Allergies

The tiny papules on your lips can be the result of an allergic reaction. Some of the chemicals in lip cosmetics, toothpaste, flower pollen, pet dander and certain foods may pose to be irritants on your lips.

They may trigger an allergic reaction and inflame into tiny lip bumps. Some of the fruits have oily glands on their skins. Contacting this oil can also set out allergic reaction and bumps on your lips. (9)

6. Fordyce’s Spots

Fordyce’s spots are the most harmless bumps that you can have on your lips. These painless and non-contagious bumps are protruding oil-producing or sebaceous glands.

The yellow or white bumps are usually 1-2 millimeter long. Usually, you get these spots in a cluster. You can get almost a hundred tiny spots on the inner portion of your lips. (10)

7. Skin Tags

Skin tags or Acrochorda refers to small, unsightly growths of tissues that hang on your skin. They mostly show up in your neck, armpits, chest, cleavage, and in the groin area. Constant friction in a particular area of your skin may trigger skin tags. (11)

Skin tags are full of blood vessels and collagen fibers. Obese women and seniors are more prone to suffer from skin tags. (12)

You don’t get skin tags on your lips. However, under certain conditions, a raised bump on the inside wall of your lips may feel like a skin tag. Filiform warts, Mollusca, and mucous cysts are some of the skin tags on your lips.

The following conditions may trigger the appearance of skin tags on lips: Human papillomavirus or HPV (1), obesity, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, and using steroids.

8. Milia

Milia is a group of cysts that commonly occur among the newborns. However, people of ages can suffer from these white bumps on their faces and lips.

Milia happen when the protein substance in the skin tissues called keratin gets trapped under the surface of your skin. A regular shower, avoiding oily foods and heavy cosmetics can significantly reduce these bumps. (13)

9. Oral Thrush

If your mouth is affected by common fungi like candida albicans, you may get oral thrush. The medical term for oral thrush is oral candidiasis. This fungal or yeast infection causes you tiny white lesions on the lips, gums, inner cheeks, on the tonsils and the roof of your mouth. If you leave the thrush untreated, it’ll take several weeks to go away completely. (14)

Oral thrush is not contagious. Antifungal medications can effectively cure them in 2 weeks time. However, you can perform some home treatments to clear off thrush. Try to drink cold beverages, and wash your mouth with salt water several times a day to get rid of thrush bumps.

10. Sunburn

Sometimes a long exposure to the sun may affect your salivary glands. The glands may swell and develop tiny bumps on your mouth and lips. The raised spots have a fleshy color. They vanish of their own in few days. (15)

11. Oral Cancer

In rare cases, the lip bumps can indicate a serious health condition like oral cancer. In this condition you will have white patches on your lips, tongue, jaw, gums, etc. they will eventually turn into tiny red sores. The cancerous bumps don’t go away on their own rather they spread inside the mouth.

Male chain smokers are at high risk of developing oral cancer. Human Papillomavirus or HPV, over-consumption of alcohol, and chewing tobacco are some of the other causes of oral cancer. (16)

Conventional Treatments


There are various over the counter treatment options for tiny bumps on your lips. The treatments vary based on the type of bumps you have on your lips.

You can resort to electrosurgery and laser surgery to get rid of Fordyce spots from your lips.

Doctors recommend antifungal mouthwash, lozenges, pills and syrup such as fluconazole and itraconazoleto treat oral thrush. (17)

There are several antiviral drugs to temporarily inhibit cold sores. The symptoms of herpes complex virus 1 are persistent and may not go away completely by using these drugs. The antiviral medications can only reduce the pain and irritations of the sores. Some of the conventional antiviral gels and creams include Acyclovirand penciclovir. (18)

In case of oral cancers, you require intensive treatments. The doctors usually surgically remove the cancerous bumps, use chemotherapy and radiation to inhibit the growth of cancer. (19)

6 Effective Home Remedies for White Bumps on Lips


The conventional treatments for lip bumps come with a lot of side effects. Sometimes they only temporarily stop the symptoms without addressing the underlying causes of the conditions.

Here’s the good news for you. You can effectively cure lip bumps at home using easily available natural ingredients.

Let’s get to learn these home remedies.

1. Cold Compress or Ice Pack

An ice wrap on the tingling and irritated lips is the first aid to prevent the appearance of sores. Pressing an ice cube on the cold sores reduces the blood flow to the inflammation. Thus, the process brings quick ease to the pain and redness of the swelling. You can suck on a piece of ice to reduce the inflammations of oral thrush on the tongue as well. (20)

2. Hot Steam

Hot water steam can be an effective home remedy for acne pimples on your lips. The steam helps to reduce the swelling and inflammations of the pimples. For this simple treatment, you can expose your lip region to a bowl of hot steamy water for several minutes.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a cure-all remedy for various skin disorders. The antiseptic and anti-bacterial components of tea tree oil are ideal cure for skin tags, coughs, acne, yeast infections, etc. (21)

You can pour 4 drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball and directly apply it on the cold sores, canker sores, acne pimples, skin tags, Fordyce’s spots and on the bacterial bumps on your lips.

Tea tree oil will give you a speedy recovery from the lip bumps. Do not use tea tree oil remedy for children and people with allergic sensitivity.

4. Salt

Table salt or sodium chloride is full of antibacterial and antiseptic properties. The research has shown that salt can reduce the inflammations of herpes virus. You can apply a pinch of salt on the lips bumps like a layer. This simple method can effectively reduce pain, redness, and irritations of canker sores, allergic bumps, and oral thrush.

5. Gentle Brush on the Bumps

Sometimes the food particles may sustain in the lips and cause further irritations to the bumps. Use a soft bristled brush and gently clean the outer regions of your lips. You can exfoliate the dead cells or crusts from the cysts in the same process.

6. Licorice Tea

Licorice Tea comes from the licorice roots. This herbal tea has bioactive properties to heal various health disorders. Licorice tea is effective to reduce the inflammations of canker sores on the inside walls of your lips. (22)

You have to boil ½ an ounce of licorice root in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes. Let the tea cool down. Now, rinse and swish this tea inside your mouth for some time. Spit out the tea after every swish.

This method will heal the canker sores in a week. It is highly recommended that you don’t use this method for children and pregnant mothers.

Simple Lifestyle Hacks to Prevent Bumps on Lips


When it comes to medical conditions, prevention is always the best option. You need to learn some lifestyle secrets to prevent lip bumps in the first place. Here are a few things that you should add to your daily routine.

  • Good oral hygiene is the most important activity in your daily routine. You should brush your teeth twice a day and floss it regularly.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water solution after every meal.
  • You have to switch to a new toothbrush after the epidemic of bumps on your lips. The rush can become a medium for spreading bacterial, fungal or viral infections.
  • Avoid messing with or trying to pop the lip bumps. It may further worsen the conditions of the bumps. You should wash your hands every time you touch them.
  • Before you step out apply petroleum jelly on your lips to avoid dust and irritants contacting the bumps.
  • Keep yourself hydrated drinking a lot of water.
  • Avoid junk and oily food items.

Bottom Line


Tiny white bumps on lips can be both simple and acute medical conditions. Majority of them are harmless. You can effectively deal with them at home using the simple natural remedies and lifestyle changes.

The serious types of lip bumps are indicators of underlying illness. In case you experience a sudden swelling of the lips and bleeding you should resort to a doctor without any delay.

We hope this article has taught you to identify various types of lip bumps and how to eliminate them naturally.

Write us your experience of using any of the remedies discussed above.

Read more: How to Get Rid of Lie Bumps on Tongue