You may develop white bumps on both of your (upper and lower) lips or on 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 are simple medical conditions that you can deal with at home. A few of the bumps that don’t go away easily can be matter of concern. You need to seek medical help for these types of bumps. (2)
The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral effects of some natural herbs or ingredients may be effective in treating white bumps on lips naturally.
Read on to learn about the efficacy and uses of home remedies for white bumps on lips. Plus prevention tips, traditional treatment options, and a detailed list of causes behind this medical condition.
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 stop the symptoms. But they don’t address the underlying causes of the conditions.
Here’s the good news for you. You can cure lip bumps at home using 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. It’s the ideal cure for skin tags, coughs, acne, yeast infections, etc.
It’s because the oil contains antiseptic and anti-bacterial components. (21)
You can pour 4 drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball. Apply it on the cold sores, canker sores, acne pimples, skin tags, and 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.
Table salt or sodium chloride is full of antibacterial and antiseptic properties. The research has shown that salt can reduce the inflammations of the herpes virus. You can apply a pinch of salt on the lips bumps like a layer. This method can reduce the symptoms of canker sores, allergic bumps, and oral thrush.
5. Gentle Brush on the Bumps
Sometimes the food particles may sustain in the lips and irritate the bumps. Use a soft bristled brush and 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 enough 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 drink after every swish.
This method will heal the canker sores in a week. But you should not 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 critical activity in your daily routine. You should brush your teeth twice a day and floss it.
- 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. It will help you avoid dust and irritants contacting the bumps.
- Keep yourself hydrated drinking a lot of water.
- Avoid junk and oily food items.
Conventional Treatments for White Bumps on Lips
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, tablets, and pillsto treat oral thrush. They can also prescribe syrup such as fluconazole and itraconazole. (17)
There are several antiviral drugs to inhibit cold sores. The symptoms of herpes complex virus 1 are persistent and may not go away 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 Acyclovir and penciclovir. (18)
In the case of oral cancers, you need intensive treatments. The doctors usually remove the cancerous bumps by surgery. Then they use chemotherapy and radiation to inhibit the growth of cancer. (19)
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 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% of people suffer from cold sores at least once in their lifetime. (3)
You may experience a tingling sensation on the lips before the lesions appear. A cold sore is full 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 contagious. You should not use common towels, razors, etc. to prevent the infection from spreading. (4)
2. Canker Sores
Canker sores are white small ulcers with round edges. These painful sores may appear on your lips, tongue, and on the inside walls of your cheeks. People in the age group of 10-20 suffer from canker sores. (5)
You must have confusions 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.
Minor lip injury, stress, lack of vitamin B-12 and nutritional foods can cause canker sores. You may also develop canker sores 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.
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 blisters may be painful and irritating.
The pimples have whiteheads and are full of 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)
Read More: 15 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Body Acne
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. Chemicals in lip cosmetics, toothpaste, or flower pollen may irritate 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 part of your lips. (10)
7. Skin Tags
Skin tags or Acrochorda refers to small, ugly growths of tissues that hang on your skin. They usually 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. But, 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),
- hormonal imbalance, and
- using steroids.
Read More: How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin Tags
Milia is a group of cysts that usually occur among the newborns. But, people of ages can suffer from these white bumps on their faces and lips.
Milia happen when the keratin gets trapped under the surface of your skin. Keratin is a protein substance in the skin tissues. A regular shower, avoiding oily foods and heavy cosmetics can reduce these bumps. (13)
9. Oral Thrush
If your mouth gets affected by common fungi like candida albicans, you may get oral thrush. The medical term for oral thrush is oral candidiasis.
This infection causes you little white lesions on the lips, gums, and inner cheeks. These can appear on the tonsils and the roof of your mouth as well. If you leave the thrush untreated, it’ll take several weeks to go away completely. (14)
Oral thrush is not contagious. Antifungal medications can cure them in 2 weeks time. But, 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.
Sometimes a prolonged 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 may hint a severe health condition like oral cancer. In this condition you will have white patches on your lips, tongue, jaw, gums, etc. They will turn into tiny red sores. The cancerous bumps don’t go away on their own. Instead, they spread inside the mouth.
Male chain smokers are at high risk of developing oral cancer. HPV, consuming alcohol, and chewing tobacco are some of the other causes of oral cancer. (16)
When to See a Doctor
White bumps aren’t that serious for seeking medical attention. But if your bumps don’t go within two weeks, see a doctor.
Also, make an appointment to visit your doctor if the following symptoms occur:
- Painful bumps.
- You feel like something got stuck in your throat.
- Bleeding from bumps.
- Swollen jaw.
- The tongue becomes numb.
- A sore throat.
- Difficulty in chewing and swallow.
Tiny white bumps on lips can be both simple and acute medical conditions. Majority of them are harmless. You can deal with them at home using the simple natural remedies and lifestyle changes.
The severe types of lip bumps are indicators of underlying illness. In case you experience a sudden swelling of the lips and bleeding you should see a doctor without any delay.