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Pimple on Lipline: Causes, Swollen, Treatments & Remedies


A pimple on the lipline tends to be very painful and uncomfortable. Every time you drink or eat something, it gets irritated. So, what causes them and how do we treat them?

The lipline is the fleshy structure which surrounds your lips, on the outer edge. It’s either smooth brown or reddish and borders the lip. Depending on what caused a pimple, it’s better to first wait out and see whether it heals itself. If it’s a painless bump, then it poses no health risk, however, if it becomes inflamed, swelled or irritating, then one should seek medical help.

Pimple on lip line
Pimple on upper lipline 

How to tell if it’s a pimple or cold sore

Cold sores appear around the mouth on the lower lipline, under the nose, on the fingers, close to the eyelids and on the brain. Pimples can appear anywhere on the body. How do you tell the difference?

Cold sores on lower lip line
Cold sores

Cold sores start out with a tingling or burning sensation. They form as bumps of inflamed blisters. Cold sore bumps are caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus) and can also be called fever blisters. These tiny viral infections group together in patches. Pimples, on the other hand, start off with a general tenderness around the area to form firm bumps composed of dead skin cells and oils. When the cold sores break, they form a crust over the sore that results. These bumps usually heal on their own within either a week or two and may not require any treatment.

Cold sores, unlike pimples, are contagious and can be passed on from one person to the next through kissing or oral sex. Unlike pimples, cold sores go through different stages. They start with a tingling, itchy or burning sensation around the lips. Small painful hard spots then appear and can either get filled with pus, blood or other fluids to become painful blisters. The bumps will them start oozing, form a crust and leave open sores.  

Causes of these lip line zits 

Zits or pimples on the lipline are similar to other pimples you get on any other part of the body. Their causes include:

Hormonal changes

Getting them can signal that your body is experiencing hormonal imbalances. This can be caused by menstruation, stress, puberty, pregnancy or hormonal disorders. This happens due to either an increase or decrease in certain body hormones like progesterone or estrogen. These changes affect both men and women.

Lip cosmetics

Cosmetic products we use like lipstick and lip-gloss may contain some ingredients that irritate the lips and clog the pores. Lipstick, for example, is made with oils and wax that allow it to smoothly be applied. They, however, also contain hidden ingredients that your skin may be allergic to. If your skin is acne prone or sensitive, then the best thing to do is avoid cosmetic products.

Some people are also allergic to some of the ingredients used to make these cosmetics even if the products are of good quality. The best thing to do is to avoid any product if you get a reaction after using it.

Herpes infection

One of the symptoms of herpes is formation of pimples. Herpes is a virus infection brought about by the virus Herpes Simplex. The pimples like bumps formed to appear as cold sores.

Poor hygiene

If you keep handling your lips with dirty hands, then chances of getting these zits increase.

Oily skin

People with oily skin have excessive oil being produced which blocks the skin pores and triggers the formation of pimples on the lip lines and around the lips. After eating oily foods, fast foods and greasy foods that have too many fats, wipe your mouth to avoid clogging lip pores with excessive fats.

Other factors

  • Smoking
  • Stress

Swollen and huge 

Sometimes the pimple on the lip will swell due to scratching and disruptions. Other reasons for a pimple to become swollen and painful include:

This can be fungal or bacterial. A pimple will swell and maybe turn red due to the increased blood supply to the area. The best solution for this is visiting a doctor for a checkup.

Popping and squeezing

It’s a personal choice whether to pop or squeeze it but this can sometimes have devastating after effects. Popping it before it matures, for example, will make your lips huge due to swelling few minutes after you pop a pimple.

Scratching and licking

Do not lick it or try to feel it with your teeth as this could increase the swelling. Do not scratch either no matter how itchy the pimple is.


Some of the pimples on the lipline do not require treatment and will heal on their own. For example, those caused by hormonal imbalances. However, whatever the cause, if it appears on your lipline, it is uncomfortable and could lead to low self-esteem. So, what are the best lip pimple cures?

Over the counter medications and topical ointments

If your cold sores on the lips are red, itchy and with painful blisters, visit a doctor so that he can prescribe antiviral medications. These could be in form of ointments, creams or pills. Ointments reduce cold sore symptoms. Some of the best ointments for cold sore pimples include penciclovir and acyclovir. If you decide to buy creams from over the counter, make sure you are not allergic to benzocaine and lidocaine products as this could increase infection. If not sure, avoid the products completely.


Make a habit of regularly scrubbing and exfoliating your lips to get rid of residual lip balm, lipstick, and dead skin cells. Use a mild scrub like the sugar lip scrub. You can also purchase an exfoliator or cleanser that has salicylic acid.

Home remedies

These home remedies will help you get rid of the lipline pimple symptoms and help you prevent them from infection. Infections will make them swell, be painful and hurt a lot. 

  • If you have them, wash the area around and on the lips daily. Make sure your hands are clean and use warm water. Use a face towel to gently wipe off water and avoid using soaps unless they are meant for the face.
  • Moisturize them daily especially after removing makeup.
  • Remove makeup before going to bed using a preferred makeup remover or cleanser. Leaving the makeup residual on the lips could lead to blemishes and pimples they could be sensitive to the chemicals used to make the products.
  • Change the beauty product if it triggers breakouts on your lipline.
  • Apply a warm compress or a cold compress to the affected area to relieve pain. A cold compress is a good remedy for swollen painful pimples. A hot compress is used before you pop a pimple. If it becomes a blister after popping, do not use the cold compress.
  • Use lime juice for its antibacterial properties. Massage it gently on the lips and let it absorb.
  • Avoid using greasy beauty products and instead use the water-based ones, Do this if you know that excessive oil triggers pimples on your skin.
  • Practice healthy eating and include essential vitamins, proteins, and water in your diet. Incorporate fruits and vegetables too.
  • Do not lick or touch a lip pimple. This could cause irritations and itching that could lead to swelling. This also means that they could get infected by bacteria leading to an increase in the number of pimples you have on the lip line.
  • Use ice cubes to numb pain and prevent inflammation and redness. Wrap the ice cube with a towel and place it on the pimple for a few seconds then remove it. Repeat this after few minutes.
  • Use steam to open pores and allow dirt and bacteria to clear from the pores. Steam treatments also prevent pimples from increasing in number and reduces inflammation. A steam treatment will involve putting your face close to a hot water bowl or take a hot shower.

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