Small White Bumps On Lips: Causes And Treatments

small white bumps on lips

A person may have bumps on lips from causes ranging from an allergic reaction to oral cancers. That bumps can appear in different textures, colors, and sizes. They are often harmless and they go away on their own without treatment within 1 to 2 weeks. As said, it will appear in different colors and sizes. There are white bumps can see in some people. These small white bumps on the lips can make the person feel uncomfortable and painful. Though these white bumps on lips are harmless, knowing the cause is important. It helps in treating them appropriately. It may require medical attention to treat them appropriately.

Before that, we should know the causes to take treatment accordingly. Let us see what the causes are.

7 Major Causes Of Small White Bumps On Lips

If we take the causes, there are many to mention.

1.     Herpes Simplex – Cause Small White Bumps On Lips

Herpes simplex virus causes herpetic ulcers which are also called cold sores. Oral herpes or cold sores appear as red, fluid-filled blisters on the lips or near the mouth. These blisters are white bumps and this may be contagious and can spread through kissing, sharing foods, and cosmetics. This virus can also cause genital herpes.

The cold sore can cause white bumps that usually can heal on their own within 1 to 2 weeks. You can take antiviral medications to reduce the symptoms.

2.     Fordyce Spots

These bumps may develop inside or outside of your lips and appear like white-yellowish bumps in size about 1 to 3 millimeters in diameter. The Fordyce spots are harmless, painless, and usually normal to appear in adults. These sebaceous oil glands also called Fordyce granules and form as a single bump or multiple scattered or clustered bumps.

They do not require any treatment as they do not cause severe symptoms and can heal on their own.

3.     Milia

Milia is a group of cysts or white bumps that usually appear on the lips, face, nose, and cheeks. It develops when the protein called keratin gets trapped under the skin. It can occur at any age but is more common in newborns. These small white bumps will not cause any pain or discomfort to the people who develop them. They do not possess any symptoms like itching or pain.

The milia in infants can go away within a few weeks without any treatment. In older children and adults, it may take a few months. In severe cases, it can treat with treatments including cryotherapy, deroofing, laser ablation, diathermy, and a few others.

4.     Oral Thrush

Oral thrush occurs when the fungus living in the mouth multiplies abnormally and causes yeast infection. This condition is also called candidiasis or thrush. This infection can cause white bumps on lips and other parts such as cheeks, gums, and tongue. Infants and toddlers are highly prone to this infection.

They can cause only very mild symptoms. They can treat with oral antifungal medication such as fluconazole, clotrimazole, and itraconazole. It can turn into a serious problem by spreading to other parts of the body if the person has a weakened immune system. In this case, a doctor’s visit is essential to take the necessary treatment.

5.     Oral Cancer

Oral cancer starts as a small tumor that does not spread and reach stage 4 and spreads to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. One of the major causes of oral cancer is tobacco use and other known causes are alcohol abuse, sun exposure, poor nutrition, weakened immune system, and the human papillomavirus.

Based on the type and stage of cancer, it can treat different treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and nutrition.

6.     Herpangina And Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease

A virus called enterovirus causes these diseases in children. The white ulcer develops in the palate, tonsils, and lips and has red borders when the person has herpangina. In hand, food, and mouth disease, the ulcers develop on the palms of hands, feet, and mouth. These conditions may accompany fever and sore throat.

No specific treatments require treating these diseases. They are harmless and self-healed in 7 to 10 days.

7.     Chancre (Syphilis)

Patients with syphilis can have chancre that predominantly develops on the genitals and rarely on the lips or tongue. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria called Treponema pallidum. Seeing a doctor is always a good thing in this case. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat syphilis.

Treatment For Small White Bumps On Lips

Generally, white bumps are harmless and have self-healing abilities. Sometimes, based on the cause, the white bumps may or may not require treatments. In most of the cases above, there is no requirement for any specific treatment and they can heal on their own within a week or two. To say specifically,

  • Electrosurgery or laser treatments can use to remove the Fordyce spots
  • You can use i-fungal medications such as a liquid solution to treat oral thrush.
  • Likely oral herpes can treat using antiviral medications.
  • Treatments like chemotherapy or radiation can use to treat or prevent the spreading of oral cancers.
  • Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can reduce irritation and promote healing.
  • With a doctor’s prescription, you can apply ointment on the spot to them wet and painless.

When To Visit A Doctor? – If You Have

White Bumps On Lips

Since the white bumps on the lips are harmless and self-healing, it hardly requires visiting the doctor. If the condition gets worsens or persists for a long time, you may need the advice of the doctor.  In other situations, like if you have other symptoms associated with white bumps on the lips, you may need to visit the doctor. The symptoms include

  • Painful bumps
  • Bleeding in the bumps
  • Swelling in the neck or jaw
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing

Final Word

White bumps on the lips are not a serious health concern until you develop a severe condition or any other symptoms along with white bumps. If not so, you take rest at home or take precautionary actions or take home remedies that can promote healing. If you still find the condition persists for more than two weeks, take action to visit a doctor immediately.

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