Home LipsLip Spots Small Whiteheads on Lip Line, Upper Lip and Lower Lip

Small Whiteheads on Lip Line, Upper Lip and Lower Lip

by Dr. Joe Morales

Whiteheads on lips appear as small white bumps around lips, on both lower and upper lip lines. You can get rid of lip line whiteheads with consistent facial cleansing and treatment. But can the whiteheads be a sign of herpes? Here’s more on that and how to pop small whitehead spots on your lips.

Causes of whiteheads on the lip line

It is vital to first differentiate between cold sores and pimples. According to WebMD, pimples are tender, small red bumps, which tend to have a white, black, and in some cases no tip at all. You should realize that pimples have the potential to appear on anywhere on your skin surface, and it could be painful to the touch.Whiteheads on lips upper lips and lower lips

On the other hand, cold sores (herpes simplex) tend to be smaller and could be fluid filled. Also, you will notice that they tend to cluster in a single area, and are mainly brought about infections (viral). When they are incepted, the cold sores may cause a burning feeling, as well as being very itchy. Although there are cold sores, which do not come with any symptoms, there are certain signs that could accompany this infection e.g.

  • Painful gums
  • Fever and headaches
  • A sore throat
  • Feelings of tiredness and muscle aches

1. Allergic reactions

Allergies are some of the most common causes for pimples appearing on the lips. You could find that you are allergic to certain items e.g. lip balms or lip ingredients that you use on a day-to-day basis. Normally, you will find that the cost of these items will not come into play for the reaction to occur.

2. Makeups and chemical lip products

There are certain chemical products, which often give rise to the appearance of pimples on your skin surface. One way for this to occur is when you become used to using products that are of low quality e.g. lip balm and lip gloss.

Some of the beauty products that are used by both men and women to enhance their appearance come laced with harmful chemical ingredients. When these ingredients penetrate the skin surface, they are bound to cause damage. What this means is that the skin infection in the area around your lips become vulnerable, and this may lead to the appearance of pimples not only on your lips but also on your face.

3. Herpes or cold sores

Herpes cold sore spot on lower lip

Herpes cold sore on lower lip

According to HealthLine, pimple formation is the primary symptom associated with a herpes infection—the virus caused by HSV 1 (herpes simples virus). The so-called pimples are mainly cold sores, and as such, they should not confuse an infected person. Although herpes infection is common around the genital areas, you should note that they can also appear on your lips and mouth.

It is mainly transmitted via oral sex, even though it is quite rare. In case your partner has already been infected with this virus, you will find that you can get it via saliva. Apart from kissing, you can also get this virus through the sharing of contaminated utensils e.g. forks and spoons as well as towels.

4. Hormonal changes

Apart from the causes mentioned above, there are pimples that can appear at certain growth stages through a pimple or bumps formation and can occur in any area of your body. Normally, these changes will occur due to the decrease or increase of certain hormones in your body e.g. progesterone and estrogen, which are known to affect both men and women. Normally it affects people who are either:

  • Pregnant
  • Undergoing the puberty stage

For those that are in the puberty stage, affected individuals will experience an increase in body fats. For the body to release the extra fats, a majority of young people will start developing tiny pimples all over the skin surrounding your face and will harbor all these fats. Additionally, pregnant women will need to release all the extra waste that is created by the fetus growing in them. The unwanted toxins and wastes include:

  • Nitrogenous waste
  • Excess water

5. General poor hygiene

When your hygiene levels are poor or low, there is a very big probability that you will start developing pimples on your lips and face. The facial skin is among the most sensitive areas on your body, and as such, you should handle them with proper hygiene and care.

However, you need to make sure that you handle a dirty face with care. Pimples on lips or around mouth should be handled with care, or else an infection could arise. Apart from the reasons we have discussed above, there are additional causes, which we will cover below.

6. Oily skin

Your skin nature can provide a lot of information pertaining to your current health status. As mentioned earlier, the presence of excess skin oil will normally evoke the formation of pimples on your lips or around your face.Whiteheads on upper lip

It is a precaution you need to consider before taking foods that have too many fats, greasy or fast foods. If you have to take such foods, ensure you conduct adequate cleansing, including properly wiping your lips as soon as you are done taking these foods.

7. Pimples after waxing lip hair

Pimples appearing above your upper lip can be caused by the type of hair removal techniques you should to use. Waxing is a common technique used by both men and women who want to do away with the unwanted hairs in their upper lips. But, for those who are using this technique for the very first time, they need to understand that using this method can lead to the development of whiteheads on and around the lip line.

Additional causes include:

  • Certain causes that are found in chemicals
  • Stress
  • Smoking

Whitehead around lips, on upper and lower lip causes

Is it possible to get pimple whiteheads on upper and lower lips, or around the lips? Any individual can get a pimple on this area, including the inner and outer areas of their lips, more so on the lower lip.

  • Most people bite the lower lip a lot. This could be one of the reasons why you are getting the bumps on your lower lip line.
  • Upper lip zits or sores are commonly a sign of a lip infection, herpes or cold sores.
  • In most cases, people prone to acne and pimples get lip pimples as well.

See also: Causes of pimples inside the mouth

Small painful whiteheads on lips

Swollen upper lip due to whiteheads

Popping lip pimples can lead to swollen upper lips

So how do the swollen and painful whiteheads on your lips come about? If you scratch or disrupt the pimples that are on your lips or face, you can be assured that they will become inflamed and will soon start to swell. There is, therefore, a need to understand what brings about these pimples and what you can do about them.


A common cause for the appearance of small painful whiteheads is because of an infection. Common infections that bring about lip swelling are infections caused by piercings in the upper lips, more so when you neglect cleaning the piercings.

The infections can be caused by bacterial infections or certain diseases that can come about if you do not go for regular checking. In case you notice that the lips are becoming swollen, or changing their color, you should understand that the color change could have been brought about by an increased flow of blood to this area.

Squeezing and popping

Squeezing and popping by itself has the potential to make your lips swell and become very sore. This can occur within a matter of minutes, more so when a person uses the wrong popping or squeezing technique. Premature popping is the main reason for the pain and swelling.

Continued scratching and licking

Licking your pimples using your tongue will also cause them to swell. As such, it is recommended that you leave them alone, and do not attempt to feel them using your teeth as well. In case the small pimple becomes too painful or start swelling too much, ensure you contact your nearest health care center. The same should also be done for pimples that refuse to go away on their own after a few weeks.

How to pop whiteheads on lips

Popping whiteheads and pimples is bad. When disturbed, whiteheads, acne and pimple zits around your lips will become inflamed. The bumps then become very painful, and can easily get infected. Some whiteheads become itchy and you get tempted to pop them. If you must, here’s how to pop a whitehead on your lip.

  1. Wash your hands using soap and clean, warm water. Pat dry with a clean towel
  2. Wash your face and gently exfoliate it, specifically the lips.
  3. Sterilize a comedone extractor. You may use a needle. Disinfect by passing it through a hot flame, then allow it to cool. Wipe using rubbing alcohol.
  4. Dab a little rubbing alcohol around the whitehead or zit.
  5. Pierce the pimple across and not downwards using a needle. Make a small tear with it by ripping the white part upward.
  6. Push down on the sides to release the pus.
  7. Wipe the pus with a clean towel or cotton swab.
  8. Dab with rubbing alcohol again.

Only pop pimples on lips when they form a small white head. Nodular acne and underground pimples can really get inflamed if you try popping them.

How to get rid of whiteheads on the lip

It can be quite annoying and tedious to treat pimples that won’t go away or keep on reappearing. There are those pimples that do not require any kind of treatment and intervention e.g. internal body changes and hormonal imbalance.

Apart from creating a negative self-look for a person, the pimples can also come with a lot of discomforts for the affected person, hence the need to ensure that they get treated as soon as possible. The different treatment methods include:

Topical medications and ointments

It is possible for cold sores to get healed and to disappear away on their own, without the need for you to treat them. However, when you have a cold sore accompanied by a red, itchy, or painful blister, it is recommended that you visit your doctor as soon as possible. Often, the doctor will recommend that you take some antiviral medication e.g.

  • Creams
  • Pills
  • Ointments

Ointments come in handy when a person wants to eradicate the symptoms that are associated with cold sores as mentioned above. Over the counter creams are useful in reducing and relieving the symptoms associated with such conditions.

There is a need to make sure that you take your time to carefully select the medications you would like to use. For the over counter medications, consider the ingredients that have been used to manufacture the medicine. If you are not sure of any of the ingredients that have been mentioned, ensure you consult your healthcare provider.


Medical experts recommend that you perform regular gentle scrubbing or exfoliation on the lips to ensure that you do away with various layers of dead cells, and any residue lip balm that could be present. You can use the following methods to get rid of the pimples as well as come up with fine edges for your lips.

A sugar scrub is one of the easiest ways to do away with the lip pimples. Additionally, you could choose to purchase cleaners or exfoliators if you do not want to use the sugar scrub. As such, you should only consider those that have salicylic acid in low levels.

Home remedies to cure the whiteheads on lips naturally

Apart from using the conventional treating methods, you can also consider remedies that are easily accessible, especially those that can be found inside your house. The following are some of the remedies that you should consider using:

Routine skin care treatment

Though brief, the following description will provide you with a step by step guide on how to go about treating your facial skin

1. Washing

The very first thing that you need to do is ensure that you wash the pimples on your lips and pimples on a regular basis. Before you can start washing the pimples, you will need to ensure that your hands are clean. Also, make sure to use some warm water when you are washing. You will need to:

  1. Use a facial towel to wipe your face very gently
  2. Stay away from medicated solutions as well as flavored soaps

2. Makeup removal

Many people, especially women and metrosexual men often forget to do away with any make-up residual that could be present on their faces. Some of these make-up or beauty products are made from chemicals that can cause the appearance of pimples or blemishes not only on your lips but also on your face.

There is, therefore, a need for you to be prudent and ensure that the makeup is removed before going to bed. You can use your preferred makeup remover or face cleaner to clean this area. Additionally, you will need to stay away from perfumed soaps.

3. Moisturize your lips

It is important to make sure that you select a suitable moisturizer to use on a daily basis. Any selected moisturizer should not have any oils or scents as well.

Stop using lip or facial products

In case you have noticed that the lip pimples have started to appear after you have started using a particular beauty product, you may need to stop using the product in question. But, before you jump to this conclusion, you will need to determine whether the product you are using is what is causing the pimples. As such, you will need to stop using it for a few days. If the pimples go away, this means that the beauty product you are using is the primary cause for the pimples.

Stopping the use of these products does not mean that you should stop taking care of your face. What it means is that you should continue using the natural remedies that have been discussed above. It also means that you may need to do away with any other beauty and chemical products that you could be using at the moment e.g.

  1. Concealers
  2. Shampoo
  3. Harsh beauty soaps

Before you can consider possible alternatives, it is recommended that you consider asking for advice from your doctor or beautician. You should also make inquiries on whether there are ingredients that you should not use, more so those that are used in the manufacture of these beauty products.

Use a compress

Before using a compress, you should understand that they come in two forms: hot and cold compresses. You can use either of the two to relieve the uncomfortable pain or feeling that comes with the pimples. Where there is pain accompanying the appearance of the pimples, make sure to use a cold compress.

A hot compress will come in handy when you need to pop a pimple. Make sure that you do not use the cold compress on any open blister or after you have popped the blisters or pimples.

Lime juice

Lime juice found in lemons is favored for its ability to assist in fighting bacteria and germs thanks in part to its potent anti-bacterial properties. For it to assist you in fighting the infection and doing away with the pimples, you have to ensure that you rub it on to your lips. If you are not allergic, you should also consider adding in jojoba or carrot oil to it.

Maintain a healthy diet

Proper nutrition is vital for one to remain healthy, and this means that you should consider maintaining a proper diet at all times. Your diet should include essential vitamins, water, proteins, and multivitamins. You can also consider incorporating green vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet.

Word of caution: For those that are used to popping pimples using the hot compress method, they need to make sure that they do not pop acne related pimples. Popping such a pimple will only worsen the condition, hence the need to let it heal on its own, or seek medical help from your healthcare provider.


  1. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/thrush-health/page9_em.htm#Medications
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19074705
  3. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-vulgaris-medications
  4. http://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/patient/lip-mouth-treatment-pdq
  5. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/canker-sore/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/CON-20021262
  6. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/oral_thrush/page2_em.htm#oral_thrush_symptoms_and_signs
  7. https://beautyeditor.ca/2015/10/06/how-to-pop-a-pimple

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1 comment

Nell Dec 23, 2019 - 2:52 am

This is some of the worst advice I’ve ever read.