Do you ever notice something on your skin and wonder, what on earth is this?
It may be something small that isn’t really threatening. Sometimes these things just disappear on their own.
Maybe you’ve seen a cluster of tiny raised bumps along the border of your lips. They almost look like pimples but not quite. We got curious, too, and decided to investigate.
We’ve got everything you need to know about strange white bumps on lips.
Read on to find out what the tiny white bumps are, why they occur, and how to take care of them. Hopefully, this article will answer your questions and put your mind at ease.
What Does it Mean When You Have White Bumps on Your Lips?
Anytime a strange bump appears on our bodies, we suspect that it’s a disease or infection. It can be especially worrisome as the same white bumps on lips can also appear on your genitals. We’re happy to tell you that those white spots are not linked to any disease or infection. The spots are actually called Fordyce spots.
What are the Causes of White Spots on Lips?
White spots on lips causes are a little technical, so bear with us. Essentially, the white spots or Fordyce spots are enlarged sebaceous glands. The sebaceous gland produces oil called sebum, which is released into a hair follicle to lubricate the skin around it.
When there is no hair follicle, as is the case with Fordyce spots, the oil has nowhere to go. The ensuing blockage leads to those white bumps. It also explains why these bumps sometimes have an occasional yellowish tinge to them (that’s the trapped sebum) and why you will occasionally find similar bumps in your genital area.
How are White Bumps on Lips Diagnosed?
As previously mentioned, many people mistake Fordyce spots for other spots or bumps that sometimes occur. The doctor may take a look at your medical history and examine the bump closely to be sure it is a Fordyce bump as opposed to something else. There is also the possibility that the doctor will do a lip swab in order to get a culture sample—just to cover all of the medical bases.
Once it is diagnosed, the next step is to determine the appropriate course of action for the Fordyce bumps. Lucky for you, there are many forms of white bumps on lips treatment.
How Do You Get Rid of White Bumps on Lips?
So, now that you know that the white spot is a Fordyce spot, you must decide what to do about it. Which white spots on lips treatment should you consider and how quickly should you start the treatment?
The first thing to remember is that these white bumps are harmless. They are not symptoms of some disease nor will the sebum oil in them poison you. But if they are bugging you, there are some treatments that you can try. Here is a small selection of your options.
- Do nothing. The white bumps will go away. Just let them run their course and wait it out. In fact, dermatologists and doctors will recommend this treatment method more often than not.
- Laser treatments. You can treat Fordyce bumps with lasers. This method tends to be expensive and shouldn’t be used unless necessary.
- Punch excision. With this technique, the white spots are targeted by a machine that makes 1-2mm wide holes in the skin, eliminates the Fordyce, and stitches the holes. This will probably stop Fordyce bumps from reoccurring. This process may leave some scars.
- Garlic. One of the more natural methods of white spots prevention is the use of garlic. One particular tactic involves taking two cloves of garlic and crushing them. Mix the crushed garlic with 200 mL of water and add a tablespoon of lemon juice. Drink this mix before each meal.
- Apple cider vinegar. For a more topical treatment, mix a few drops of apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water. Dip a cotton swab or ball into the mixture and swab the white spot with it. After a couple of minutes have passed, rinse the area with water. The apple cider vinegar may help due to its astringent (shrinking of tissue) properties.
- Buttermilk. Use buttermilk in a similar process to apple cider vinegar. Dip a cotton ball in the buttermilk and swab the affected. Let the buttermilk dry and then wipe off. Much like apple cider vinegar, buttermilk has astringent properties that can help with the white spots.
Don’t Worry about It, They’ll Go Away!
Those white bumps that have popped up around your lips and private areas may be disconcerting. They may look a bit gross and unattractive, but at the end of the day, they aren’t anything bad.
If left alone, they will just disappear. But if you can’t wait, there are a fair amount of options for you. And if you are at all concerned about the white bumps near your lips, or they change color or begin to bleed, you can consult a doctor for medical advice.
Kukreja, K., “6 Effective Home Remedies To Cure White Spots On Lips,” Stylecraze, November 21, 2016, http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/effective-home-remedies-to-cure-white-spots-on-lips/#gref, last accessed March 9, 2017.
Nordqvist, C., “Fordyce Spots: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments,” Medical News Today, September 10, 2015, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/256918.php?page=2, last accessed March 9, 2017.
“What are Fordyce Spots?”, Antisebum, http://www.fordycespots.com/fordyce-spots, last accessed March 9, 2017.
Nail, R., “White Bumps on Lips,” Healthline, March 16, 2015, http://www.healthline.com/health/white-bumps-on-lips#Overview1, last accessed March 9, 2017.