White spots, dots, or patches on lip may be small, tiny or big. Sometimes, they are visible only when the lip is stretched. Usually, having white spots on lips is an indication of a mild infection, which can easily be treated or go away on its own. However, though in very rare cases, it might be a sign of a more severe condition such as cancer. Explore the various causes of white spots, dots or patches on lip. Also, learn how to get rid of them using treatments and home remedies.
Summary of Page Contents
- Signs and Symptoms of White Spots on Lips
- White Spots on Lips Pictures
- Causes of White Spots on Lip
- Small White Spots on lips
- White Spots on Upper Lip
- White Spots on Lower Lip
- How to Get Rid of White Spots on Lips
- When to See a Doctor Over White Spots on Lips
- Sources and References
Signs and Symptoms of White Spots on Lips
Your lips have a significant role about your beauty. From speculations, some people believe that beauty relies on your lips and if you want to be more beautiful, allow your lips to smile more. According to these speculations, it is unfortunate to have white spots on lips.
Furthermore, signs and symptoms of having white spots on lips can make you feel embarrassed hence correlated to psychological effect that can lower your self-esteem. In addition to that, signs and symptoms of white spots on your lips can be so hurting to extent that causes difficulties in speaking, eating and even kissing.
The following are signs and symptoms of white spots on lips:
- White or yellow spots on edge of lips
- white spot on lower and upper lip
- Dry and scaly lips and sometimes leathery white
- white bumps at the corners of the lips
- tiny white lesion on the shallow surface groove of the upper lip
- whitish fluid-filled blisters on the vermilion zone of the lip
- large white patches on the surface and inside the lips
White Spots on Lips Pictures
How does a white spot on a lip look like? Pictures about white spots on lips are provided in this post to give a solution to this question. These pictures or images give a clear visual understanding about white spots on your lips. They also show possible parts of the lips that can be affected by white spots.
Pictures about white spots on lips also form part of reference that can help you to contrast or compare various signs and symptoms of white spots on lips. From the comparison made between these pictures and the real dots on your lips, you can easily know the types of spots or infection affections that affect your mouth.
Causes of White Spots on Lip
White or yellow spots on lips are a common problem that can affect young and adults. There are various factors or causes that result in white spots on mouth specifically lips.
Here are some of the causes of white spots on lips that include:
1. Fordyce Spots (Fordyce Granules)
Fordyce spots also called Fordyce granules. These are small white or yellowish bumps that can appear on the shallow groove of the lips, vermilion zone and on sides of cheeks. Often, Fordyce appear as white dots on lips when stretched.
Fordyce spots can also occur at genitalia parts. For a male, the bumps can appear on the shaft and head of the penis, on the scrotum. While in the female the bumps like pimples develop at the labia.
The exact cause of Fordyce spots on skin is not clearly known, although this condition is associated with a problem of an oil gland on the skin. Dermatologists try to explain this condition that, it arises when sebum is clogged in oil gland that has no hair follicle to allow the oil beneath the skin to come out resulting in white spots on lips.
Fordyce spots on skin are benign conditions that are usually harmless and have no irritations. Besides being harmless, they can make your lips less attractive with the bumpy vermilion surface.
Fordyce spots are difficult to be treated although laser method can be used to remove these bumps from the skin. Cosmetic products such as creams and skin exfoliator chemicals can be used to reduce the size of the bumps.
2. Cold Core (Fever Blisters)
Cold sores or fever blisters are pale yellow and white blister that can cause white spots on lips. The small blisters can also manifest in nostrils, inside cheeks, gums, and on the tongue. The blisters that are caused by cold sore usually starts with burning sensation on affected site, after few hours a blister filled with fluid will appear. This blister burst to weep and finally crust over to heal.
Cold sore infection is the consequence of having herpes simplex virus type one in the body system. Herpes virus is contagious and it can spread faster in a population within a short period of time. Herpes virus can be passed by direct contact with infected saliva.
Cold sore on your lips can not be permanent blisters. They can take about two weeks to go away. However, the virus that causes this infection cannot go away from your body system. They remain inactive but can be activated by some factors like stress and weakened the immune system to cause another outbreak of sores on the lips.
3. Canker Sore
Canker sores are painful white or gray sallow ulcers that appear inside the lips, gums, throat, and tongue. Canker sore has unique ulcers that have red color on the edge of the bumps that form white spots on lips.
The main causes of this condition on the mouth are not clearly known but medical doctors’ attributes this infection to be associated with the weakened immune system. Other predisposing conditions like stress, hormones fluctuation, and trauma on the lips can trigger the outbreak of canker sores.
4. Milia Spots
Milia spots are a harmless skin condition that can result in white spots on lips. Generally, it appears on the skin of the face as tiny raised bumps. It often occurs on the skin of infants or babies. This condition can confuse you with painful baby acne that develops on the skin of infants due to the effect of mothers hormones in the milk.
In comparison with baby acne, milia cannot develop into painful inflammations. The skin of the adults can also be affected by milia spots.
Milia spots originate from the deposition of keratin or dead cells under the skin surface to appear as small white bumps on the face that form milium cyst. In addition to that, milia spots can cause white spots on lips that are less hurting but might be a disadvantage when it comes to beauty.
Having milia spots on your skin is not a serious skin condition. They are benign and they don’t require even a treatment. In newly born babies, it can last only a few weeks. For the case of adults, milia can take few months to clear up on the skin.
5. Fungal Infection (Oral Thrush)
Oral thrush is a fungal attack that leads to white spots on lips, tongue, gums, and throat. Some medical experts describe oral thrush as yeast infection caused by candida albicans. Oral thrush it often appears inside the lips of toddler or infants. Adults cannot escape yeast infection when the fungus infests to in the oral part to dominate the mouth.
Yeast infection is a mild condition that can clear up within few weeks. However, the condition can cause a serious damage to an individual with weakened immune system. In case of any complication that develops from oral thrush; it is advisable to seek consultation from your dentist.
6. Human Papillomavirus HPV, SDT or STI
White spots on lips can be the consequences of having human papillomavirus (HPV). This is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or disease (STD) that can spread through direct skin contact with infected person. HPV can be transmitted during the process of having virginal, anal or oral sex with an infected partner.
HPV is a common infection that affects a large number of people in a population especially men and women who are sexually active. In many occasions, the HPV infection can be suppressed by body immune system to go away slowly. However, HPV in some people do not go away and can result in serious health condition like cancer and warts.
- Lip cancer: HPV can result in a proliferation of cells on the skin. In other words, HPV can cause cancer. There are various types of cancer conditions caused by papilloma virus that includes: Cancer of the lips, cervix, vagina, vulva and also anus cancer. HPV can also lead to oral cancer that can appear as white spots on lips and other parts on the mouth.
- Warts: these are the type of skin deformation that looks like small bumps on the skin of genital parts. Warts can also appear on the oral parts. They might appear as white spots on lips. Warts on the skin have various sizes and shapes. These bumps can be large, small, raised or flat.
7. Vitiligo and Depigmentation
Vitiligo is a skin condition that results in loss of melanin or skin pigments. Vitiligo can result to white patches, spots or dots on the skin that can extend to the lips. This condition can occur at any parts of the skin which might even affect the color of your body hairs.
The problem of vitiligo can arise on your skin when melanocytes on the skin stop producing melanin. Melanocytes are cells that make melanin that gives the skin its color. According to mayo clinic, vitiligo can develop when the melanocytes die or stop performing their functions. There is no clear reason that explains about the death of melanocytes. However, vitiligo has been linked to skin cancer.
White spots on lips can develop due to the effect of vitiligo. Formation of white patches on your skin can be bothersome, especially if they are large and visible. Vitiligo is a benign condition that doesn’t hurt you but it can alter your self-esteem hence you can develop a depression.
8. Mucous Cyst
Mucous cysts are also called mucocele. These are bumps like swelling that are fluid-filled and can appear inside your lips or in the mouth cavity. Mucous cysts mostly appear inside the lower lip. These bumps develop when salivary glands in the mouth are plugged with mucus.
The mucous cysts are a mild condition that results in white spots on lips that cannot advance into complication although medical check-ups are very important. The mucous cysts can be a temporal condition that can last few weeks in your mouth. In few occasion, some mucous cysts are permanent and they require special treatment in order to be removed from the skin.
The mucous cyst can develop from the following conditions that include:
- Biting your lower lips
- Dental works
- Bursting of salivary glands due to mouth injuries
- Poor oral hygiene practices
9. Allergy Reaction
White spots on lips might be the effect of allergic reaction on the skin. Direct contact of your lips to strange material and chemicals such as heavy metals including lead and titanium can cause allergy reaction on the skin of your lips.
10. Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can result to painless white bumps that can easily bleed and develop into ulcers. These bumps can be either raised or flat. Oral cancer can develop after exposure to the carcinogenic substance. Carcinogenic simply mean risk factors that encourage cancerous condition.
Lips cancer can develop due to the following risk factors:
- Infection of human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Use of tobacco products
- Abuse of alcohol
- Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun
- Taking heavy metal into body system like mercury and lead
Small White Spots on lips
Small white spots on lips are a common problem that occurs in many individuals. If your lip has little spots, you should not be surprised but instead, find out the causal agent before going for treatment. There are various factors that might result in small bumps on your lips.
These factors include:
- Milia spots are usually small bumps that appear on the face including lips. Milia cysts on the skin look like small whiteheads that exist in several clusters
- Fordyce spots are also little or tiny yellow bumps that occur on the lip line. Clogged sebum in the oil gland makes Fordyce granule to have white or pale yellow color
- An allergic reaction can also result to small white spots on the lips. Some allergic reaction can result in big bumps or large patches on the lip
White Spots on Upper Lip
White spots on the upper lip usually appear on the vermilion zone, on lip line, and on labial commissure. Like any other parts of mucous membrane, upper lip can develop various problems associated with white spots on lips.
White lesions on the upper lip can appear as flat spots or raised bumps. In addition, they might also appear as small or large in sizes. Some infection can cause single spots on the upper lips for instance cold sore. Other condition like milia spots can result to a cluster of bumps in a single point on the upper lip.
At some point, you can observe strange signs and symptoms of white dots on your upper lip. For this case, you need to see your doctor for more check up and treatment if necessary.
White Spots on Lower Lip
White spots on the lower lip can appear in various sizes and shapes basing on the causal agent. Some spots range in sizes between pinpoint size and larger blisters. The characteristic of a whites spots on the lower lip can help to identify the type of infection affecting your lip.
White spots on the lower lip can result from any of the causal factors that we have already elaborated. According to health records, there are many cases of patients having many problems on the lower lip compared to the upper lip. These mean that lower lip is more susceptible to white spots or patches.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Lips
White spots on lips can be painful and worrisome especially when they threaten your beauty. Some white spots on your lips can be a benign condition which cannot advance into the health threatening condition and they easily respond to home remedies.
Occasionally, some health conditions that cause white spots on lips might develop into serious damage of the lips that need special medical treatment in order to go away. For instance, cancer and vitiligo rarely respond to home remedies and they can only be treated by your doctor.
Treatment for White Spots on Lips
Medical treatment can be used to get rid of white spots on lips which might advance to threatening conditions. When your lip has frightening spots, it is advisable to visit your doctor for a medical diagnosis. Ensures you visit a qualified doctor who has experience about oral problems.
When you visit your doctor, he/she might conduct a physical observation of the white spots on lips. Other body parts like inside the mouth, lymph nodes, entire body skin and even genital parts may be observed. Oral sample and tissue biopsy can be taken to a laboratory for testing. The suspected bacterial, viruses, and fungi can be investigated in the culture sample test.
From the result of the sample test, your doctor will decide and come up with a medical plan for your white spots on lips. For the case of Fordyce spots, your doctor might use laser treatment to remove Fordyce granules. For cancer conditions on lips, your doctor will decide appropriated cancer therapy treatment to use. Other bacterial and fungal infections, oral drugs and ointment might be prescribed to you by the doctor.
Home Remedies for White Spots on Lips
Some white spots on lips are mild problems that you can use home remedies to get rid of them. For example, milia spots and Fordyce spots on your mucous membrane cannot advance to serious illness.
Try to apply the following home remedies for white spots on your lips:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a home remedy to remove Fordyce spots on the lips. It can also be used to minimize the size of different white spots on lips. The reagent has the astringent property that can help to remove clogged oil beneath the skin. It also has antimicrobial properties that can eliminate fungus and bacteria on the lips.
How to use:
- Get small amount of apple cider vinegar and mix with equal quantity of water
- Use a cotton swab or ball to apply the mixture on the affected area of your lips
- Allow the mixture to stay on your lips for about 10 minutes and rinse with warm water
- Repeat the treatment three times per day until white spots on your lips goes away
Garlic is a blest home remedies that can be used to get rid of whites spots on lips. Garlic has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has the ability to minimize strange bacteria in the body system and it can help to minimize oil deposit on the skin to prevent and treat Fordyce granules and milia spots.
How to use:
- Get two garlic cloves and crush, mix with about two class of water
- Add two teaspoon of lemon juice to flavor it
- Drink two glasses of the garlic extract per day, after and before the going in bed
- Repeat same procedure until your lips restore to normal appearance
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be used to remove white spots on your skin caused by problems of the oil gland. Excess secretion of sebum in the oil gland is due to stimulation resulting from of dryness on the surface of the skin. Coconut oil helps to keep the skin moisten and soft that keep away white spots on lips.
It also has an antimicrobial ability that can be used to eliminate bacteria and fungus that might cause whites spots on your lips.
How to use:
- Get two spoons of coconut oil
- Clean your lips using lukewarm water
- Use your clean figure to apply the oil on the affected parts of the skin.
- Ensure you apply the treatment three times per day until white spots on lips fades away
4. Butter Milk
For inflamed blisters caused by cold sores on the lips, butter milk can be used to ease pain and inflammation. Butter milk also has astringent ability to remove excess sebum on the surface of the skin that can encourage milia spots and Fordyce spots.
How to use:
- Get small amount of butter milk in a cup
- Use cotton swab to apply the butter milk on your lips
- Allow it to dry off before rinsing with cold water
- Repeat the treatment until white spots fade
5. Drinking Clean Water
Taking clean water into your body system can help to keep your skin moisten and soft. Water also helps to dilute harmful excretions in the blood that can cause skin problems. Drinking clean water daily according to the demand of the body can help you to escape Fordyce spots and other related white spots caused by dry skin.
6. Essential Oils
The essential oils are a natural version of high concentrated oil from plants. This oil is known to have medicinal properties that can help to get rid of white spots lips. This essential oil includes tea tree, benzoin, cabre-uva, olive and Scotch pine oil. The essential oil has antimicrobial ingredients that can help to eliminate microbes that can cause white spots on lips.
How to use:
- Get tea tree, benzoin, olive or Scotch pine oils.
- Mix the available essential oils in a small container
- Apply the oil on your lips using clean finger
When to See a Doctor Over White Spots on Lips
It is advisable to see a doctor over white spots on your lip if you experience the following conditions on the lips:
- When white spots persist on your lip for more than 3 weeks without improving
- When white spots on your lips make it difficult to speak, smile, whistle, and kiss
- If the spots on the lips are growing large and painful
- When the white bumps on the lips are not painful but hard and bleed easily
- When white bumps appear on moth and genitalia part
- When white spots on lips accompany other hurting symptoms like fever and headache.
Sources and References
- Signs and symptoms of whites spots on lips: http://www.healthline.com/health/white-bumps-on-lips#overview1
- White spots on lips pictures: http://healthooze.com/white-spots-on-the-lips/
- Causes of white spots on lips: http://www.md-health.com/White-Spots-On-Lips.html
- Small white spots on the lips: http://www.livestrong.com/article/214836-what-are-the-causes-of-small-white-bumps-on-lips/
- White spots on the upper lips: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Dermatology/white-tiny-spots-on-the-upper-lips/show/581970
- White spots on the lower lips: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Dermatology/white-gray-patch-on-lower-lip/show/1226528
- How to get rid of white spot on the lips: http://www.beautyglimpse.com/get-rid-ugly-white-spots-lips/
- Treatments for white spots on lips: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health/white-bumps-on-lips/
- Home remedies for white spots on the lips: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/effective-home-remedies-to-cure-white-spots-on-lips/#gref
- When to see a doctor over white spots on lips: http://www.healthline.com/health/white-bumps-on-lips#when-to-seek-help4