lip blistersUnsightly lip blisters seem to show up at the most inopportune times and while you’d like to ignore them, they can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance.

Many people you speak with may not actually being paying any attention to it but you know it’s there and can’t help feeling that everyone is staring at it.

Lips blisters can occur for a number of reasons and most point to some health-related anomaly — any one of a number of issues can make itself known on your lips.  For example, maybe you’re allergic to something like ingredients in a skin or makeup product — or, you’ve spent too much time in the sun or tanning bed, you have or are getting a cold, you harbor a disease or have injured your lip.

Most of the issues associated with blisters on the lips (looking scary in lip blisters pictures on the internet) resolve on their own in a week or less.

Antibiotics or other topical treatments will generally only buy you a day or two in accelerated recovery. How you choose to treat or not treat the blister is generally dictated by your level of anxiety in having it displayed, (which you may perceive) like a neon sign, on your face.

Why Your Cold Sore Can Never be Cured

There are some blisters on the mouth, however, that come with caveats — meaning that when they’re present, it’s best not to share them with someone else by way of kissing or sharing food utensils. These would be the herpes simplex lip blisters which can be caused by both the oral (HSV-1) AND rarely occurring on the mouth — genital (HSV-2) forms of this virus.

Once you have the herpes simplex virus (cold sore virus), you’re stuck with it because there is no cure. The herpes simplex virus goes dormant in your system until something triggers it like an illness, or stress.

One advantage (if anything about it can be considered good) is that you will usually get a warning before an outbreak. Many times you’ll get a burning, tingling or aching sensation in the area where the sore will break out a day or two before it happens. This at least helps to prepare you mentally that something’s coming.

Is Your Lip Blister a Sign of Lip Cancer?

One type of lip blister that should NEVER be ignored are those that display multiple signs pointing to lip cancer. Lip cancer is VERY treatable and nearly 100% CURABLE when caught early. Men are 50% more likely to get lip cancers than women and men over the age of 50 are at even higher risk!

Here are just a few of the telltale signs this blister type on your mouth is something more than a cold sore:

  • You have what seems to be a cold sore that doesn’t heal in two weeks or less
  • Your lips have an area that appears to be eroded
  • Lumps, bumps or thickening areas on the lips
  • A lip sore that’s crusty and bleeds
  • You have a history of extreme UV exposure such as working outdoors in the sun or you are tanning bed addicted
  • You are a heavy smoker AND consume alcohol more than considered “average” (This also includes users of dip, snuff, or chewing tobacco products)

lip blisters picturesLip cancers are often either basal cell type (10%) or squamous cell type (90%) and rarely malignant melanomas (less than 1%).

Squamous cell lip cancers typically occur on the red lip area where basal cell carcinomas are more prevalent in the white lip area of the mouth.

These first two types are almost 100% curable when treated early. Melanomas on the lip can originate from untreated versions of the other two.

What sets lip cancers apart from others is that they do not migrate to other parts of the body and your lymph nodes as quickly as cancers originating in the body.

Regardless of the lip cancer type, ALL need to be removed using a freezing method or some type of micrographic surgery that target cancer cells through multiple skin layers. The good news is that even with surgery, healing can take as little as a few weeks with minimal aftercare.

Lip Blisters Pictures and Facts

blood blister on lipBLOOD BLISTERUsually injury related where lip is pinched and damaged area fills with blood under the skinKeep ice on the area to reduce swelling - will usually go away on its own and does not require medical treatment unless infected. Healing time up to one week.
cold sore on lipCOLD SORESCaused by the herpes simplex viruses - both HSV-1 and HSV-2 strains and are contagiousWill usually resolve on their own but creams, pills and ointments are available. These promote faster healing by only a day or two. Overall healing 1 to 2 weeks.
fever blisterFEVER BLISTERJust another name for cold sore. Highly contagious during the blister stageSee Cold Sore
Lip CancerLIP CANCER BLISTERAssociated with smoking, alcohol consumption, and immunosuppression as well as sun exposureMust be surgically removed through methods like MOHS Micrographic Surgery
sun blister on lipsSUN BLISTERSevere cases of sunburn on unprotected lipsApply antibiotic ointment to clean, dry blister. Do not pop the blister or pull skin off a popped blister due to risk of infection
water blisterWATER BLISTERWater blisters form when the layers of the skin separate and fluid collects. They can also be caused by anti-biotics, friction, biting the inside of your mouth or a reaction to skin care productsThe water-like fluid is actually your body's production of a protective serum between the top skin layer and damaged tissue. Best to leave alone OR if a nuisance, pierce with needle cleaned in rubbing alcohol

Filed under: Lip Conditions