What's this thing on my lower lip?
August 9, 2019 7:56 AM   Subscribe

I have a small circular white boil-like thing on my lower lip (pictures here). What is this (is this just a pimple?), and should I do anything about it?

TBH I'm particularly interested in establishing if it's a cold sore (I know I get them), because I refrain from lip-involved sexual contact when I have any sign of a cold sore outbreak, so I'd like to know if that's what this is!

(It doesn't feel like one though, because normally the first sign is that they itch and then there's an open sore or multiple bumpy sores, which this isn't really.)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
That looks like a pimple to me.
posted by Mistress at 8:02 AM on August 9 [7 favorites]

This is a zit.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:12 AM on August 9 [5 favorites]

Yup, zit, especially if it doesn't hurt like a motherfucker the way cold sores do.
posted by Melismata at 8:31 AM on August 9

Another vote for zit, and jealousy that you had to ask. I get them on the lip boundary all the time and I hate having them there. If it's bothering you I've found that putting cosrx stickers on them overnight makes them go away faster (I got one Tuesday, it was off by yesterday and the mark is barely noticeable today) and less likely to recur. I didn't like putting topical medications so near my mouth so the stickers have been an awesome innovation.
posted by potrzebie at 8:38 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]

Co-signing those cosrx stickers; they are the jam for this kind of thing. Also, if it doesn’t go away in a few days and turns into something looking more like a blood blister, it may be a pyogenic granuloma. Unlikely and not a big deal, but I just mention because I currently happen to have one in the same spot and it took me forever to figure out what is was (before my doc confirmed).
posted by lovableiago at 9:30 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]

+ 1 for CosRX pads - but I’ve only found them online. Another brand may be in stores but they’re not as good. Otherwise a spot treatment. I like the 2% salicylic gel one from neutrogena.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:11 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]

I've found that putting cosrx stickers on them

It's a zit. Seriously, pop it. Then apply the med. You'll be fine. I know I'm disgusting.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:49 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]

Possibly an ingrown hair that became infected. There looks to be at least one hair above the base and your beard hair is bristly.
posted by Short End Of A Wishbone at 11:30 AM on August 9

It's a zit. Seriously, pop it.

In my experience, popping these means I get another, bigger one in a couple days. The location right by the mouth yields ample opportunities for recontamination. Tread carefully and be gentle, and if it opens up wash it right away.
posted by potrzebie at 12:18 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]

One way to a) confirm if it's a pimple and b) treat it at the same time -

Hot compresses. Wet a washcloth in really hot water and hold it on the spot for 15 minutes, then give yourself a couple minutes break (you can re-wet the cloth in hot water again) and then repeat, for about an hour or so. This will raise a head and possibly encourage the pimple, if it is one, to burst and drain all on its own. At any point, if it does burst and drain, then you can treat it and stop with the compresses.

(Instead of a cloth, if you're feeling a little reckless like I do sometimes, if you get a cup of hot coffee rest the side of the cup against it; ostensibly the cup is "too hot" to be used this way, but I found a stubborn zit I had once responded quickly to that.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:39 PM on August 9 [3 favorites]

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