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Blisters on Inside of Lips Causes and Treatments

June 18, 2018

Why do I have blisters inside my lips? Are they due to cankers sores, ulcers, sunburn, or something else? Let us discuss the issue of blisters on the inside of lips including why they appear, treatments, and much more.

Understanding blisters

A blister refers to a pocket filled with body fluids that could be blood, serum, lymph, or pus. When inside your lips, they can be on your upper or lower lip, i.e., on the top inner lip or bottom one.

Usually, blisters should heal on their own within seven days, and it is normal to expect some pain as soon as they appear until they heal. However, not all of them cause pain. Some are painless.

On gender and age, they can occur in people of all ages and both sexes, i.e., they can affect newborns, children, adults, or older adults both male and female.

It is good to know the exact cause since some causes are contagious while others will increase the vulnerability to secondary infections. Do not disregard any early signs you end up with unless you are sure of what caused them. Some could be cancerous!

Causes

Blisters on the inside of lips can occur due to several reasons. They majorly occur due to lip irritation, burn, trauma, and some health conditions. Some can be due to more severe and life-threatening disease, especially if they won’t go away or keep recurring. Ignore them at your peril.

Here are some of the most often causes of blisters on the inner side of your lips.

Canker Sores

Cankers sores on your inner lip may be the reason for the blisters or ulcers in this area. They do occur in several other places like the roof of the mouth, inside the cheeks, on the base of the gum, and the tongue.

What causes canker sores? The exact cause is not well known. However, according to medical practitioners, genetics, immune system, anxiety and stress, certain medications and diet and other diseases such as Bechet`s syndrome can potentially lead to the canker sore.

The Canker sores are not contagious, and there are many home remedies out there that can be used to get rid of even a bad canker sores cases. However, you need to see your GP for frequently recurring canker sores or multiple canker sores in your mouth.

Cold sore or herpes

Cold sores, also referred to as fever blisters are clusters of small pus-filled blisters that can occur inside or outside your mouth, i.e., we can have them inside the cheeks or under the tongue, on the outer or inner lips, on the roof on the mouth and so on

They are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This virus can spread through kissing, sharing personal effects or razors, or touching infected fluids. Symptoms of cold sores may be mild or very severe especially during primary infections.

There are several triggers such as fever, sunburns, allergies, colds, certain foods, menstruation, and so on, that influence cold sores recurrence or secondary herpes infections. Because cold sores are contagious, avoid kissing or coming inconstant with infected personal effects.

Water blister inside lip

Water or clear blisters on lips can form when layers of lip skin separate allowing the fluid to be trapped in these layers. They can occur in different parts of the mouth not to mention other body parts.

They usually cause mild pain although some cases can be extremely painful. One popular painless water blister type is a mucous cyst. It can occur after sucking the lip membrane between your teeth.

There are many factors or conditions that cause water blisters on the inside of the lips. These include infections, lip biting, friction, food allergies, or reaction to cosmetics applied on your lips.

Lip blister in the sun

An extreme case of sunburn on unprotected lips can also result in blisters on the inside of the lips if you are fond of opening your mouth. The lower lip is commonly affected.

Sunburn can also heighten the possibility of suffering from lip cancer. Therefore, ensure you protect them from sunburns using a recommended type of sunscreen.

Among other symptoms of sunburned to expect to include swollen lips, redder, and tender lip skin.

Mild to moderate cases of sunburn in this area can be treated with the various home remedies. However, for severe cases which might include a swollen tongue or mouth, please seek emergency medical attention.

Blood blisters

It is possible to end up with blood blisters on your mouth or your outside or inside part of your lips. It is nothing much to cause worry. They usually take the shortest time possible to heal of their own, so don’t panic a lot. Moreover, many causes of such blisters in your mouth can be treated.

Common causes include oral trauma and lip biting, rupture epithelial tissues under your lip tissues. More reasons include allergic reactions, alcohol abuse, or herpes.

More causes

Blisters inside of the lip can also be due to conditions that can cause inflammation in the lips. These conditions include the following:

  • The burning mouth syndrome
  • Having gingivitis
  • Allergies to certain foods
  • Exposed to radiotherapy as part of cancer treatment
  • Wearing ill-fitting dentures or braces
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Weakened immune system
  • Haemophilia
  • Other autoimmune diseases such as lupus or Crohn`s disease.

Symptoms that might accompany inside lip blisters

In most cases, lip blisters aren’t severe. In rare cases, they can be due to serious causes. When from a serious cause, delayed treatment would result in severe complications and even, permanent lip damage or deformity.

A significant point to note is that sometimes the symptoms occurring alongside lip blisters may also involve other body systems. These blisters may also accompany the following symptoms:

  • Burning or itching sensation
  • Reddening or swelling of the lip skin
  • Tenderness
  • Bumps or sores including white sores inside your lips
  • Bleeding
  • Cracked lips or corner of the mouth

As noted, these blisters can also occur alongside symptoms affecting other body systems such as a rash anywhere in the body, headache, dizziness, body aches, enlarged lymph nodes, ill-feeling, thirst feeling, and stuffy nose.

Finally, some symptoms such as high fever, difficulty speaking, breathing, swallowing, or loss of consciousness must be attended to by a qualified physician.

Other possible complications could include the spread of infections, cancer, organ failure, and skin ulceration.

Can newborns have blisters inside their lips?

Newborns and babies can also develop blisters on their mouths and lips. Most of their causes are similar to what we have already discussed. However, some reasons might be specific to young children.

For instance, blisters on toddler’s lips can result from breastfeeding. They may result from vigorous sucking on the breast, bottle, or the milk pumps.

Also, there are certain cases where blisters are present at birth mainly “because of thumb sucking in the womb,” [parents.com]. Such blister would vanish a few weeks after birth, but you should manage them carefully to prevent infections.

However, if such birth-blisters keep on coming, then you should take the newborn to the healthcare professional.

Fever blisters and cold sores can affect toddlers. Other causes may involve allergies, weakened immune systems among others.

Blister inside of lip treatment

Treatment will depend on the type of the blister or the underlying causes as well as the severity.  Some treatments will be the same as those you could use on any blister anywhere on your body.

Although some will go away of their own, some may require treatments to help manage some severe symptoms as well as treat their causes.

There are many ways or treatments to cure blisters on the inside of the lips. They include prescription treatments, over the counter products as well as home remedies or lifestyle changes.

Home Remedies

Home remedies for lip blisters are mainly oral or topical remedies.  Here is how to quickly heal an ulcer inside of the lip or blister and prevent future outbreaks from occurring.

Apply tea tree oil

This oil has anti-fungal, antibiotic, and antiseptic properties that make it ideal for any blisters or any skin lesion. Put a few drops of tea tree oil directly on the blister. It would stop the inflammation and keep any secondary infection at bay. Apply the remedy twice daily.

Use vanilla

Vanilla is also another home remedy that is very effective especially for fever blisters. It has an anti-bacterial property that affects the virus causing the cold sores. It reduces inflammation and pain as well. Extract pure vanilla and use a cotton ball to apply it directly to the blister. Do these three times a day.

Apply apple cider vinegar

This home product is another great one. It balances the pH level on the lip skin and also kills the germs responsible for cold sores.

Mix apple cider vinegar with ice water and drink it. Alternatively,  you can still use a cotton ball to apply it directly on the blisters. Do this remedy thrice in a day.

Fresh aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is one of the most effective home products for blister inside lips. It has been used for years treating many skin disorders.

Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the blister. Leave it there for sometime and after that rinse off using lukewarm water. For fast results, apply the procedure thrice in a day.

Honey lip remedy

Honey has great antibiotic properties. Also, it soothes any pain, itch, and inflammation.

To use it, consume one tablespoon of honey daily or apply honey on the blister and leave it for around 7 minutes and then rinse off with water.

Other home remedies can be as good as the above home remedies.  Some of these remedies include:

  • Cornstarch
  • Peppermint oil
  • Garlic
  • Milk
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Licorice

For excellent results, you should decide on which remedy you want to use and use it consistently if you are to get desired results fast.

Prescription medication

In cases where lip blisters don’t improve within a few weeks, victims should seek medical care. There may be complications involving other body organs or the infection that can spread to the surrounding areas such as tongue, mouth roof, and cheeks.

Commonly prescribed treatment involves antiviral, bacterial, or fungal creams and tablets depending on the cause. Creams are most active during primary infection. The topical antibiotic can also be applied to prevent secondary infections.

Common prescriptions may include medicines such as valacyclovir, famciclovir, acyclovir, and penciclovir.

More tips to treat and prevent blisters on the inside of lips

More tips to manage this condition may include:

  • Protect your lips by applying sunscreen when going outside to avoid sunburns
  • Don’t pop, squeeze, pinch or pick at the blisters
  • Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands before or after touching them especially during treatment by the home products
  • Apply cold compresses or ice packs to numb the area and thus reduce inflammation and pain
  • Avoid stress and depression. Get help from a therapist if yours is serious
  • Maintain good oral hygiene to reduce the vulnerability of oral infections
  • Don’t share toothbrush, utensils, razors and make sure you change your toothpaste after having any oral infection
  • Try to find out substances you are allergic to and avoid them
  • Review the cosmetics you apply on your lips. Some of them are just too harsh
  • Try over the counter creams that contain benzoic acid, salicylic acid, zinc, or lysine components. Also, try counter drugs such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can also be meaningful. Follow the instructions that come with over the counter products.
  • You should also avoid salty, acidic, or rough foods that can potentially irritate any ulcers inside your mouth.

Conclusion

As we have seen, these blisters on lips have many causes. Luckily, almost all of them are treatable. We recommend early treatment as soon as you notice any signs.

In cases where you do not know the cause, go for a diagnosis by a doctor who will then prescribe the right medications.

In case of any symptoms that don’t respond to OTC drugs of the home remedies, seek medical help from a qualified practitioner.