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Lip Rash Causes and Treatments

May 17, 2018

A rash on lips is not normal. It may be a sign that you may not be taking good care of your lips or it may also be a symptom of an underlying condition. It is worth knowing that the skin around this area is very delicate, sensitive, and thin. This makes it prone to rashes and other infections.

Red, itchy, non-itchy, painful or painless

A rash on lips can be itchy or not-itchy, red in appearance, painful or not painful depending on the causes. It can also be on the upper lip, lower lip, or at the corners of your mouth or on your entire lips. For instance, it is normal for one to end up with a painless rash on upper lips and not on their lower one and vice versa.

An itchy rash around lips is irritating. It can affect your eating habits and prevent you from freely interacting with other people.

However,  you don’t need to stress yourself over such a condition because there are several forms of lip rash remedies. In this article, I will discuss the most common causes and treatment options available.

Causes of rash on lips

There are several causes. The symptoms you end up with are the ones that differentiate these causes. Skin color change including redness rash on the upper lip or lower one.

Perioral dermatitis

Perioral dermatitis is an inflammatory rash around the mouth, though sometimes it spreads to the nose and eye area. It mostly appears as a scaly, red bumpy rash with a clear discharge. Some patients have reported having felt a slight itching and a burning sensation. The rash peels and can look like small acne breakouts.

Scientists are yet to pinpoint the exact cause of perioral dermatitis, but it is believed to be triggered by chronic steroid creams that contain petrolatum and paraffin. Perioral dermatitis mainly affects American women between age 25 and 50 years, but it has also been reported in all ages and ethnicities.

Fluoride allergy

Toothpaste is the most commonly used product for oral hygiene. However, it might be the cause of the rashes you have in your mouth area. Rashes at the corners of your mouth or on your lips could be a sign of lip dermatitis caused by toothpaste allergy.

If you are allergic to fluoride, you will see the symptoms a few hours after brushing your teeth. Symptoms of lip dermatitis caused by fluoride allergy are red, watery eyes, gum inflammation, and respiratory problem.

Oral thrush

This is also known as candidiasis. It is a fungal infection that causes creamy white lesions usually on your tongue and inner cheeks. But it can also spread to the roof of your mouth and upper or lower lips.

Some of the symptoms of oral thrush include; a cottage cheese-like rash on the upper lips; loss of taste; cracking and redness at the corners of the mouth and a loss of taste.

Oral thrush is more likely to affect babies and old people due to weakened immunity. Candidiasis can also be a symptom of a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS.

Makeup products

You may get rashes due to using certain lipsticks, chapsticks, and lip balms. These products mainly contain oils, waxes, and emollients that protect the lips.

But they may also contain toxic preservatives which may cause dryness, chapping and cracking of lips. Some of these products also contain harmful chemicals that can cause the darkening of lips. Other complications caused by makeup products are coughing, wheezing, and even cancer.

Herpes Simplex Virus

Herpes simplex virus causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth and lips. They can also appear inside the mouth and other places.

This virus is contracted through forms of sexual contact with an infected person although it is not considered as STD. It is also a highly contagious virus that can be passed from person to person through direct contact. An adult with the virus can easily infect a kid even if they don’t show the symptoms.

Frequent licking of the lips

You may be licking your lips involuntarily and this activity could be the cause of the rash. Saliva contains enzymes that can irritate and cause redness around the lips, a condition known as cheilitis.

Other activities that can cause a rash are; lip biting, drooling at night and breathing through the mouth.

Impetigo

Sores on the upper lip are one of the most common signs of Impetigo. This is a bacterial infection that mostly affects young children (It is estimated that at least 162 million children worldwide, most of them in developing countries, suffer from impetigo at any given time), though adults can also be infected.

The sores are itchy and sometimes painful. The condition is highly contagious and can spread from anything an infected person touches.

Remedies and treatment for lip rash

Since the condition is mostly a symptom of other conditions, a rash treatment entails addressing the underlying cause of the condition.

Perioral

Most often, the symptoms of Perioral dermatitis will disappear on their own after a few weeks. You should stop using topical steroids immediately you experience the symptoms of lip dermatitis because these products can aggravate the symptoms.

Your doctor may also prescribe topical and oral antibiotics. But this will depend on the severity of your condition. You should also consider eating less spicy foods, which can irritate the skin around the mouth, as a preventive measure.

Treatment for fluoride allergy

Avoid using toothpaste and mouthwashes with fluoride. You can also use water filtration devices to remove fluoride from tap water before drinking the water.

Other alternatives are using less toothpaste to decrease the exposure to fluoride and thoroughly washing your mouth after brushing to remove residues of toothpaste from the corners of your mouth.

Oral thrush treatment

Your doctor will prescribe antifungal medication depending on the severity of the condition. It is recommended that high-risk individuals brush and floss regularly to prevent the condition. Replacing your toothbrush regularly also helps keep oral thrush at bay.

A warm salt water rinse is also a recommended home remedy. You dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Swish the water in your mouth and then spit it out. Do this daily until the symptoms disappear.

Dealing with makeup products

Don’t sleep with your makeup on because this increases the chances of getting rashes. Don’t overuse lipsticks and balms. These products contain chemicals that may be causing the rash. Use natural moisturizers like coconut oil, olive oil, and honey on your lips. These products have no side effects and will not affect you.

Herpes Simplex Virus

It is still not possible to eradicate the virus from the body though there are antiviral drugs that can reduce the severity of the symptoms and lower chances of transmission to others. Practicing safe sex is recommended as a prevention measure.

Impetigo treatment

Gentle cleansing of the sores; removing crusts and applying prescription ointments can be enough to get rid of mild impetigo. Practicing high levels of hygiene can help contain the outbreak.