Nobody wants to deal with pimples, especially when you’ve got one on your lip. It not only looks unsightly but also can hurt immensely while talking or eating.
When it comes to a pimple on the lip, it can easily be mistaken for a cold sore. But these are two different things. If you have a cold sore, it will show up as a small and painful blister on or around your mouth area. On the other hand, a pimple occurs on the lip when dead skin cells are attached to the hair follicles and become red lesions.
Just like other types of pimples, the most common causes of a pimple on the lip include hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy, menopause and adolescence), overproduction of sebaceous oil from the glands or buildup of bacteria beneath the surface of the skin.
Apart from these causes, factors like heredity, your diet, exposure to pollutants, stress and the use of poor quality lip care products can trigger a pimple on the lip.
There are also some medications that can cause this problem. This is especially true of medications that contain lithium and corticosteroids. Even fluoride in toothpaste may lead to the appearance of a pimple on your lip.
When your lip has a pimple, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, as you cannot conceal it with makeup. The primary option here is to wait for the pimple to heal. However, you can use some home remedies to help you get rid of that pimple faster.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of a pimple on the lip.
1. Warm Compress
A warm compress helps get rid of a pimple on your lip by reducing the swelling and increasing blood flow to the affected site.
It will help the fluid and pus accumulated within the pimple to drain quickly, and the healing process will begin.
- Soak a washcloth in hot water and wring out the excess water.
- Hold the warm cloth on the affected area for a few minutes.
- Repeat 3 or 4 times a day until the pimple heals completely.
Note: Always test the temperature of the compress on your palm before applying it on your lip.
2. Cold Compress
Just like a warm compress, a cold compress is also very effective.
The cold temperature reduces swelling and constricts the oil glands, which allows the excess oil and bacteria to be flushed out from the inflamed follicles.
It also helps numb the area and reduce the pain.
- Bundle a few ice cubes up in a clean towel.
- Press the compress gently against the pimple for 2 to 3 minutes at a time.
- Take a break for 5 minutes and repeat again.
- Use this treatment several times a day for maximum effect.
Caution: Never apply ice directly on your skin, as it can lead to frostbite.
Steaming is a wonderful technique to deal with a pimple on your lip. Steam opens up the infected pore and allows it to breathe. This helps get rid of oils, dirt and bacteria trapped in the pores that can cause pimples.
This therapy is even good for your whole face, as it will remove impurities and make your skin glow.
- Boil a pot of water and pour it into a large bowl.
- Place your face above the bowl and drape a thick towel over your head to trap the steam.
- After 10 to 15 minutes, remove the towel and pat your face dry.
- Repeat twice a day until the pimple heals completely.
4. Moist Tea Bag
Tea contains a good amount of tannins that help reduce swelling and inflammation due to a pimple on the lip.
Also, the warmth of a moist tea bag when applied onto the pimple helps open up the pores, potentially drawing bacteria or pus to the surface, thus accelerating the healing process.
- Dip a tea bag in warm water for a couple of minutes and remove it.
- Allow it to cool down a bit.
- Squeeze the excess water out.
- Place the warm tea bag on the pimple and allow it to sit for a 5 to 10 minutes.
- Then, rinse your lip with cold water and pat it dry with a soft towel.
- Repeat the process twice a day.
5. Aloe Vera Gel
Due to its antibacterial properties, aloe vera helps treat pimples on the lips faster.
Its anti-inflammatory and healing properties help combat the redness, swelling and inflammation of the affected skin.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found aloe vera to be very effective for the treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris (1).
- Cut open a leaf from an aloe vera plant.
- Extract the gel and apply it on the pimple.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes.
- Clean it off with a cotton ball soaked in water.
- Repeat twice daily for several days.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help eliminate pimples on the lips. It helps kill the bacteria that cause pimples and prevents pimples from forming.
A 2016 study published in Phytotherapy Research reports that turmeric/curcumin products and supplements, both oral and topical, may provide therapeutic benefits for skin health, including acne (2).
- Mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon of minced fresh mint leaves and 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil. Massage a small amount of this mixture onto the affected area. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing the area with cool water. Do it 2 or 3 times a day. The unused mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days before discarding.
- Alternatively, mix equal amounts of turmeric and honey, then apply it directly on the pimple. Leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water. Do it twice daily.
7. Lemon Juice
Another quick way to get rid of a pimple on the lip is using lemon juice.
The vitamin C in lemon works as an effective antioxidant that will help the pimple dry up faster. Its astringent properties will also cause the skin to constrict.
You can use any of the following options, as per your preference.
- Dip a clean cotton swab in fresh lemon juice and apply it on the pimple. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse it off using water. Do it once or twice daily.
- Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and honey. Apply it on the lip. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Do it twice daily.
- Prepare a solution with ½ teaspoon each of lemon juice and rose water. Using a cotton ball, apply it on the affected skin. Wait 15 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water. Use this remedy twice daily.
Note: Be sure to use fresh lemon juice and not bottled juice, which has preservatives.
8. Neem (Indian Lilac)
Neem, also known as Indian lilac, has antifungal, antibacterial and blood-purifying properties that make it one of the most effective remedies for any kind of pimple.
Neem kills the bacteria that cause pimples and aids in reducing the pain and inflammation.
In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Acute Disease, researchers concluded that neem oil would be a good prolonged treatment for acne (3).
- Grind a few neem leaves thoroughly to form a paste. Mix a pinch of turmeric powder into the paste. Apply it on the pimple. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Do this once daily.
- You can also chew 1 or 2 fresh neem leaves daily on an empty stomach, or consult your doctor about taking supplements to prevent pimple breakouts.
The aspirin that you pop when you have a hangover or headache can also be used to treat a lip pimple.
It contains salicylic acid that offers anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce redness and inflammation caused by pimples. It also helps dry out pimples quickly.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, salicylic acid helps unplug pores (4).
- Crush an aspirin tablet into a fine powder.
- Mix enough honey into the powder to form a paste.
- Apply the paste on your pimple on the lip with clean fingers.
- Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Finally, rinse off the paste using lukewarm water and pat dry your lips using a soft cloth.
- Use this remedy 2 times a day.
10. White Toothpaste
White toothpaste that you use to clean your teeth can also help treat a lip pimple.
Ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and menthol in white toothpaste help dry out the pimple.
- Apply a little toothpaste on the lip where you have the pimple.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes or more.
- Wipe it off with a damp washcloth and gently pat it dry.
- Repeat once daily.
Note: Do not use whitening, gel or colored toothpastes.
- Do not pop pimples or zits, as it will worsen the condition and lengthen the healing period.
- Avoid touching the affected lip as much as possible to reduce the risk of any kind of infection. Touching the lip also exposes it to the oil and dirt on your hands.
- Avoid using lip gloss, balm or too much makeup on the affected area to prevent chemicals from clogging up your pores and worsening the problem.
- Always wash your mouth properly after a meal, snack or a drink, and then pat it dry.
- Do not scrub the area to get rid of the pimple. It will only make it worse.
- If your lip pimple is hormonal, consult an endocrinologist to get to the root of the problem.
- Avoid lip pimple treatments that include benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil. They should not be ingested, thus they are unsafe for use on the lips.
- Use a flavor- and fragrance-free toothpaste when suffering from a lip pimple.
- Use a face wash that is gentle, hypoallergenic and suitable for your skin type. Clean the areas with pimples gently with a clean washcloth.
- Control your stress level, as excess stress can delay the healing process.
- Be it lip or face products, do not use anything beyond its expiration date.
- Last but not least, avoid oily foods, drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet to cure and prevent lip pimples.
- Effect of Aloe vera topical gel combined with tretinoin in treatment of mild and moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind, prospective trial. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23336746. Published April 2014.
- Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytotherapy Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27213821. Published August 2016.
- Formulation and characterization of solid lipid nanoparticles loaded Neem oil for topical treatment of acne. Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221618913601444. Published October 18, 2013.
- Treating pimples. Ringworm | American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/kids/skin/acne-pimples-zits/treating-pimples.