Dermatology Expert Forum
Cold sore or chapped lips?
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care. All questions will be answered by a medical professional.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Cold sore or chapped lips?

Hi--

Yesterday, I noticed a small (1mm diameter) bump on the upper edge of my lip.  It is whitish, and looks like either a very small blister or a very small pimple.  The specific location is the "tip" of the lip below my left nostril.

I have actually had 2 or 3 of these so far this winter.  In each case they have been in a similar location (top of lip below left or right nostril).  In the previous cases, the whitish bump/blister lasted less than 2 days, and seemed to "fade" into a small red blemish that would then go away after another day or two.

I have not noticed any pus or scabbing in any of the cases so far.

Also in each case, the bump/blister has "happened" to appear a few hours after wearing a scarf close to my face to keep warm.  The scarf directly rubs against my upper lip much of the time (gently, but frequently).  It is winter, of course, and my lips tend to get a bit chapped in general.  The bump/blisters don't feel any more painful then the rest of my (moderately chapped) lips.

So, my questions are:

--Is this sort of blemish something that one might expect from the combination of cold weather, chapped lips, and friction from the scarf? Is it a common thing?

-- Does it sound like these could be cold sores?  I have no history of cold sores that I can remember (I'm an adult male, 30 years old).  And these little things I've had don't seem to conform to the "classic" symptoms as I understand them (duration of sore, stages of the sore, etc).  Still, I've been kissed plenty of people in my life, shared plenty of drink cups, etc, so it seems possible I could have picked up the hsv-1 virus along the way, whether recently or years ago.  And I've read that cold sores may not always behave exactly according to the "classic" symptoms.

Assuming this current blemish has a life cycle similar to the previous ones, my inclination would be to chalk it up to chapped lips and friction and just go about my business. But I'd also hate to assume it was innocuous and then transmit something to others through intimate contact.

Thanks for your help!







Related Discussions
242489_tn?1210500813
This does not sound like anything infections, such as herpes.  It's too small, just one bump (not a group) and lasts for too short a time.  I can't tell you what it's from.  For definitive diagnosis, though, you will need to show it to someone who can see it when it's fresh--perhaps a walk-in clinic.

Take care.

Dr. Rockoff
3 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Update to my original post:

Today, while shaving, I noticed 4 more of these small things on or near the edge my upper lip.  Two are right next to the one described in my original post, two are about 1 cm away.  The one described in my original post still looks about the same.

They are all equally small (1mm dia or so), and look like they could well be small pimples.  They're too small for me to distinguish whether they're "pimples" or "blisters".  I do have a few pimples elsewhere on my face (chin, etc).

Not trying to get overly concerned here.  My main practical concern is whether I should avoid kissing, giving oral sex, etc while these are present.

Thanks.

Blank
242489_tn?1210500813
I still think these are likely not infections.  Have someone competent take a clog, so you won't have to think about them.

Dr. Rockoff
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Is this a Cold Saw or Ingrown Hair?? please help! was started.
Blank
1234672_tn?1267796291
A related discussion, chapped lips or herpes was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
563773_tn?1374250139
Bhupinder Kaur, MDBlank
Private practice
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank