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Itchy Lips!
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Itchy Lips!

About 4 times in the past year, I develop a skin problem exculsively on my lips.  Tiny bumps form (about half the size of a pinhead), and my lips look slightly swollen, yet feel very dehydrated and irritated.  These symptoms last about 5 days and then I'm back to normal after some flaking.  I cannot figure out what causes it, and I would also like to know if there is anything I can do to prevent it or help it and ease the irritation I experience.  Any ideas on what this might be?

Many thanks
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242489_tn?1210500813
Ellen:

The medical name for your condition is cheilitis, roughly eczema of the lip.  It's a sensitivity rarely triggered by something specific (toothpaste, lipstick, mouthwash, etc.), so unless you're convinced of such a correlation, I wouldn't look too hard for one.

Try using over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% ointment, along with a heavy moisturizer like Aquaphor.  Used regularly, these will quiet down each outbreak.  In between, no need to do much of anything.

Cheilitis is not contagious, by the way.  If my suggestion doesn't help, see a doctor about a more effective cortisone cream.

Good luck.

Dr. Rockoff
4 Comments
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18954_tn?1314301717
Ellen, have you eaten mangoes?  I found out last year that I have a severe mango allergy.  One of the symptoms was swollen itchy lips.  Prednisone made it go away (after the Dr. and I tried lots of other things).  No more mangoes for me!
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242489_tn?1210500813
The mango rind contains a poison-ivy-like resin.  The fruit is usually OK.

Dr. R
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I LIVE IN KONA, HAWAII AND GET MANGO RASH EVEN THOUGH I STAY AWAY FROM THEM. I USED TO GET THE RASH ON MY BODY-BEHIND MY KNEES, EARS AND INSIDE MY ELBOWS & JUST ALL OVER. I HAVE BEEN TREATED SEVERAL TIMES WITH THE CORTISONE SHOT AND STEROIDS. tHE LAST TWO REACTIONS I HAD CONSIST OF SWOLLEN, ITCHY LIPS THAT PROGRESS INTO WEEPY BLISTERS AND INTENSE BURNING. THREE DAYS AGO I GOT IT AGAIN AND WENT STRAIGHT TO THE DOC, GOT METHYLPREDNISOLONE AND TRIAMCINOLONE ACETONIDE DENTAL PASTE... MY QUESTIONS ARE1) WHY ISNT THIS HELPING? I CANT EVEN DRINK WATER AND MY OWN SALIVA FEELS LIKE ACID BURNING MY LIPS 2)IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE THAT I CAN TAKE TO STOP THIS REACTION SOONER? I RECOGNISE IT SO QUICKLY NOW THAT I WAS ON THE STEROID FOR TWO DAYS BEFORE IT BLISTERED, BUT IT DOESNT SEEM TO HELP 3) WHY DON'T I GET THE RASH ON MY BODY ANYMORE? IT IS ONLY ON MY LIPS AND IN MY MOUTH..AND WILL MY SYMPTOMS GET WORSE?PLEASE HELP! IM IN AGONY AND I CANT TALK OR EAT!
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A related discussion, Itchy, puss-filled bumps on lips was started.
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