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recurring lip infection
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recurring lip infection

Hi.  About 6-7 years ago my lips broke out in tiny (itchy) blisters that continued to spread every day for about a week to 10 days. The blisters would scab over and flake.  I went to the doctor and he was not sure what it was and did not treat it. He did a culture for herpes that came back negative. I thought it could be a reaction to lipstick because only the pink parts were affected.  This reaccured about a month later.  Then everything was clear except I still had white spots beneath the skin surface in the corners of my mouth.  Then about 2 years ago my lips broke out again. I thought I must have the herpes virus.  I used an otc cold sore cream but, the blisters continued to spread as before.  I went to a dermatologist who didn't think it was herpes and prescribed elocon/bactroban cream.  This cleared it up  immediately.  I kept the cream and used it a couple of times in the past two years when I felt a tiny blister appear again and the blister went away by the next day.  I have another breakout at the moment that is not responding to the cream that is now over 2 years old.  I am using another antibiotic until I can get to the doctor for a new script.  My lips feel dry and I do have swollen glands under my jaw on the side of the infection.  Could this indeed be herpes?  Is there another possibility?  Seems strange to me it would respond to antibiotic if it was herpes.  The white spots beneath the skin have never gone away since the 1st break out.
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The response to the second outbreak was to "Elocon/bactroban cream".  Only one of those is an antibiotic--the other is a steroid.  You may have eczema of the lip.  This produces blisters, comes at off intervals, and responds to steroids.  

This would explain the "dry feeling."  It wouldn't explain swollen glands, but most recurrent herpes wouldn't have more than one swollen gland in the midline just below the chin.

The white spots are probably just oil glands.  You can see these when they're on the lip.

Your skin doctor should be able to sort all this out.  But it doesn't sound like herpes.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
hey there,

the top of my upper lip (tiny spot directly under the nose) crusts and flakes off all the time...I can remember when it all started, about a year ago...the first time it happened, i had a copule of what looked like zits above the area...whiteheads...anyway, a dermatologist told me it might be "precancer." It doesn't ooze...it just turns red & crusts...tiny, yet noticable to me. Also, can anyone help me in regards to this recurring thumb infection...tip of the thumb...under the thumbnail...red, spotty and very painful.
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Avatar_n_tn
hey there,

the top of my upper lip (tiny spot directly under the nose) crusts and flakes off all the time...I can remember when it all started, about a year ago...the first time it happened, i had a copule of what looked like zits above the area...whiteheads...anyway, a dermatologist told me it might be "precancer." It doesn't ooze...it just turns red & crusts...tiny, yet noticable to me. Also, can anyone help me in regards to this recurring thumb infection...tip of the thumb...under the thumbnail...red, spotty and very painful.
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, lip infection was started.
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, lips dryness and changing black was started.
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A related discussion, lip problem was started.
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