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warts on upper lip
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warts on upper lip

I recently visited my dermatologist regarding an unrelated skin rash.  While I was there, I showed her some small bumps I have on my upper lip.  You can't see them unless I roll my lip back and sort of stretch it out.  They are very small white bumps, I have a couple of clusters of 3-4 bumps per cluster.  My dermatologist indicated that they are warts, and that I could wait for them to go away, or she could remove them.  She said I could think about it and we would discuss it when I return for a follow-up in 2-weeks for my unrelated rash.  So I go home and make the mistake of getting on the internet.  After reading about HPV, Herpes, etc...and knowing that I have had unprotected sex (including oral) with multiple women over the past year, I'm now freaking out. (I'm a heterosexual male if it matters)  The biggest thing that disturbs me is that after doing several searches on this forum I have learned that oral warts are extremely rare, and usually only occur on people with weak immune systems, like newborns or people with aids. I haven't been able to eat or sleep since. I'm not looking for a diagnosis, but what are the possible scenario's?  At this point I would be excited to learn that It might be herpes or HPV.....I can't believe I would ever feel this way. I'm never having unprotected sex again.  Any insight would be appreciated.  Sorry for the novel....and thank you for this forum and great service.
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242489_tn?1210500813
I don't think you have warts--I think you have Fordyce's condition, which is sebaceous (oil) glands that are visible against the pink background of lip tissue.  These are meaningless and don't need treatment.  Oral warts are rare.  Considering how popular oral sex is, they should be common, as genital warts are, only they're not common at all.  Plus, I don't think you have them.  Please get another opinion.  And get some sleep.  Of course, avoiding unprotected sex remains a good idea....

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
8 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I think you are going to find that they are sebaceous gland structures and quite normal. I am not a doctor but have the same types of clusters of white spots than can only be seen when the lip is stretched. If you read some of the doctors messages about this you will be more relaxed. I believe the correct name for these is Fordyce something or other. They can also appear in the mouth. Please do a search in this forum so you can rest your mind. When hear what they describe I think you will see that is probably what you have. I am not sure what your doctor saw, you might want to see another one. But these sure do sound like sebaceous glands.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just went to the search function at the top of the derm forum page, when the search enters put in   Fordyce    Lots of questions and answers come up, and none of it should make you worry. Quite the contrary, it should reassure you that this is a normal variant. hope you get a good nights sleep after you read some of this.

John
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Avatar_n_tn
I appreciate the response.  I have had sabaceous glands show up inside my mounth before.  I was worried until the dentist told me it was nothing.  However, they looked more transparent, like they had a clear liquid in them. The ones I have on my lip are more white, and they appear to be firm.  I have seen some of the Sabaceous gland pictures on the internet...while mine look the same size, the don't have the same color.  That combined with my dermatologist calling them warts is what has made me nervous.  At this point I'm hoping she is wrong, and you are right.  Thanks for the post...
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242489_tn?1210500813
Way to go, jte777!

Dr. Rockoff
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Avatar_m_tn
I am glad the doctor told you what I had thought they might be. I was like you and paranoid about them on my lips and more in my mouth. Thought they might be thrush or worse. He calmed me down and I spoke to my dentist who has seen thousands of them. Hope you were able to sleep better last nite. I know I did after I found out. I lived in Spain for 12 years and when I returned I was surprised at how health obsessive we are here. You cannot watch a 30 min show on television here without learning about 4 to 5 ways you are going to die if you do not do this or do not take a test for that. Seems like there should be a common sense middle of the road somewhere. In any case, I am glad your mind was put to ease by the expert doctor's wisdom and advice.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had a problem with warts on my upper lip and below the corners of my mouth for 6 years. They grew in number and size  ranging from clusters the size of pinpoints to just smaller than a pencil eraser. They were solid and raised and often dry and flaky wich made it hard not to scratch. I visited two dermatologists who said they were warts and they tried to freeze them. This led to scars but no cure. I then saw another dermatologist who decided to try and inject a few of the worst warts with a anti-cancer drug that killed the warts that were injected but also boosted my immune system enough to eradicate the others. This healed them amazingly fast within a few weeks. I wish I had seen this doctor sooner rather that suffer though the freezing treatments.
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Avatar_n_tn
In regards to lip warts, and sebecca glands, no offense to the doctor running this site but sebecca glands are oil glands, they are located inside your skin, and your lips don't have oil glands or pores, so I would ask more about the wart theory. I had an ex boyfriend with an open sore and he had tranmitted tiny little wart looking things on my lips, which I have to now get removed surgically. Most doctors don't care about them, so if your doctor cares enough to remove them, I'd go ahead and do it. I would worry a little more, because although some of those tiny white things are not contageous, the idea that they could be scars from oral herpes or oral warts is not good.
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Avatar_n_tn
"In regards to lip warts, and sebecca glands, no offense to the doctor running this site but sebecca glands are oil glands, they are located inside your skin, and your lips don't have oil glands or pores"

Actually, you are incorrect. *Sebacious* (not "sebecca") glands are indeed located in lips as well as other parts of the body.
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