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dry patch on lip

hi, i have a dry patch on the top of my lip. it started off about 2 months ago as a small discolored dot, then progressed into a darker patch bigger patch (<1cm wide). Now, it looks dry and and slightly flaky, and feels weird when i touch it with my tongue, but i can't really pick at the dry skin. it also feels sort of heavy, not numb or slightly tingling (not like pins and needles) but like i can feel something there. also when i stretch the skin i can see white spots behind it.
what is it, and what can i do to treat it, tried moisturizing with Vaseline constantly, but doesn't help. Could this be a sign of lip cancer?

any advice would help. thanks.
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Avatar universal
I have this hard like patch almost feels like extra skin and kind of heavy on my lip it&#39;s small but looks like a small dent.. I Peel it until hurts and then the very next day it&#39;s back! I had this maybe 5 yrs ago and at that time I was a smoker but had stop... I will admit I&#39;ve started back smoking and the lip patch is back!!  Some please help what can I do... This patch sometimes feels like it has it&#39;s own heart beat.. Very irritating!
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Mary...pls update if you find any solution anytime.
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Avatar universal
Thank you for the prompt reply.  I'm a married 40-year-old female, sexually active (monogamous), non-smoker.  I've eaten many fruits and vegetables lately, kohlrabi, rapini, and shiitake mushrooms being the most exotic, but nothing new in my diet that I recall.  Today I had a very mild sore throat / hoarse voice; for the past week or so I have had sporadic runny nose / sneezing (bouts last about a half hour, much like allergic reaction) and my right tonsil has been a bit sore and firm.  I am breastfeeding and my baby likes to touch my lips while nursing.  Sometimes baby has a rough or jagged fingernail; I think baby may have irritated my skin and maybe introduced an infection.  My sleeping is irregular but I usually get at least 6 hours per night.

It's difficult not to touch the sore area, for instance with my tongue if I lick my lips, as it's directly on my lip, near the inner edge close to my teeth.  The area is about half a centimeter across, feels dry and a bit numb, similar to when I have some dry skin built up, but no dead skin comes off if I rub it, and the skin is thin and tender.  I haven't tried to stretch the skin (as sk00 did).  The color is not unusual.

I'd been thinking I'd leave it for a few days to see if it would shrink.  Would you consider it to be more urgent that I see a dermatologist about this?
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Avatar universal
hi i have a dry patch on my lip. It dont hurt or anything its just there feels horrible. Hasnt gone away what is it?
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Avatar universal
I have this too!!!!!!  On my upper left lip.  I thought maybe it was the beginnings of a cold sore (never had one before but diagnosed with hsv1 & 2 so have been waiting for it to happen someday) but nothing is happening.  It's just like a major dry patch and annoying the **** out of me.  I have been putting vaseline on it religiously and although it feels better with the vaseline, it's not going away.  It's not terribly discolored but it's definitely there and annoying and puffy and numbish and dry....WEIRD! HELP?
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Avatar universal
Hi,
I just had exactly what you have described, about a month ago. It drove me crazy and I hated the way it felt. I was so aware of it 24/7 and I was so worried it was something serious. I used cold sore lip balm (Herpecine-L) for about a week and thank god it went away. Try it, because if it's NOT a cold sore then the cold sore medicine won't work. At least you'll know what it isn't. Hope you get your answers, I know how annoying it can be! You may want to see a dermatologist if all else fails. Good luck!!!
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Avatar universal
is herpecin the same general thing as something like abreva?  should i try that??  thanks for the input! :) im definitely gonna take your advice!!
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Avatar universal
I too have precisely the same thing you describe.  I could have written your post.  It started out as a strip of dry skin on my upper lip, right of center.  It feels like a piece of tape stuck to my lip - unlike anything I'd felt before.  I keep rubbing my lips together.  It is so irritating.  It very gradually spread to a patch and I went to see my doctor.  I was embarrassed because you can't really see much of anything at all.  I felt I was being a hypochondriac, but deep down I was afraid it was a serious virus or cancer.  She was baffled, gave me a script for Valtrex although we both agreed it didn't look or act like a cold sore.  I have a follow up this week and I'm going to ask her for a referral to a dermatologist.  My bio is very much like yours.  Has anyone had any diagnoses or effective treatments?

lm65
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Avatar universal
Whatever happened with that?  Mine went away after posting this so long ago (and I faithfully applied the Herpecin but am not sure if that was the cure or not??) but is now back!  Its the exact same spot, exact same symptoms - dry skin, raised bumpish, scaly - but that's IT!  No pain, no burning, no itching, NOTHING.  It's so bizarre.  What was the final diagnosis after trying the Valtrex?  Anything?
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Avatar universal
I just found this site because I'm going crazy wondering about what's wrong with my lips?? First there would be a dry spot on my bottom lip feeling like tape just like someone else said. That was like 5 months ago. It would come go away and come back. Now there are two patches on my top lips also, and as you can guess I'm taking it even more seriously. It worries me it could be something serious, but its also noticeable. I'm medium/dark complected having light pinkish brown lips, and this is starting to turn red on the bottom lip. it doesn't hurt, and I can't really pick any skin off any more. help me please!
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Avatar universal
i have the same thing and i see a bunch of other ppl do but no answers.... ??? what is it???

also the thing about if you stretch the skin you see small white dots.. i asked my doctor about that he said it's normal.  

idk about this rough patch though it's worrying me!! just noticed it starting yesterday.
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Avatar universal
i have a couple of dry slightly dark patches on my lips as well. they usually flake off but then reappear. i suspect this may be related to anti depressants. im on avanza 15mg and ive noticed this started when i was put onto this medication. would anyone whom has posted their concerns by chance be also on any anti depressants???
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Avatar universal
i had the same issue noone had any answers for me either but this is what i tried and it worked..
-take a wet piece of towel paper put salt on it and exfoliate lip
-pat on a little hydrogen peroxide with a q tip or whatever
-put abreva on the area

i avoided touching the area with my fingers tho bc i was scared it was contagious...hope it helps
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Avatar universal
oh my god that is what is going on with me thats why im looking for help. I went to the doctor he said i cant see any thing but it must be a cold sore. Never had one before so i just took the valtrex and its still there. It feels heavy you just know its there no one can see it but some times is is brown very light if i wear gloss you see nothing. But i can feel it im going to do the salt thing now it is just like that fly at a dinner that just wont go away cause it will go away then its back in a few days is it the change in weather. i dont know and when it heals up it kind of looks like if you pop gum on your lips and a little is still there but no hurting no buring just a little spot. I  hate it.
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Avatar universal
oh my god that is what is going on with me thats why im looking for help. I went to the doctor he said i cant see any thing but it must be a cold sore. Never had one before so i just took the valtrex and its still there. It feels heavy you just know its there no one can see it but some times is is brown very light if i wear gloss you see nothing. But i can feel it im going to do the salt thing now it is just like that fly at a dinner that just wont go away cause it will go away then its back in a few days is it the change in weather. i dont know and when it heals up it kind of looks like if you pop gum on your lips and a little is still there but no hurting no buring just a little spot. I  hate it.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
PUT EVERCLEAR ON IT AND WASH AND RINSE YOUR LIPS ALOT AND APPLY GOOD QUALITY LIP REPAIR OIL AS MUCH AS NEEDED  trust me only thing that will help. The ever clear kills the infection.
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Avatar universal
I have been fighting similar dry spots on my lips for several years now. No dermatologist has a clue, and no medication given has helped. Normally, by the time I get to my appointment, it's no longer visible so, my doctor got me in when it re-appeared and was able to see the spot. She removed it and sent it to the lab. It came back negative, just as a skin overgrowth. When the spots come back, they look like a small dent on the lip, it feels uncomfortable, and lips are sensitive overall. Now, it re-appeared on a different area. When I apply lip gloss, it looks normal. Does anyone has any idea of what could be causing this? I have stopped wearing lipsticks, or anything that could cause an allergic reaction, but I still get those annoying dry spots. Please, help!
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Avatar universal
I, too, have a dry patch on my upper lip. It forms layers of dry skin on top and I can use tweezers to pull the dead skin off.  It doesn't hurt but gets sore when I mess with it. I can't stand the way it looks so that's why I have to pull the dead skin off. When I wear lipstick it looks really bad. It's like the lipstick runs. I haven't ever had anything like this. Reading all of your postings makes me realize that this may be more common than I thought. I've had this for about 6 months now. I thought maybe it was scar tissue from past fever blisters/cold sores? I haven't had one in years though. It kinda scares me.
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T14
I developed the dry patches on my upper lip shortly after delivering my fifth child several weeks ago, and am pretty sure it is related to an overgrowth of yeast, also called candida.  I have cut out as much sugar as possible from my diet and have been applying tea tree essential oil and tea tree lip balm for the last several days, and I feel like it is almost gone.  Before that, I tried the essential oil without lowering sugar intake, and it wasn't effective on its own.   Hope this helps some of you that have been dealing with this issue for years. . .
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Avatar universal
I have the same exact issue - dry spot on top lip - not itchy or painful - just annoying.  Also applying endless lip balm doesn't seem to help.  I've never had it before, and only had it a couple weeks ago and now it's back.
Thank you so much to T14 for your post!!  I think you are right, that makes total sense to me!  I believe mine is also related to an overgrowth of yeast as I have been on antibiotics (which then gave me a yeast infection) a couple weeks ago and am now on antibiotics again as my initial infection reocurred.  The dry spot coincides with the antibiotic treatment.  I have bought capsule form probiotics and will be taking them, but will also try cutting down my sugar and the tea tea oil.  Thanks for the info and the suggestions!!
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Avatar universal
Wow- I went hunting today to try to figure out what is causing this dry, rough patch on my upper lip! Imagine my surprise when I found so many others who are equally clueless as to the cause. Anyway, I just finished a 14-day kidney/colon clense, and it popped up. I thought it was a cold sore and tried Valtrex, but of no avail. Maybe the everclear suggestion will work???
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Avatar universal
The internet is a wonderful thing. I have the same dry patch on my upper lip. It's been there for a few weeks and fits the same description - not painful/itchy/burning, but annoying, sometimes cracked/flaky and interfering with my lipliner. Unfortunately, no one who posted on this site and found a cause or solution has come back to share it. But I do think there could be an antibiotic connection. I have been on three courses of antibiotics since December (laryngitis and a spider bite) and although I haven't had any stomach troubles or yeast infections, it sounds like this could be a side effect. I also started a vegan diet 11 days ago, so maybe my body chemistry is just freaking out. If I do find a cause or solution, I'll come back and let you know!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
This is a follow-up to my post on 4/17/10. I use a product called Dermal-K. It's a moisturizing cream with Vitamin K that's labeled for skin blemishes, scars, etc. but I use it as a daily moisturizer because I have a bit of rosacia on my cheeks. I've been using it for a year and my skin has never looked better. It occurred to me the other day to try a little bit on the dry patch on my lip twice a day. In just a few days, there has been a HUGE improvement. The dry patch is almost gone! Dermal-K is kinda pricey (about $40 for a 4oz jar) so I'm not sure it makes sense to get it just for the occasional dry patch, but I told you I would come back and let you know if I found something that works. (Since I mentioned a particular product in my post, I feel like it's important to say that I am in no way affiliated with any company that makes or sells Dermal-K, nor do I have any financial benefit if someone purchases it. I just like the product.) You can find Dermal-K online by searching the name in Google. Looks like there is a 2oz jar that is cheaper (around $20) so maybe that would be worth purchasing, especially if you have a special event coming up and you want your lipstick to look right!
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Avatar universal
hi, thanks for all your replies, its nice to know i wasn't the only one.

I not quite sure what it was, but it no longer bothers me and i don't even notice it anymore. I don't have a dark patch there anymore, but the white spots underneath are still there, and there also on the other side.

To help I used  blistex relief cream which made it better and have been using blistex lip conditoner since then (small tub) its improved as i don't allow my lips to dry out.

I haven't gone to see a doctor about it, as the lip creams did the job. It's been 3 years (roughly) since my last post and it hasn't got worse, actually improved. I think it was just a case of dried lips, and an irritating patch.

to reply to a previous post, im female, 22 yrs old now, and i am positive it wasn't sexually related.

My advice on how to resolve, if you have what i had, don't worry! Try using a really good lip balm, i used blistex, but have heard that carmex is good too. Don't go for the cheap chapstick kinds. In my experience my lips appear healthier, pinkier and fuller. Don't go overboard on price, ones that you can in a drugstore should do. (I've also tried expensive brands like clinique, they were useless) Vaseline (petroleum jelly) didnt help much, it was really the blistex relief cream that helped the most (although it left white residue on lips after, not nice!) and then use a really lip conditioner. If this doesn't work then go see a doctor if your still worried.



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