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Avatar universal

tiny bumps on lips

I suddenly have developed tiny bumps on my upper lip.  A few months ago this happened in just one little patch but it went away, and I can't remember if I did anything.  But just a few days ago they appeared again on both sides of my upper lip.  Then, the next day they had spread and now go all the way along the ridge of my upper lip. They aren't particularly noticeable except they change the shape of my lip, making it look smaller than it was in the places where they are on the very edge.  They are very very tiny, definitely not cold sores.  I've seen some things about Forcyde spots, but everything describes those as 1-3mm in size and these are even smaller than that.   Everything I read says to ignore forcyde spots, but these are very uncomfortable.  my lips feel dry no matter how much stuff I put on them, and they feel scaly because of all the teeny tiny bumps.  I used to have problems with seborrheic dermatitis around my nose when I was a kid so the only other thing I can think of is that.  Is there something else they could be?  If they are forcyde spots, is there a way to make my lips feel moist again?  I don't care about the appearance, but they are very uncomfortable.
317 Responses
563773 tn?1374250139

Without examination,confirmation of a diagnosis is tough,but it sounds like oil glands or Fordyce spots.They are small yellowish-white granules on the inner surface and border of the lips.
Treatment of Fordyce spots includes CO2 laser or electro desiccation, TCA chemical peels(temporary treatment),diathermy or laser vaporization.

For your dry lips, avoid licking the lips as saliva evaporates quickly resulting in them being drier than before. Drink plenty of water and take multivitamin supplements(esp vit B) and do not apply lipstick or other cosmetic products for some days. Use a humidifier to moisturize the air in your home and apply shea butter or Vaseline on your lips. Eat foods high in calcium, magnesium and flaxseed oil. If a week of compresses and emollients don't do the trick, you can add over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone ointment to your regimen.

I hope that helps. Please do keep me posted on how you are doing or if you have any additional doubts.Warm regards.

Avatar universal
Thanks, but I'm pretty sure it's not Fordyce spots.  I had a couple RN's I know take a look and they confirmed that they aren't Fordyce spots.  These are smaller than fordyce spots almost like little sand grains.  You seriously can't even see them unless you look really close under the right light, but you can feel them.  They are the same color as my lips, as well.  Not white or yellowish or anything.
Avatar universal
Hi amesw,

Did you ever figure out what the tiny bumps on your lips were?

My symptoms sound exactly like what you have.  I also have thought that it could possibly be Fordyce, but the small patch of bumps on my lip are sooo tiny and are the same color as my lip that it doesn't seem to match the Fordyce symptoms.  Like you, my lips are dry (they normally are not) and the small patch of very tiny bumps feels scaly when i run my tongue over it.  It's really not noticeable to other people (my sister couldn't even see what I was talking about), but I would like to know what it is and what is causing it.  

Any help is much appreciated.
Thank you!
Avatar universal
this sounds like it matches me too.  in case it's a regional thing, does anyone live in sacramento?  either way, any info would soon be appreciated.  i dont have pain either but there is a spreading of micro sized bumps making a scaly feel and there has been dryness but i've been using carmex so the dryness hasnt been too bad. hopefully that wont exacerbate the problem.  but it still is uncomfortable feeling.  i have been staying up late lately so my immune system has probably been slightly more susceptible.  i have also had mild skin issues in the past.  they used to tell me i had ringworm and then changed it to a mild form of eczema.  i used to have a rash in the crevice on both sides of my nostrils and in my groin area when i was younger but i havent had a problem with that for a long time, but i do still have a problem with moderately itchy bumps that form on my scalp, usually in the very back of the scalp and sometimes they have a pus and sometimes they dont. those come and go.  sorry for the nauseating description but any suggestions with that would also be helpful.  thanks!!!
Avatar universal
Did you ever find out what these bumps on the lips are, i have it now.
Avatar universal
so, fortunately i have a loving mom whom i asked about this and she gave me great relief by informing me that it was simply a sort of bacterial infection that usually arises from using chapstick or lipstick or what have you for too long and using it on your lips.  throw away the lip balm, stick, or whatever immediately.  what should happen is that it will sort of harden (like a very thin kind of crust, though hardly noticeable) and soon thereafter should flake off.  i had it a month or two ago and it's completely gone now.  so dont stress.  it'll all be over soon..
Avatar universal
Ya I have tiny little bumps on both sides of my top lip and I was very nervous and my mom did not know anything of it either. They are not noticeable but when I rub my tongue on top of my lip I can feel it. So is it the lip gloss I've been using that I had for a while or is it from dry skin? And I also had a dry patch of skin under my bottom lip. Any suggestions on what to do?? Should I use blistex to make sure my lips are not dry?
Avatar universal
trust.  get rid of the lip gloss, chapstick, balm, lip stick, you get the idea.  it will likely spread a little, but rest assured, it will be all over soon. it will harden, form a crust and flake off.  it will feel weird to you and youll feel self conscious, but fortunately nobody can see it.  you probably cant even see without looking very closely.  deal with the temporary discomfort, maybe dab it with peroxide or alcohol if you must, feel free to use a fresh tube of carmex to lessen the sandpapery sensation, and thats really all you can do till it goes away, which should be within a couple weeks at most.
Avatar universal
I have this too...it's like an outline of tiny bumps along my upper lip.  I can feel it, but fortunately it's very hard to see.  I've been using Burt's Bees Passionfruit chap stick...which is different from any other chapstick I've used...it's white and creamy.
Avatar universal
Did you happen to get a medical name for this?  what I have sounds very similar.  
Avatar universal
hey man.  no i dont have a name for it, but all you really need to know is that it is a bacterial infection.  therefore, try to create inhospitable conditions for the bacteria.  keep it dry (within comfort level).  maybe dab it with a little alcohol.  surely there must be a name, but i'd just chalk it up to a bacterial rash...  all i know is it didnt last very long...
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for the advise. I have the exact same symptoms but my burns sometimes. Anyway as soon as i read what you had to say first thing I did was reah in my pocket and throw away my chap stick(That I have had for a while now).So Im hoping that not using chap stick for the next couple of weeks and jus using a lilttle alcohol to dat my lips with that this will go away. Thanks again cuz I was getting kinda worried.Oh and by the way I live in Sacramento too.
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