Bumps on Lips: Causes and Top Natural Treatments

Bumps on lips: Causes and Top Natural Treatments

Bumps on lips can be irritating and very painful on this sensitive area of your body, not to mention affect your self-confidence. Bumps on lips can be caused by a weak immune system, poor skin condition, or indicate that there is a more serious underlying health problem. Sometimes the lip bumps can look like small white dots, others turn into large cysts, and some become blisters.

Most people who have bumps on their lips want to get rid of them as fast as possible. After all, we use our lips for eating, drinking, and speaking and having sore lumps on your lips can cause great discomfort. Bumps on your lips can make you more self-conscious because people will immediately notice them. So, it’s important to know how to prevent and cure bumps on lips.

In this article, I will look at the many reasons why bumps can appear on lips and what natural treatments you can use to treat these lip bumps.

Bumps on Lips – Causes and Natural Treatments

Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)

Cold sores, or sometimes called fever blisters, can start out as a small bump on the lip and then turn into a group of small blisters around the mouth which are red, swollen, and sore. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) which can also cause swollen taste buds (lie bumps).

Dr. Varnada Karriem-Norwood on WebMD says that the virus enters the body through a break in the skin and can be transmitted by kissing an infected person, sharing eating utensils or razors.1

To prevent cold sores from developing, it is important to know what triggers the cold sore virus. According to the University of Michigan, the most common triggers of cold sores are:2

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Sunlight
  • Fever
  • Menstruation
  • Intestinal problems
  • Other infections

You can get rid of a cold sore naturally by using honey. Raw, organic honey has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which kill off skin infections, including the herpes simplex virus. One study showed that honey is more effective in treating the cold sore virus than acyclovir, a pharmaceutical cream usually used for herpes infections.

To use honey to treat bumps on lips that are caused by cold sores, take a clean cotton swab and dab a little raw honey on the blistered area. Repeat this 3 to 4 times a day. Always discard the swab after using it and never put a used swab back into the honey.

Please read my article about the best home remedies for cold sores if you are interested in knowing how to use hydrogen peroxide, Echinacea, and vitamin C to cure cold sores. You can also use some of these remedies to treat a cold sore in nose.

Mucous Cyst (mucocele)

Mucous cysts can start out as a small red spot on the lip and turn into a cyst. These bumps usually appear on the inside of the lower lip, but they can also appear under the tongue. Mucous cysts, sometimes called mucoceles, are often caused by sucking the lip membranes between your teeth or they can be caused by lip piercings. Dr. Linda J. Vorvick says that if left untreated they can cause a permanent bump on the lip.3

Stress can also be a factor that causes mucous lip cysts to appear. The Indian Journal of Dental Research found that men in their 20s and 30s were more likely to bite their lips or cheeks while under stress, thus causing mucous cysts.4

Manuka honey can treat bumps on lips caused by a mucous cyst. Manuka honey contains powerful antibacterial properties and is effective in healing wounds.5 In fact, it is so effective that you can buy medicinal grade Manuka honey to treat various ailments. Use a clean cotton swab to apply honey to the cysts.

Another effective home remedy for getting rid of mucous cysts is evening primrose oil. Evening primrose oil contains large amounts of g-linolenic acid and this has been shown to relieve mucoceles.6 Apply a small amount of evening primrose oil to the mucous cyst twice a day until it’s completely gone.

Canker Sores

Canker sores is another reason for bumps on the inside of your lip. These are small round white sores that form inside your mouth. They can range from tiny bumps on your lip to large clusters of sores in your mouth. The exact cause of canker sores is unknown, however, the Mayo Clinic says that small injuries, food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, helicobacter pylori bacteria (which causes ulcers), or stress can all cause outbreaks of canker sores. 7

To help prevent and treat canker sores, it’s important to have a healthy, well-balanced diet and avoid foods like chips, pretzels, and acidic fruits which could irritate your mouth. Good oral hygiene can also minimize the appearance of lip bumps caused by canker sores.

To ease the discomfort of canker sores you can try using witch hazel. Witch hazel is a natural astringent and antiseptic which makes a good mouthwash to treat canker sores.8 To make a witch hazel mouthwash, mix 1 tsp. witch hazel in a cup of warm water and add 1-2 drops of clove oil. Mix well and swish this around your mouth for a few minutes to soothe canker sores.

You can also make a baking soda paste to get a relief from canker sores. All you have to do is mix one tbsp. salt, one tbsp. baking soda and 4 oz. water. Use a cotton swab to apply the baking powder paste to the canker sore for a soothing relief. This acts as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory on the canker sore to relieve the pain and irritation.

Another option for speeding up the healing process of canker sores is to take advantage of your used tea bags.


Although less common, acne can also appear as bumps around the lip line, mouth, and jawline. The bumps can develop into pimples or pustules. This happens when the pores around the mouth become blocked by oil and dead skin cells. There are many reasons why some people are more prone to acne outbreaks than other. But most people occasionally experience pimples around the lips.

You can use tea tree oil to naturally treat spots on (and around) your lips caused by acne. Tea tree oil contains antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help kill off the infection that causes the bumps around your lips.9 Put a drop of tea tree oil on the end of a cotton swab, dab it on the spot for a few days until it’s gone.

Tea tree oil is also one of my 12 natural ways to get rid of pimples that you can find on this website.


If you have small red bumps around the mouth, then this could be a sign that you have a common skin rash called perioral dermatitis. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology says that the red rash around the mouth can appear bumpy and slightly scaly. The cause of perioral dermatitis isn’t exactly known, although it is thought that overuse of steroid creams and sprays could cause the condition.10

To get a relief from perioral dermatitis and reduce the red bumps around your mouth you can use aloe vera and coconut oil. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer with antibacterial properties and aloe vera is great for soothing skin rashes.

Please refer to my previous article on how to make the aloe vera and coconut oil mixture. Apply the soothing mixture to the bumps around your lips and mouth to treat the dermatitis.

Fordyce Spots

Tiny white bumps under the skin of your lips could be Fordyce spots. These lip bumps are usually painless and don’t cause any complications. Fordyce spots are sebaceous glands in the lips without any hair follicles. Usually, if you stretch your lips the bumps become more visible.

Doctors say that Fordyce spots are a natural occurrence, are harmless, aren’t contagious, and don’t require any treatment. You should never try to pick or squeeze the bumps.12

Sunburn Blister

Overexposure to the sun can cause blisters to appear on lips. Usually, the lower lip is affected more often because it is exposed to the sun more than the upper lip. These blisters can become painful and swollen and cause discomfort when eating. Sunburned lips can also trigger cold sores.

To prevent sunburn blisters on your lips, it is important to limit the amount of sun exposure your lips get. You could wear a wide-rimed hat which shades your face, or you can use lip protection cream with an SPF 30+.

To treat blisters on the lips caused by sunburn you can use some honey. Apart from its antibacterial properties, raw honey is also used to treat burn wounds to help them heal quicker.13 All you have to do it use a cotton swab to apply a little honey to the blistered area to help the bump heal.

Unless blisters are painful and large, Dr. Jennifer Robinson on WebMD doesn’t recommend bursting them because they can become infected.14

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush usually causes white spots or bumps to appear in the mouth and it can also cause white spots on your throat. However, oral thrush can also cause the area around the mouth to become sore, cracked and red. This can cause discomfort when eating or drinking. Dr. Michael Friedman on WebMD says that oral thrush is caused by the Candida fungus and this can spread to the mouth when the delicate balance of microorganisms in the mouth is upset.15

You can be more at risk to oral thrush if you take antibiotics or have a weak immune system. Because Candida is a yeast, you should limit sugar intake to help prevent thrush. Good dental hygiene practices can also help to prevent oral thrush.

To treat oral thrush around your mouth, you can use an apple cider vinegar (ACV) compress to get rid of the infection. Mix equal amounts of raw unprocessed ACV with water, soak a cotton ball in the liquid and apply the compress to the wherever you have oral thrush to get rid of the infection. Keep the compress on for 10-15 minutes then rinse with warm water. Continue doing this until the symptoms of thrush improve.

Allergic Reactions

A fat and swollen lip could be a sign that you are suffering from an allergic reaction to food, drink, medicines, insect bites, or even pet dander. Dr. Rob Hicks on WebMD says that this could also be a sign of anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention. If the lip swelling has occurred over a period of time, this could indicate a more serious health condition.11

If you think you have an allergic reaction to something, it is important to try and identify the trigger to avoid a reoccurrence.

Milia Spots

Milia spots appear as little white bumps. They occur when small, dead skin cells becomes trapped in the skin. While milia spots most commonly occur on the face, they can also appear on the lips.

Lip Bumps and Oral Cancer

An unexplained bump on your lip could be a symptom of lip and oral cancer. The National Cancer Institute says that the cancer forms malignant cells in the lips or mouth and these can cause a lump or sore on the lips.16 The lips could also thicken and you may see white or red patches on the inside of your mouth.

If you have a bump on your lip that doesn’t go away, you should see your doctor because early diagnosis is the key to treating oral cancer successfully.

Read these related articles:
1. White Bumps on Lips: Causes and Treatments
2. How to Naturally Get Rid of Dry and Chapped Lips
3. Natural Home Remedies for Angular Cheilitis (Cracked Corners of the Mouth)
4. The Top 10 Home Remedies for Sunburned Lips
5. Lip Twitching: What it Means and How to Treat it Effectively at Home


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