LIP SORE - WatsonsHealth


Lip sore is describe as any blister, bump, lesion or ulcer on the lips. Most lip sore are not serious and doesn’t need medical attention. However, there are severe cases which is somewhat caused by an underlying medical problem.

Some of the causes of lip sore are:

  • Exposure to sun, wind and air.
  • Biting your lip
  • Braces, poorly fitting dentures, or other physical irritants
  • Canker sores
  • Cold sores (herpes simplex virus infection)
  • Hot food and beverages
  • Stress
  • Viral infections
  • Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency

Less common causes of lip sores include:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Dermatitis (skin inflammation)
  • Hemophilia (rare hereditary disorder in which blood does not clot normally) or other bleeding disorders
  • Weakened immune system

Serious or life-threatening causes of lip sores are:

  • Cancer
  • Serious Infection or Abscess

The different types of lip sore include:

  • Blood blister – It is caused by pinching or damaging the area of the skin filled with blood. A crack with blood on the lips is the main symptom of this injury.
  • Cold Sores – It is also known as fever blister. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus. Symptoms are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around the lips, itchiness and fever.
  • Lip Cancer- This condition is associated with unhealthy habits such as smoking and alcohol intake. Some of the symptoms are sore, lesion, blister, ulcer, or lump on the mouth that does not go away; a red or white patch on the lip; bleeding or pain on the lips and swelling of the jaw.
  • Sun Blister- It is caused by sun burn. Symptoms are dry and chapped lips.
  • Water Blister– This condition may be caused by antibiotics, friction, biting the inside of the mouth or a reaction to skin care products. Symptoms include redness, tenderness, blisters and dry lips.

Lip sores may accompany symptoms related to other body systems such as:

  • Body aches
  • Dizziness
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • General ill feeling
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Stuffy nose or nasal condition


A physical exam may help the doctor to determine if you have lip sore. To confirm the diagnosis, he or she may take a sample from the blister for testing in a laboratory.



A variety of treatment is available to cure lip sore. A lip balm or petroleum jelly can protect the lips from sun, wind or cold air exposure. It as well keep the lips moisturize to avoid dryness. Antibiotics or antiviral drug can help treat bacteria causing sores on the lips. Some other medications include:

  • Acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax)
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
  • Famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Penciclovir (Denavir)

Pain relieving creams like lidocaine or benzocaine may reduce pain. Applying a cool compress may help remove crusting and speed the healing of the blister. For some serious cases like lip cancer, a surgical operation might be needed.



To prevent lip sore, you must:

  • Protect your lips against the sun or wind. You can use lip balms or you can cover it with scarf to avoid exposure.
  • Reduce stress
  • Maintaining a well-balanced diet
  • Avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol.

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