Home > Rash on Lips > Lip Rash Symptoms, Causes, Pictures, Treatment and Prevention Remedies

Lip Rash Symptoms, Causes, Pictures, Treatment and Prevention Remedies

Get to know how you are susceptible to lip rashes plus some of the obvious causes. While some rashes will cause lip discomfort, certain symptoms will be felt by victims only. For instance burning in lips. In case you have a rash on your lips with itching, dryness and patches or cracking, we have tips to help you stop it from recurring.

Lip rash image
Lip rash image

Common symptoms of rash on lips

These common symptoms are helpful as far as identifying your rashes would be necessary in prevention or treatment. They include:

  • Itchiness. It may be felt on the lip surface but commonly around the lip borders or mouth
  • Lip dryness where it could be mild but may turn chronic
  • Redness – especially with irritation on the lip skin, redness is a sign expected
  • Cracking and fine scaling is another sign of a rash in the lip lines and corners of mouth
  • Formation of itchy bumps
  • Swelling on lips or of the lip tissue may occur
  • Dark or hyperpigmentation of lip skin

Keep in mind that symptoms like these could be significant of different things including lip infections and change in external environmental factor like weather.

Lip rash causes

Why do you have a lip rash? These are some of the possible reasons to explain why you get lip rashes.

Lip dermatitis

Lip dermatitis
Lip dermatitis

Lip dermatitis can present a rash on lip depending the direct causes and those factors or substances that lead to lip rash appearing.

Contact dermatitis is one of the common causes of lip rashes with varying signs and symptoms. Contact dermatitis in many cases is triggered by irritants or allergic substances after a direct contact with the lip skin is made. The resulting rash may depend on how long the particular irritants or allergens have been in contact with your lips.


What causes rash on your lips
What causes rash on your lips

Common substances involved in include irritants which comprise the following.

  • Harmful chemicals in lip cosmetics such as lip sticks and lip balms
  • Soaps
  • Cleansers etc.

Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions can result from specific substances or agents such as:

  • Food products – peanuts, soy, end products from milk
  • Fragrance or flavor ingredients
  • Cosmetic product casing (e.g. Nickel)
  • Nail vanish
  • Preservatives

Note, allergic reactions can also occur indirectly where you touch your lips after handling the allergen (be it food or chemical ingredients). Dr. Atwater notes that people are not born with allergies but develop over time.

Lip cheilitis

Lip cheilitis is another cause of rash on lip border (vermillion) and the corners of the mouth. The lip rash is recurrent and can cause changes in both texture and appearance of both or either upper and lower lip.

Some skin irritants and allergens are common triggers for cheilitis.

This rash can be acute or chronic. Common symptoms include cracking and flaking on affected areas.

Cheilitis Glandularis lip rash
Cheilitis Glandularis lip rash
Exfoliative lip cheilitis photo
Exfoliative lip cheilitis photo

Irritant contact cheilitis (lip licking)

Lip licking can cause a dry lip rash especially when this becomes chronic. Saliva cause damage on the delicate lip skin without any significant secretory glands to help in moisturizing them.

Most children are victims of lip licking especially in dry conditions.

Lip Lickers dermatitis rash
Lip Lickers dermatitis rash

Sun poisoning

Sun poisoning can also lead to rash on lips. Susceptible individuals such as those with fairer skin can experience potentially severe symptoms which are beyond sunburn.

Common symptoms

  • Small red bumps on lip border
  • Blistering
  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or feeling confused
  • Nausea – some patients may vomit

Not only the lips – sun poisoning can affect the rest of the body and consequently create a widespread effect in terms of symptoms.

Other causes

Other potential reasons for rash on upper or lower lip rash include:

  • Solar cheilosis or acnitic keratosis of lip which is premalignant in nature
  • Lichen planus
  • Cold sores

Lip rash treatment

If you know what is actually causing the rash to develop on your lips, treatment can be as easy as eliminating what leads to that rash. Some of the treatment options for symptomatic lip rashes include.

Use of corticosteroid

Before applying corticosteroid creams or injection, you need to consult a physician first. Depending on severity of the symptoms, your physician will examine your lips and look into the symptoms to determine how to administer this treatment.

Pain relievers

Pain relievers are necessary when accompanying symptoms become severe like after sun poisoning or have cold sores.


These medicines are used in cases of rashes where an allergic reaction is involved. Treatment is prioritized in accordance with symptoms. Use of antihistamines is considered a measure for adverse reactions.

Best ways to prevent recurrent or chronic rash on lips

How best can you treat your lip rashes? Here are some of the specific means to get rid of rashes on your lips that come and go.

1.      Use an chemical-free lip balm

Some people with lip licking habit can benefit from lip balm, once they have found a way out of lip licking. Keep in mind that if you land on the wrong lip balm, you may end up to regret. However, if you want to be safer, go for oil-based lip balm. Dermatologists also recommend the non-flavored lip products.

Lip balm is good for lip licking cheilitis and sun poisoning of lips. Additionally, if your lips form flakes or dry patches but without cracks or weeping, lip balm can do you good.

When you are going out, use a wide-brim cap or ask your healthcare provider for a lip balm sunscreen cream to apply on the lips.

2.      Avoid cold or extremely hot conditions

Another simple but best preventive measure is to aim at protecting your lips by avoiding the cold out there if you have to be outdoors. Secondly, during hot sunny conditions, use a deep moisturizer to lock in moisture around lips.

3.      Keep off lip dryness aggravators

When the symptoms become severe especially with formation of thick patches, cracking and painful feeling, avoid:

  • Smoke and smoking itself
  • Direct sun heat on your face
  • Applying lip cosmetic. For instance lip gloss, lipstick, mascara, etc.
  • Licking your lips or lip biting
  • Scratching and picking your lips

If there is bleeding or weeping from the lip and corner of mouth, please see your health care provider.

4.      Keep off triggers

You can successfully achieve this if you learn to analyze most products you have been using recently, including changes you have made to the list of cosmetics. This will enable you eliminate the more likely triggers one by one with time. If you get stuck on the way or confuse, and are unable to figure out, consult a dermatologist for more helpful tips on avoidance of unfavourable triggers.

Remedies for symptomatic rash on lips – mild itching, redness/irritation

You can also relieve of such mild symptoms if you have tried any DIY procedures with these ingredients and natural products. If you are yet to try any home remedy, is it good to ask for guidance to avoid the unlikely and undesired results.

  • Baking soda (NOT baking powder)
  • Aloe Vera
  • Olive oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Cold compress

Other considerable health tips as part of remedy and healing include staying hydrated and eating healthily to speed up healing process.

Our best medical advice

To sum up, in case your lip rash won’t go away, (recurrent) symptoms tend to persist, don’t sit back but promptly seek help from your physician. You are most likely to be undergo a series of skin tests to help determine the probable cause including skin conditions like eczema or lip dermatitis.

Ultimately, one needs to be extremely cautious and strict when it comes to rashes involving use of cosmetics especially lip products. This follows a recent real situation in early 2016 where the EOS lip balm maker allegedly was sued by celeb who piled a lawsuit in response.

“Within hours, her lips became substantially dry and coarse, what Ms. Cronin describes as feeling like ‘sandpaper,'” the lawsuit stated. “Ms. Cronin’s lips and surrounding skin area had severe blistering and rashes causing her to seek medical care.” [www.huffingtonpost.ca].

If you also have a recurring lip rash and suspect it might be your lip products, outline them or carry them with you while you go to seek medical care.

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  4. Dark Lips – Causes of Lip Discoloration (Brown, Black or Blue)

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