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  5. How Can You Prevent Rashes On Your Lips?

Do you feel an intense itching sensation around your lips quite often? These can be symptoms of lip rashes. And, we understand how uncomfortable it can get. But not to worry, lip rashes are treatable most of the time.

Scroll down to know what causes lip rashes and how can you identify them to decide on the right treatment option.

What Is A Lip Rash?

Lips rash is a common skin condition which can occur to anyone - irrespective of age or gender. You may notice cracked skin and painful blisters around your mouth. It can also cause itchiness and redness on your lips. In some cases, you may get lip bumps as well. People who have a habit of constantly licking their lips are likely to develop rashes more often.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Lip Rash

1. Blisters on lips

2. Redness around the mouth

3. Itching

4. Peeling skin

5. Crusting of lips

6. Cracked skin around lips

7. Pain and bleeding

8. Rashes on other parts of the face

herpes on lip red inflammation on lip of woman

What Causes Rashes On Lips?

1. Infections That Causes Rashes On Lips

Viral Infection:

Infections caused by virus [[1] can trigger rashes on your lips. Viral infection like herpes simplex [2] or any type of mouth disorder can affect your lips and lead to itchy rashes. Painful blisters are added suffering to these kinds of viral infections. Since the herpes virus is chronic, your rashes and blisters may recur from time to time.

Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI):

Syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection, [3] can infect your mouth in the form of ulcers, sores and blisters. You may notice your lips developing red rashes and constant irritation. You may or may not have pain depending on which stage of STI [4] you are dealing with.

Bacterial Infection:

Bacterial infection causes painful cracks on your lips. The corner of your lips feel extremely dry and chapped. This skin condition can be cheilosis [5] or angular stomatitis. Both are popularly known bacterial infections that cause crusting and scaling of your skin. Another bacterial or fungal infection, mostly seen among children, causes yellow patches around their lips.

2. Irritants Affecting Lips


If your lips are exposed to an allergen it causes itchy rashes and cracking. It may be due to some specific food items or the lipstick you are currently using. Check the ingredients in both your food and makeup items to avoid risk. Avoid any product that contains ingredients allergic to your skin.

Dry Lips:

Many of you may have the habit of licking your lips constantly. It makes your skin dry and results in itchy rashes on your lips. Your lips may become severely dry

and chapped depending on cold and dry weather conditions.

3. Drug Reactions

Allergic reaction to any drug can lead to rashes, bumps, blisters, itching, and skin peeling. According to the ACAAI, [6] penicillin, a common antibiotic, causes drug allergies. Studies suggest that 10 percent of people find themselves allergic to penicillin. Other drug allergies that cause redness of your entire skin, rashes and itching, result from different antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and anticonvulsant drugs.

Cancer patients who are undergoing treatments may face allergies due to chemotherapy drugs. Your skin can even severely react to any other kind of strong medications. Retinoid treatments such as isotretinoin, acitretin, alitretinoin have some known side effects, and cracked lips are one of them.

4. Vitamin Deficiency

The eight water-soluble vitamins that make up the vitamin B group helps to maintain proper functioning like energy production and cell function within your body. B-group vitamins influence wound healing and the tissue repair process of your body. Chapped and flaky skinned lips usually occur when you have vitamin deficiencies; especially deficiencies of vitamin B9, B2, B6 and B12.

5. Skin Inflammation

Nonspecific dermatitis implies inflammation of your skin due to various reasons. The most common reason is your skin’s exposure to an agent that stimulates the reaction. The substance can be anything starting from a regular soap to a piece of jewellery that you wear. Few fabrics may also contribute to skin inflammation.

Skin inflammation can also result from any autoimmune disease. If your family has genetic allergy or asthma or any health condition that weakens your immune system, you might be prone to skin inflammation.

Lip rashes caused due to skin inflammation commonly have symptoms like swollen red lips, itchy sensation and painful blisters. It is usually not contagious.

Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea [7] is a mild skin rash that is caused by viral infection, specifically by herpes virus. It appears as a pink-coloured scaly rash and mostly occurs among children and young adults.

Even though Pityriasis rosea typically affects your torso, underarms, back and chest, it can appear on your lips region too. You may also go through fatigue, itching and body aches. It lasts for a few weeks and normally goes away within three to four months. Pityriasis Rosea may leave brown spots on your body.

atopic skin on boy face allergic rash on face and lips

Kawasaki Disease

It is a rare health condition that causes inflammation on the entire body. It mostly occurs in children. Some of its symptoms include cracked lips, redness and swelling of lips along with high fever and lymph nodes on their neck. [8]

Children may also develop swollen palms and feet. A common symptom of this health condition is red bumps on the tongue.

How To Prevent Rashes On Your Lips?

1. Lip Care Routine

Follow a proper lip care routine to protect your lips. Exfoliate it from time to time with a gentle lip scrub and use a soothing lip balm daily. Opt for a lip mask if you have dry lips. Also, protect your lips from sun damage by wearing a scarf around your face and covering your mouth area. Do the same in extreme cold weather. Always go for unflavored, unscented products to avoid allergens and harsh chemicals.

2. Avoid Harmful Habits

Licking your lips dries up your skin, leading to rashes. It can also strip off essential oils from your lips.

If your lips feel uncomfortable or itchy after applying any product, immediately stop using it. Avoid applying lipsticks and other lip products in such cases.

3. Stay Hydrated

Keep your skin hydrated . Drink plenty of water/fluids to prevent chapped and dry lips.

How To Treat Lips Rashes?

  • An antibiotic or antifungal ointment can treat lip rashes. If you have perioral dermatitis (dermatitis around mouth) dermatologists suggest antibiotics like erythromycin, tetracycline, doxycycline etc.
  • If you have a lip rash due to herpes you may take antiviral medicines as prescribed by your doctor. It can also be used to prevent further rashes affecting your lips.
  • If you develop rashes due to vitamin deficiency, consume vitamin supplements and food enriched with essential vitamins. It will not only cure your lip rashes but also prevent it from recurring.
  • Penicillin is a commonly used antibiotic. If you are not allergic to it, penicillin can also help you treat symptoms of syphilis.

When To Consult A Doctor?

1. If you have high fever and fatigue along with rashes. 

2. If the rashes rapidly spread on other parts of your face/body.

3. If your rashes cause severe itching or pain.

4. If your rashes recur.

5. If larger areas of your skin starts peeling off.

6. If your lips are bleeding constantly.

7. If you have swelling on your lips.

herpes on the lip

What Is The Difference Between Lip Rash & Cold Sore?

A lip rash can be a general skin inflammation caused by some allergen or even extreme sun exposure while a cold sore is an ulcer caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Cold sores are also known as fever blisters as they occur during fever and stay for two to three weeks. These are tiny fluid-filled painful blisters around your mouth that makes your skin lose its patency.

Common lip rash, on the other hand, does not affect the patency of your skin.

Wrapping Up

Dry and itchy lips are probably a common symptom of a lip rash. Typically, the symptoms associated with lip rashes resolve on their own, but for severe conditions, you may require treatment under the advice of a doctor. Take a note of all the related symptoms before you decide on the treatment option. Consult a doctor to seek medical advice, in case you notice something serious.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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