White dots on Lips

We all want to have beautiful red lips. If we noticed white spots on our lips, we feel more conscious. We feel like we are not beautiful anymore.

Well, aside from the aesthetic aspect, we also have to consider the danger it might possess. Will it affect our health? Is it a sign that something is not right in our body? Continue reading this article to know more about white spots and what you should do about it.

White spots or dots on the lips can be tiny or big. They can be raised or flat, exist singly or in patches. They can be painless, but most of the time create a burning sensation. White dot on the lips can appear on the upper lip, lower lip, corner of the lips, inside the lip, along the lip line, and the mouth cavity. (1)

Causes of white dots on the lips

  1. Fordyce Spots – It is a white spot on the lips with a size ranging from 1mm to 3mm. it is harmless and painless. It is caused by trapped oil in the skin.
  2. Canker Sores – It is a painful ulcer, about a centimetre in size and can appear in the inner lips, on the mouth, and cheeks. It is not dangerous at all, but the pain will cause discomfort.
  3. Vitiligo – It is a skin condition resulting to loss of pigmentation in various parts of the body including the lips. It is an autoimmune disease, which can be hereditary or linked with skin cancer.
  4. Herpes – it is an infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. It is a contagious disease that can be transmitted through direct skin contact. It is painful and itchy. The cardinal sign is the white blister on the lips. The infection is manageable but it can’t be cured.
  5. Mucous Cyst – A white to pink sac of fluid is present on the lips. It is secondary to lip irritation, biting, and sucking of the lips. It does not possess any danger at all and will eventually go away after some time.
  6. Thrush – It is a type of yeast infection affecting the mucous membranes in the mouth. A white sore is all over the mouth. Thrust is linked with other disease conditions like diabetes and HIV.
  7. Lip Cancer – A white spot on the lip can be an indicator of a lip cancer, although it is usually mistaken for another illness. Men are more susceptible to lip cancer than women.
  8. Other possible causes – A dot on the lip can be caused by physical injury to the face affecting the lip, biting of the lip, and acne on the lips. (2, 3, 4)

The location of white dots on the lips

  • Lower lip – White spot on the lower lip is indicative of mucous cyst and hairy leukoplakia. It if does not go away, then it could be an indicator of a mouth cancer.
  • Upper lip – If the white spot on the upper lip appears after threading or waxing, it could possibly be due to infected ingrown hair.
  • Inside the lip – If the white dot is painless, it is more likely a mucous cyst, Fordyce spot, or milia. If it is painful, it could suggests oral thrush, fever blister, canker sore, and infected lip piercing. It could also possibly due to HP warts, hairy leukoplakia, oral cancer, and trauma.
  • Lip line – It is associated with milia, Fordyce spots, or lip pimple.
  • Corner of the lips – It is associated with cold sores and canker. (5)

A Fordyce spot on the upper lip.imagePicture 1 : A Fordyce spot on the upper lip
Photo Source : www.hkma.org

A white spot on the lip secondary to herpes infection.photoImage 2 : A white spot on the lip secondary to herpes infection.
Picture Source : www.healcure.org


To correctly diagnose the cause of white dot on the lips, the doctor will take a look at your medical history and will thoroughly examine your lips. Sometimes, the doctor conducts a lip swab and culture sample the white dot on the lip.

This is to correctly establish the cause of the white dot and will be able to come up with the best possible treatment. (6)

When you should contact your doctor?

If you have white spots on the lips become bothersome to you, then you have to make an appointment with your medical provider. Serious symptoms include painful bumps, swelling of the jaw and neck, the bump bleed, feeling like something is in your throat, numbness of the tongue, fever, sore throat, and difficulty chewing and swallowing.

A white spot that has been on the lips for a long period of time (more than two weeks) warrants medical attention. (7)

How to cure/treat white spots on the lips?

There are various ways to treat white spots on the lips. The focus of care and the treatment management primarily depends on the causes of the symptoms. If the white spot is caused by Fordyce spot, then it will not require any treatment at all. If the white dot bothers you, then you can always have it removed. The doctor will perform laser treatment to thoroughly remove the white spot on the lips and prevent damage to the surrounding tissues.

If the cause of white spot on the lip is thrush, it will be treated using anti-fungal drugs. It is usually in the form of a liquid solution and you have to swish in your mouth. For oral herpes, an antiviral medication is used to manage the disease.

As mentioned above, there is no cure for herpes, but it is completely manageable. If the white dot on the lip is caused by oral cancer, the treatment management of choice includes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. (8, 9)

Home Remedies and management

White dots on the lips can be bothersome to many people. In an attempt to remove the spot, they pick at them. Well, this is a big NO! Avoid picking at them to avoid irritation and prevent further infection. Applying lip ointment or moisturizer may help, especially in preventing dry lips.

However, you have to make sure that the ointment or moisturizer you are going to use is approved by your doctor. To minimize the irritation, you should rinse with warm saltwater. (10)


  1. http://www.healthline.com
  2. www.md-health.com
  3. www.healthyandnaturalworld.com
  4. www.treatnheal.com
  5. www.healcure.org
  6. www.simple-remedies.com
  7. www.etopical.com
  8. www.newhealthguide.org
  9. health.knowfacts.org
  10. www.treatcurefast.com

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