Beauty, Skincare

White Spots On Lips: What Are The Major Causes And Treatments?

Have you ever noticed small, white-colored bumps or patches appearing on your lips? While they may seem harmless, these white spots on lips can be ...

by Sarah Waldorf

White Spots On Lips: What Are The Major Causes And Treatments?

Have you ever noticed small, white-colored bumps or patches appearing on your lips? While they may seem harmless, these white spots on lips can be quite concerning, leaving you wondering about their cause and how to get rid of them. Fear not, as we delve into the realm of these mysterious lip discoloration, unveiling the common reasons behind them and the most effective treatments to restore your pout to its pristine condition.

Why Do I Have a White Spot on My Lip?

White Spot on My Lip

White spots on lips can manifest for various reasons, some innocuous and others indicative of an underlying condition. These discolorations, known as Fordyce spots or milia, can arise due to factors such as blocked oil glands, trapped keratin, or even viral infections. While they may appear unsightly, understanding their root cause is crucial in determining the appropriate course of action.

What Causes White Spots on Lips?

White spots on lips can stem from a multitude of factors, ranging from minor irritations to more serious underlying health issues. Let’s explore some of the most common culprits:

White Spots on Lips: Top 6 Reasons

1. Fordyce Spots: These harmless, yellowish-white spots are caused by enlarged sebaceous glands on the lips and surrounding areas. They are common and typically pose no health risks.

2. Milia: These small, whitish bumps form when keratin, a protein found in skin cells, becomes trapped beneath the surface of the skin. Milia can occur on any part of the body, including the lips.

3. Lip Lickers: Frequent lip licking or biting can lead to irritation and the formation of white spots or patches on the lips. This habit can cause the lips to dry out, crack, and become susceptible to infections.

4. Cold Sores (Fever Blisters): Caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores often appear as small, fluid-filled blisters on or around the lips. As they heal, they may leave behind white spots or scabs.

5. Oral Thrush: This fungal infection, caused by an overgrowth of Candida yeast, can result in white, creamy lesions or patches on the lips, tongue, and inside the mouth.

6. Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may develop white spots on their lips as a result of an allergic reaction to certain foods, cosmetics, or other substances that come into contact with the lips.

How to Get Rid of White Spots on Lips

The treatment for white spots on lips largely depends on the underlying cause. Here are some effective strategies to help alleviate and potentially eliminate these pesky discolorations:

1. Fordyce Spots: While these spots are harmless and do not require treatment, some individuals may choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons through procedures like laser therapy or cryotherapy (freezing).

2. Milia: Gentle exfoliation with a washcloth or a mild scrub can help dislodge the trapped keratin. Avoid picking or squeezing milia, as this can lead to scarring or infection.

3. Lip Lickers: Breaking the habit of excessive lip licking or biting is crucial. Use a lip balm or moisturizer to keep your lips hydrated and prevent further irritation.

4. Cold Sores: Over-the-counter antiviral creams or ointments can help reduce the duration and severity of cold sore outbreaks. Seeking medical advice for prescription antiviral medications may also be recommended in severe cases.

5. Oral Thrush: Antifungal medications, either topical or oral, prescribed by a healthcare professional, are typically used to treat oral thrush. Maintaining good oral hygiene and addressing any underlying conditions that may contribute to the yeast overgrowth is also important.

6. Allergic Reactions: Identifying and avoiding the offending allergen is key to preventing further occurrences. Topical corticosteroid creams or oral antihistamines may be recommended by a healthcare provider to alleviate symptoms.

Also Read: Brown Spot On Eye: Everything You Need To Know


White spots on lips can be unsightly and concerning, but understanding their underlying causes is crucial for effective treatment. From harmless Fordyce spots to more serious conditions like oral thrush, addressing the root issue is essential for restoring the health and appearance of your lips.

Remember, while some white spots may resolve on their own, seeking medical advice is recommended if the spots persist or worsen, or if you experience other concerning symptoms. By following the proper treatment methods and maintaining good lip care habits, you can bid farewell to those pesky white spots on lips and regain a radiant, healthy pout.


  • Sarah Waldorf

    Sarah Waldorf, MD is a board-certified dermatologist with over 15 years of experience treating patients for a wide range of skin conditions. She received her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, where she graduated at the top of her class. Dr. Waldorf then completed her dermatology residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the top dermatology programs in the country. Dr. Waldorf is currently the founder and medical director of her own dermatology clinic in San Francisco, CA. She is an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. She has been committed to continuing education to stay up-to-date on the latest dermatological treatments, techniques, and research.

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