What do I do about this giant - most likely acne- bump on my lip line? (Photo)

this weird bump on my upper lip line formed and I believe it's acne. I popped it on the first day and a bit of puss came out but it was super irritated and The head was tiny so I couldn't get any more out. So then I started putting everything I can on it and it swelled down a little. I tried popping today and only some weird clear stuff came out and the bump is bigger than ever! I can't go out in public with this on my face! Please help me quickly! I'm afraid I may have tried to pop too early.

Doctor Answers 6

Cold sore or inflamed cyst on the lip

This may be a pimple, an inflamed cyst, or a cold sore. I would visit a dermatologist to assess followed by topical medicine to help soothe the scar. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Topical peels can help with cystic acne

Hi there.
Thank you for your question. Yes it does look like you have cystic acne which is one of the most difficult types of acne to treat. Though it is most likely caused by the same bacteria as regular acne, cystic acne lesions are far more painful and have more risk of scarring compared to mild or moderate acne. Cystic acne lesions actually rupture beneath the surface of the skin, pushing the blockage and swollen contents beyond the reach of traditional, topically-applied anti-acne products. This severe inflammation can be treated with oral antibiotics and a steroid shot to calm down the inflammation. Topical peels can help as well. It’s also possible that you have herpes as well. This could also benefit from antibiotics and an antiviral medicine. Cystic acne is triggered by hormones. With cystic acne, for reasons unknown, the skin's oil glands become hypersensitive to excess male hormones (women have male hormones that trigger acne), and react by overproducing sebum (an oily substance produced by the body to lubricate and waterproof skin). The amount of sebum produced is so excessive that the oil gland itself becomes engorged, swollen, and hardened with the excess. Unable to push almost any of the extra oil to the surface, the gland bursts underneath the skin, creating the large swollen mass (called a nodule or cyst) below the skin's surface.

Jan Zemplenyi, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Bump from lip from Acne

Yes you are really inflammed. You can go on oral antibiotics and you can also get a steroid shot to calm down the inflammation. Topical peels can help as well as I have done this on myself. But the antibiotics and steroids would likely be the first option. It is possible that it is herpes as well. This could also benefit from antibiotics and an antiviral like acyclovir or vacyclovir.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Cold sore

You are describing, and it looks like, a cold sore also known as Herpes which is a very common infection by a virus.  The virus stays with you after it heals.  I would recommend seeing a dermatologist and getting a prescription for the NEXT TIME it happens.  It may never happen again, or it may happen several times a year.  Do not try to pop it as if it were acne.  Don't touch it at all, herpes is contagious.  The pills work best taken at the first time of recurrence, so it is good to get a Rx for Valtrex ahead of time so you can be prepared.  Taking the pills early makes it involute before it can get to what you've got there.

Marla M. Klein, MD
Lake Oswego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Acne on Lip ... Or Other?

This may be a cold sore, which would need oral valtrex.  If this is simply acne, would improve with steroid injection. I suggest a formal consultaiton with a dermatologist.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Lip lesion

Based on the pictures it looks like you may have oral herpes or a common cold sore. I would advise you see your doctor and not manipulate the lesion further.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.