Here's Why Lip Spots Are So Damn Painful

Try bursting one at your peril.
Predrag Popovski via Getty Images

Tears streaming down my eyes, the pain was so acute that I almost felt my ears ringing. No, I wasn’t in a terrible accident. I was, however, staring in the mirror trying to get rid of an aching lip spot that had been pestering me for a week.

If you’re a Human Adult Person, you’ve probably experienced the same in your life and wondered, ‘Why are these spots so effing painful?’

Well, our lips contain lots of nerve endings, making them highly sensitive to pain (especially if you’re squeezing them really hard to annihilate a spot!).

Why do we get spots on our lips?

All spots are caused by pores blocked by hair, dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria, which can lead to swelling, inflammation — and a very angry, red-looking spot. Not to be confused with cold sores, lip spots appear as a small, red pimple, and usually as a whitehead.

What causes them? Dr Geeta Yadav told Cosmopolitan, “When dead cells aren’t removed from the surface of your skin, they can get trapped with acne-causing bacteria inside your pores, leading to a blemish.”

It’s also easy to get this type of acne if you wear a lot of lip gloss and lipstick, especially if you aren’t cleaning brushes or products regularly.

How best to treat lip spots?

Following a regular skincare routine is one of the best ways to keep skin clean, exfoliated of dead skin cells and hair, and moisturised to ensure skin isn’t trying to produce excess sebum and getting your pores all blocked up.

“Exfoliating your lips on a regular basis is key to preventing lip pimples,” continues Yadav.

Over the counter treatments include benzoyl peroxide, which destroys the bacteria causing spots and reduces inflammation, and there are cute spot plasters on the market that are filled with hydrocolloid, which works to heal your spot quicker.

Properly cleaning your make-up tools is another sure-fire way to make sure you’re not introducing any nasty bacteria to your lip area.

Should I pop a lip pimple?

“Under no circumstances should you pop a lip pimple on your own,” warns Dr Yadav. “The thin skin around your lips is extremely delicate and scars easily, so it’s better to have a pimple heal naturally rather than create a scab.”

So, whatever you do, no picking, bursting or scratching. Keep the skin clean and it should heal on its own! Happy kissing.