What are blisters? They are bumps filled with fluid that can appear like raised pimples. They may appear on most any part of the body, including your lips. These lumps come in various textures and sizes, depending on their cause. You may get blisters from physical injuries including biting your lips, cold injuries, exposure to heat or insect bites.
Photo of a lip blood blister
The treatment for a blood blister on the lip depends on what caused it. Some might respond to home remedies, while others may need medical treatment, especially if they’re caused by major medical conditions like cancer.
What do blood blisters look like?
Blood blisters appear as bumps or lumps that occur on the lips. They are sometimes called fever blisters. They may be found on your lip, inside your lip or behind your lip. Some people also develop blisters above their lips or on the bottom of their lips. Blisters under the lips are not uncommon. Some are darker, like blood blisters.
Fever blister photo
Symptoms of Lip Blood Blisters
Blisters on your lips are usually oval or round in shape. Symptoms vary, usually depending on what the cause is. Other symptoms include rash-like bumps or blisters that itch.
If lip blisters are caused by burns, they may be larger, depending on their severity. Severe pain may accompany them, but that will let up as the blisters heal.
If your blisters were caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), commonly called cold sores, your symptoms will include:
- Itchy, small red lumps
- Pain and soreness
- Swollen red bumps on the lips
Other common symptoms include headache, fever and muscle aches.
Photo of lip blood blister
Causes of Blood Blister on the Lip
Blisters found on your lips may occur for a variety of reasons, and some are caused by medical conditions. Some known causes include cold sores, smoking, STDs and mouth or lip cancer. Most lip blisters resolve without help in a week or two. Below we will discuss causes of lip blisters.
- Dark lip blisters from excessive alcohol and smoking
Can smoking or drinking cause fever blisters? If you smoke a lot, quitting will be great for your health, as you probably know. Smoking causes dry lips and the chemicals from cigars, pipes and cigarettes intoxicate your body.
Smoking is also believed to cause lip cancer. Smoking exposes the mucus membranes of the mouth and lips to harm. This may start as small, dry, white blisters that appear on the lips.
- Does the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) cause blisters?
One symptom of HSV is small red mouth, lip or cheek blisters. The same virus is responsible for genital herpes. Fever blisters can be brought on when your immune system weakens. They may also be caused by overexposure to sunlight, stress, or colds and flu.
Fever blisters caused by the HSV are very contagious and can spread through skin to skin contact. If your partner has them, you will probably get them too, through kissing or oral sex.
- Can allergies cause lip blisters?
If you have food or drink allergies, you need to stay away from foods that trigger those allergies. Tiny lip blisters may result from allergic reactions. You may also experience lip swelling.
If your allergic reactions are severe, you may develop anaphylaxis. This causes swelling of the lips that can last for long periods of time. This can be symptomatic of infections or complicated inflammation. If you have anaphylactic reaction, you need medical attention immediately. It can be a life-threatening issue.
- Could a blood blister on the lip be a cancer sign?
If your lips exhibit abnormal cell growth, this may be a sign of oral cancer. It may appear as tiny blood blisters found on the lips. Lip cancer symptoms include:
- Pain and bleeding on the lip
- Ulcers or blisters on the mouth
- Recurring mouth lumps
- White lip patches
- Jaw swelling
You can’t tell just by these symptoms that you have lip cancer. Most cases are discovered when people visit their dentist for routine exams.
Lip cancer is largely caused by lifestyle and behavior. Smokers and drinkers irritate their mucous membranes, which causes blisters. Roughly 48,000 people per year are diagnosed with oral cancer, according to the National Institute of Health.
If you think you may have lip cancer, contact your physician for testing. This will determine how far the cancer has spread, and if it is affecting other body parts. Treatment depends on the stage of cancer and size of the tumor. Small tumors may be removed surgically, with the lip being reconstructed after the removal.
Negative effects can also result from surgery for lips affected by cancer. Some surgical patients with large tumors removed may have speech difficulties after their surgeries. Speech pathologists can help them to recover their speech.
Photo of lip blood blister
There isn’t a known cure for a fever blister. They generally resolve without intervention. You can, if you like, treat symptoms, to shorten their life span. It’s best not to come into physical contact with someone who has a fever blister.
Cold Sores that heal but leave a blood blister on your lip
Cold sores and the herpes virus do cause blistering on your lips. The worst blisters may be pus-filled. Blisters from cold sores can be painful, and they typically last for one to two weeks. They may also cause nasal congestion and a sore throat.
Blood Blisters following Lip Piercings
After you get a lip piercing, you may develop a blister. It is an infection sign. Lip piercings frequently become infected because they are so close to your mouth. Piercings in the lips may be easily affected by viruses and bacteria that may be left in the mouth after poor oral hygiene.
When you decide to get a lip piercing, it is at risk of infection, particularly if your piercer doesn’t sterilize his tools. Infected lip piercing symptoms include:
- Swollen red lumps that may have pus
- Pain lasting for more than a couple days
- Foul discharge
- Irritation and itchiness
- Inflamed blister on your lip
- Swollen lymph nodes in cheeks and neck
If you develop a lip blister after a piercing, DON’T squeeze it or try to pick or pop it. This delays the process of healing.
Lip Blisters in Toddlers
Children and toddlers sometimes get lip blisters from oral thrush. This causes milky white patches in their mouths. It can spread from their mouths to their lips.
Children may also get oral herpes if they come into contact with someone who has a cold sore. They will usually develop small blister clusters on the bottom of their lips.
If your child has a purple or red blister that grows, this may be a type of vascular lesion. Consult your child’s pediatrician for an examination.
Blood Blister on Lip when Pregnant
If you’re pregnant, you have many hormone changes occurring. Researchers aren’t sure what causes lip blisters during a pregnancy, but some causes in addition to hormonal changes may be a compromised immune system or vitamin deficiency.
Purple Blood Blisters from Lip Injections
If you’ve had injections for lip fillers, the reaction to that injection may include blood blisters on your lips. This is sometimes seen after Juvederm injections, or other similar types.
Some people who have had lip injections may not have painful blisters, but they may instead develop large, clear blisters under the lips. These can sometimes stay for weeks. This occurs if the filler injection is not done deeply enough.
Blood blisters that won’t go away – Lip blisters that last for months
If you have a blood blister that just won’t go away, or if it heals but recurs, it may be symptomatic of cold sores or the herpes virus. Most blisters do heal by themselves, and they don’t always require medical attention.
Blisters that keep coming back, or are persistent, may mean you have a more serious medical issue like oral cancer. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Cancer may begin as a blister and then spread to other parts of the body.
Should you pop a blood blister on your lip?
You should NOT try to pop blood blisters, regardless of where they occur. It can cause infection and may delay the process of healing. You may even cause a recurrence of the blisters.
Most blisters are not caused by serious medical conditions. Blisters themselves are generally not dangerous, so they’ll heal even if left alone. There are remedies to blisters that can be effective, though. They may shorten the healing time and reduce pain and infection. Healing may otherwise take some time – say, two weeks or more – depending on your state of health.
Treatment for Lip Blisters
As we mentioned earlier, lip blisters will usually heal by themselves. They may last up to two weeks to fully heal. Home remedies can help you get rid of blisters. If they seem persistent, though, consult with your physician to have them examined. Medical treatment will depend on what caused the blisters.
Here is a that shows ways to treat blood blisters.