How to treat acne around the lips fast

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How to treat acne around the lips fast
(Image by M. J. Doran)

The urge to treat acne around the lips fast may prompt you to take drastic action like squeezing the pimples or popping them with a needle. But just as for pimples elsewhere on the face and body, the fastest way to get rid of acne around the lips fast is with gentle and patient treatment of the skin.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Gentle non-comedogenic cleanser
  • Benzoyl peroxide lotion or ointment, 2.5% concentration
  • Acne treatment mask cream

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Clean the skin around your lips with a mild pH balanced non-comedogenic cleanser and tepid water. Avoid scrubbing cleansers, abrasive cloths or scrub brushes. Also avoid very warm or cold water. These will only further irritate your acne prone skin.

  2. 2

    Apply a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide lotion or cream to the acne pimples around your lips during the day, being careful to avoid the lip tissue. Benzoyl peroxide preparations are available over the counter under a wide variety of brand names. Concentrations of 5% and 10% are also available, but higher concentrations of benzoyl peroxide have not been shown to be more effective at clearing acne. They are, however, more irritating to the skin.

  3. 3

    Apply a light non-comedogenic moisturiser to the skin around your lips, to counteract the drying side effects of the benzoyl peroxide. Choose a moisturiser specifically formulated for acne prone skin.

  4. 4

    Spot treat acne around the lips with a sulphur based preparation at night. Sulphur based medications are available as spot treatment preparations or acne masks under many brand names. Dot the spot treatment preparation or mask directly on individual pimples, avoiding unaffected skin and the lips. In the morning, remove with tepid water and mild cleanser. Follow with the benzoyl peroxide treatment and moisturiser. Superficial pimples should clear in one to three days.

Tips and warnings

  • You may apply a very warm, but not hot, wet compress to individual acne pimples around your mouth that have come to a head,. Follow with benzoyl peroxide cream or sulphur spot treatment, and wait for the pimple to clear naturally in one to three days. Squeezing or popping the pimple has no beneficial effect and could cause infection and scarring. Instead allow the pimple to clear naturally in one to three days.
  • See your doctor if you have many pimples around your lips, or if your pimples persist more than a week. Pimples around the lips, chin and sides of the nostrils may be perioral dermatitis which has a different cause than acne, and requires different treatment. Perioral dermatitis may be treated with oral or topical medication. Over the counter skin medications are not highly effective at treating perioral dermatitis.
  • See your doctor for deep or painful pimples around the lips. These could be a sign of cystic acne that will respond best to medical treatment. Also see your doctor if pimples around your mouth have a blister like appearance. These could be a sign of herpes infection of the lips.
  • See your doctor for any skin condition that is accompanied by fever or appears to be spreading.

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