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Are white bumps on my lip due to herpes?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2396 Questions
i have white bumbs on my lip,i was on a date on may 26th and kissed a girl and the next day had a burining sensation in my upper lip.i noticed little white bumps ,no other can not see them unless a streatch the skin out.i am freaked out about herpes,its been about 50 days plus and the are still there.i had a igm test done at 46 days which was negative but read that the arent reiable at all.i am thinking about a pcr by dna test.does this sound like herpes and do you think the pcr test will give me a diffent answere to if it is hepres or not (the white bumps have gotten some what bigger and spread some but the have reamined the same for almost 2 months now )
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for your query.

I would really like you to send me a snapshot of what the rash looks like. If you are able to do that it would help very much. You can send this to my attention at YYYY@YYYY .

Now, what could this be? Of course high on the list is herpes. The best way to tell this would be to take a culture of the lesions on your lip with a swab. This can be sent to the lab for analysis and if herpes virus grows in culture it is a definitive diagnosis.

Other possibilities include possibly a bacterial infection. It would be unusual for the bacterial infection to be so chronic. It usually would spread and then slowly resolve over some time.

You could consider starting treatment with an antiviral such as valacyclovir 1000 mg twice daily for 7 days and if the lesions resolve thiis would lend more evidence to the likelihood that it is herpetic.

Let me reassure you here that if this is herpes you are not alone. Herpes affects almost 2 out of every 3 people. It is not disabling or disfiguring and will not affect the length or quality of your life. I know this is little consolation in a time of great anxiety but I want you to try to remember that.

I thank you again for your query. I look forward to hearing back from you so we can comment further on what may be going on here and we can make further recommendations regarding if any additional testing needs to be done.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Are white bumps on my lip due to herpes? 15 hours later

i tryed to take a pis however it doesnt come out well enough to send.

I guess my question would be ,everything i have read says that if it was herpes it would have gone away by now is that correct?

is there any hope that my igm test at 44 days would have still tested correct or is this to fair out for that test.

i donot have any open lessions at all just little white pumps,that are not visuable untill you streatch the lip.

and if there are no open lessions would a swab culture test even work.

what is your thoughts on a pcr test by dna


i did see my family doctor and he did not think it looked like herpes and did not do any test but if i have something i dont want to give it to any one elese
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for the followup.

You are correct - the time course of this does not support herpes. We would expect the herpes to have resolved within 10 to 14 days. At the same time your antibody testing also does not support a case of herpes. I don't see any value in lookinf for the DNA by PCR right now either and you are correct - culture is only helpful in a setting of active lesions with some drainage.

I would suggest that you refrain from touching, pulling or pulling on your lip for the time being and that each day you stand in the shower and allow the warm water to run on your skin to help open the pores and relieve any inflammation which may be going on. I would continue to observe things for a few more weeks.

Beyond that you could consider seeing a dermatologist if you still have a noticeable change there. It does not appear otherwise worrisome at all.

Again I thank you for your query. I hope you have found our discussion to be both helpful and informative. Should you have additional concerns I am available to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Are white bumps on my lip due to herpes? 1 hour later
thanks doctor

i went ahead and sent over three pics via my phone,its tuff to see but thought i would send them over.I hate to keep going on as im sure you are bussy but just thought i would send them on over to get your option.again its tuff to see but thare small do not hurt no pain some burining though,my family doc said he thinks the are glands in the lips,i am taking a chick to mexico and really donot want to give anything to any one and thought i would get your option.with what you can see and heard ,and the igm blood test am i ok to enjoy my time down there or should a not kiss untill i get more blood work done.sorry but i leave tommrow

thanks again doctor you are great
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 7 hours later
Thanks for the query again,

Our system must still be processing your attachments. As soon as these are available to me i will get back to you.

Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 8 hours later
Hello and thanks for your follow-up including the pictures.

I have to say that I really agree with your physician that this does not look much at all like herpes. I do not see any of the typical vesicles of herpes nor do I see the typical significant degree of redness which normally surrounds these corruptions.

The very subtle change that I can see in your lip almost looks like an allergic reaction. As far as I can tell right now I can say with good confidence that this is not herpes.

As far as recommendations for the time being as I stated earlier I think it would be a good idea to try to not touch this area very much at all.

What you might consider doing is purchasing a good over-the-counter ointment which will provide both a relief from itching and some soothing of any irritation . For you I recommend a product called Carmex.

I believe this is available on and it international basis. It generally comes in a small circular container and the color is generally yellow or red. I think this would be an excellent option for you to try for the time being.

If things do not change or improve within the next couple of months you could consider seeing a dermatologist who could possibly give you some more ideas.

I thank you again for submitting your query. I hope you have found our discussion to be both helpful and informative.

If you have any additional questions in the future please do not hesitate to contact me via this website.

Thanks and regards,

Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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