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What do small white bumps on the upper lips indicate?

Answered by
Dr. Sandip Kabra

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 3078 Questions

Posted on Mon, 2 Nov 2015 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Yesterday, I started to notice this weird lesion on my upper lip. It is small white bumps that doesn't hurt. I am attaching pictures.

Is it something I should worry about?

I have had oral sexual contact (6 weeks ago) once with a women I don't know and it was strictly oral (lips kissing, fellatio, and cunnilingus). One week after the encounter, I had a discomfort when peeing and I received antibiotics therapy for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea (the test results for everything came back negative anyway after a week of the encounter) and the discomfort disappeared.

Can this still be a symptom of STD (e.g., Herpes lesion or warts)? I am really worried about this.
Answered by Dr. Sandip Kabra 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Seems to be Fordyce spots over the lips.

Detailed Answer:
Hello ,
Welcome to HCM.

Thank you for sending pictures.

I have reviewed the pictures and the white spots or bumps which you are concerned about are nothing but Fordyce spots.

Fordyce spots are nothing but a variation of normal sebaceous glands (the glands that normally produce sebum).

Sometimes they can also occur because of vitamin B and folic acid deficiency.

Fordyce spots are usually asymptomatic in nature and are not associated with any discomfort but sometimes they may cause anxiety.However,they are completely harmless whether on the lips or on the genitals.

They are neither related to any STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) or warts.So,need not to worry about it and be rested.

Avoid picking or squeezing the spots.

For mild irritation I would suggest you to apply a good lip balm or vaseline three times daily and keep the area moisturized.

Take oral vitamin B complex and folic acid rich tablets for few weeks.

In most cases, no definitive treatment is required unless there is some major cosmetic problem,so if there is a cosmetic concern I would suggest you to get them removed with electrocautery or laser by a certified dermatologist.

Hope this helps and let me know if you require any more assistance from my side.

Thanks and regards,

Dr.Sandip Kabra

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
Follow up: Dr. Sandip Kabra 49 minutes later
Thank you very much for your answer. It is actually a relief.

I just noticed them yesterday, are Fordyce spots appear suddenly? or is it possible that I always had them, and I just noticed them due to my anxiety about my sexual encounter?

Would I expect them to disappear by themselves with no treatment? I am not worried about the cosmetic problems, I just want to know wha to expect.

Again, thank you very much

Also, does it fit the profile of candidiasis?
Answered by Dr. Sandip Kabra 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes,you can expect them to be disappeared by themselves.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the follow-up.

As we discussed earlier,Fordyces spots are just the glands of our body that become suddenly more obvious and prominent.And hence they appear to be white bumps on lips.

Also,they are totally harmless structures and have nothing to do with any kind sexual activity whether oral sex or any other.

Yes,you can expect them to be disappeared by themselves without any specific treatment but in case if not or if they become bothersome to you or creating some cosmetic issue then you can get them removed from dermatologist by radio frequency or laser.

And lastly,it has nothing to do with candidiasis,a kind of fungal infection.

Hope it will clear to you now.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Neel Kudchadkar
Follow up: Dr. Sandip Kabra 1 hour later
Thank you very much. I appreciate clearing things out for me.

One last thing, I've been noticing diarrhea and fresh blood in toilet paper (almost at the same time that I noticed the white bumps on my lips). Can they be related? a side effect of the antibiotic therapy that I received 5 weeks go or so?

Would they be connected? (I know I might look paranoid, but that oral sexual encounter, which I had 6 weeks ago is freaking me out).
Answered by Dr. Sandip Kabra 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Unlikely to be connected.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the quick follow-up.

It is very unlikely that diarrhea with blood in stool or on toilet paper are connected with your fordyces spots over lips or even as a side effect of antibiotics that you received 5 weeks ago.

Fordyces spots have already been explained by me in my previous answers.

But you may require clinical examination if your blood in stool does not subside within 3 or 4 days and yes,you may require to take antibiotics with other symptomatic treatment in case diarrhea.

You can consult some local physician for that who will know about it.

Hope it will easy for you to understand now and if you have no more query further then kindly close the discussion with feed back.


Dr.Sandip Kabra

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Neel Kudchadkar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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