Lip Rash Causes, Symptoms, Relief & Prevention Including Chronic, Recurrent Cases 

Get to know how you are susceptible to lip rashes plus some of the obvious causes. While some rashes will cause discomfort, certain symptoms will be felt by victims only. For instance, burning in lips. In case you have a rash in this area itching, dryness, and patches or cracking, we have tips to help you stop it from recurring.

Common symptoms

These common symptoms are helpful as far as identifying your rashes would be necessary for prevention or treatment. They include:

  • Itchiness. It may be felt on its surface but commonly around its borders or mouth
  • Lip dryness where it could be mild but may turn chronic
  • Redness – especially with irritation on the lip skin, redness is a sign expected
  • Cracking and fine scaling is another sign of a rash in the lip lines and corners of mouth
  • Formation of itchy bumps
  • Swelling of lips or of its tissue may occur
  • Dark or hyperpigmentation of lip skin

Keep in mind that symptoms like these could be signs of different things including lip infections and change in an external environmental factor like the weather.


Why do you have such a rash? These are some of the possible reasons to explain why you get them.

Lip dermatitis

This condition can present a rash depending on the direct causes and those factors or substances that lead to it appearing.

Contact dermatitis is one of the common causes of such rashes with varying signs and symptoms. Contact dermatitis in many cases is triggered by irritants or allergic substances after a direct contact with the lip skin is made. The resulting rash may depend on how long the particular irritants or allergens have been in contact with them.


Common substances involved in include irritants which comprise the following.

  • Harmful chemicals in lip cosmetics such as lipsticks and balms
  • Soaps
  • Cleansers etc.

Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions can result from specific substances or agents such as:

  • Food products – peanuts, soy, end products from milk
  • Fragrance or flavor ingredients
  • Cosmetic product casing (e.g. Nickel)
  • Nail varnish
  • Preservatives

Note, allergic reactions can also occur indirectly where you touch them after handling the allergen (be it food or chemical ingredients). Dr. Atwater notes that people are not born with allergies but develop over time.

Lip cheilitis

This is another cause of a rash on lip border (vermillion) and the corners of the mouth. The rash is recurrent and can cause changes in both texture and appearance of both or either upper and lower one.

Some skin irritants and allergens are common triggers for cheilitis.

This rash can be acute or chronic. Common symptoms include cracking and flaking in affected areas.

Irritant contact cheilitis (lip licking)

Licking can cause a dry lip rash especially when this becomes chronic. Saliva cause damage on the delicate skin without any significant secretory glands to help in moisturizing them.

Most children are victims of this problem, especially in dry conditions.

Sun poisoning

Sun poisoning can also lead to rashes. Susceptible individuals such as those with fairer skin can experience potentially severe symptoms which are beyond sunburn.

Common symptoms

  • Small red bumps on its border
  • Blistering
  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or feeling confused
  • Nausea – some patients may vomit

Not only this poisoning can affect the rest of the body and consequently create a widespread effect in terms of symptoms.

Other causes

Other potential reasons for a rash on upper or lower lip rash include:

  • Solar cheilosis or actinic keratosis of lip which is premalignant in nature
  • Lichen planus
  • Cold sores


If you know what is actually causing the rash to develop, treatment can be as easy as eliminating what leads to that rash. Some of the treatment options for symptomatic rashes in this area and around your mouth include.

Use of corticosteroid

Before applying corticosteroid creams or injection, you need to consult a physician first. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your physician will examine them and look into the symptoms to determine how to administer this treatment.

Pain relievers

Pain relievers are necessary when accompanying symptoms become severe like after sun poisoning or have cold sores.


These medicines are used in cases of rashes where an allergic reaction is involved. Treatment is prioritized in accordance with symptoms. Use of antihistamines is considered a measure of adverse reactions.

Best ways to prevent recurrent or chronic rash on lips

How best can you treat these rashes? Here are some of the specific means to get rid of rashes on your lips that come and go.

1. Use a chemical-free balm

Some people with the habit of linking them can benefit from lip balm, once they have found a way out. Keep in mind that if you land on the wrong balm, you may end up to regret. However, if you want to be safer, go for oil-based lip balm. Dermatologists also recommend the non-flavored products.

A balm is good for cheilitis and sun poisoning ones. Additionally, your lips are flaky or form dry patches but without cracks or weeping, it can do you good.

When you are going out, use a wide-brim cap or ask your healthcare provider for a lip balm sunscreen cream to use.

2. Avoid cold or extremely hot conditions

Another simple but best preventive measure is to aim at protecting them by avoiding the cold out there if you have to be outdoors. Secondly, during hot sunny conditions, use a deep moisturizer to lock in moisture.

3. Keep off dryness aggravators

When the symptoms become severe especially with the formation of thick patches, cracking and painful feeling, avoid:

  • Smoke and smoking itself
  • Direct sun heat on your face
  • Applying makeup your lips
  • Licking or lip biting
  • Scratching and picking your lips

If there is bleeding or weeping from its and corner of the mouth, please see your healthcare provider.

4.      Keep off triggers

You can successfully achieve this if you learn to analyze most products you have been using recently, including changes you have made to the list of cosmetics. This will enable you to eliminate the more likely triggers one by one with time. If you get stuck on the way or confuse, and are unable to figure out, consult a dermatologist for more helpful tips on avoidance of unfavorable triggers.

Remedies including for mild itching, redness/irritation

You can also relieve such mild symptoms if you have tried any DIY procedures with these ingredients and natural products. If you are yet to try any home remedy, is it good to ask for guidance to avoid the unlikely and undesired results?

  • Baking soda (NOT baking powder)
  • Aloe Vera
  • Olive oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Cold compress

Other considerable health tips as part of remedy and healing include staying hydrated and eating healthily to speed up the healing process.

Our best medical advice

To sum up, in case your lip rash won’t go away, (recurrent) symptoms tend to persist, don’t sit back but promptly seek help from your physician. You are most likely to undergo a series of skin tests to help determine the probable cause including skin conditions like lip eczema or dermatitis.

Ultimately, one needs to be extremely cautious and strict when it comes to rashes involving the use of cosmetics especially lip products. This follows a recent real situation in early 2016 where the EOS lip balm maker allegedly was sued by a celeb who piled a lawsuit in response.

“Within hours, her lips became substantially dry and coarse, what Ms. Cronin describes as feeling like ‘sandpaper,'” the lawsuit stated. “Ms. Cronin’s lips and surrounding skin area had severe blistering and rashes causing her to seek medical care.” [].

If you also have a recurring case and suspect it might be your lip products, outline them or carry them with you while you go to seek medical care.

  1. Rashes
  2. Cheilitis