There are several reasons that would result in a wound on your lips. Some causes would be mild and can be treated at home. However, some causes may be serious or be triggered by medical conditions which are life-threatening that may require professional medical attention.
The wound on lips can epitomize something affecting the lip itself or systemic medical conditions. In our today’s article, we’ll discuss the meaning, causes and the most effective treatments options for this problem.
Meaning and overview
A lip wound can be defined in various ways. Basically, it is a breakage in the normal arrangement of the body cells. Clinimed.co.uk defines it as “a breakdown in the protective function of the skin; the loss of continuity of epithelium, with or without loss of underlying connective tissue.”
For that reason, there are a number causes that can cause these wounds. Blisters, cuts on lips, sores or bruises are all allied to it. In fact, they almost mean the same thing.
Wounds can vary in their degrees of severity. Some would be mild and might heal after a short while and the severe ones accompanying serious symptoms would take time to heal.
Causes of wounds on lips
Their causes could be due to an external or internal dynamic. Those with internal origins tend to be more stubborn since the causes are not obvious and thus proper diagnosis would be required. This must be done in the doctor’s office.
But again, we are not saying that those due to external factors are mild. They can also be very ghastly especially those that occur due to various infections or serious trauma. Their severity would depend on the primary causes.
Here are the external and internal causes:
There are a number of factors that would result in lip infections. These infections usually present as sores or blisters. Some of them usually originate from inside the mouth. Again, a secondary infection may result following a cut.
Generally, poor oral hygiene also plays an important role in the development of infection-related wounds. You should be very careful with your oral hygiene when your wear braces so as to keep infections at bay. Again, individuals with scrawny immune systems are also prone to such infections.
These can be due to viruses, fungi or bacteria. A common one is cold sores around your lip and mouth area which occur due to herpes infections.
Canker sores or mouth ulcer
Blisters around lip would also occur due to canker sores. The exact cause of canker sores is not known but, is linked to tissue injury. A canker sore can be simple or not. Simple canker sores on lips can be due to citrus and acidic foods such lemons, pineapples, figs and strawberries among others. In certain cases, sharp tooth surfaces, ill-fitting dentures can also lead to canker sores.
However, serious ones could be due to underlying medical conditions such as compromised immune system, nutritional issues i.e. deficiency of folic acid, zinc or iron. Gastrointestinal tract diseases i.e. celiac disease or Crohn’s disease can also be a cause.
Chapped or cracked lips
According to healthline.com, “chapped, or cracked, lips is the term commonly used to describe dry lips.” More than a few factors can result in this condition. They will start drying and cracking if they don’t contain enough oil glands (oil glands are commonly seen on lip lines). Insufficient moisture would, therefore, make matters worse.
Chapping is usually caused by low humidity during winter, sun exposure during summer that can cause sunburned lips and habitual lip licking. Remember saliva can potentially strip them of their moistures hence heightening dryness.
Biting your lips from time to time would also result in wounds. This issue would be due to assorted causes. Some bite them due to body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB). In this case, victims with BFRB do this out of their control.
This problem may also be due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ is the joint that connects the lower jaw and the skull.
This biting can also result from misalignment of teeth or wearing of ill-fitting dentures. Poor eating habits i.e. talking while eating can also be impugned for the same.
Another reason is oral sex. Some would get their lips cut during kissing. Women also bite the lips to show their sexual interest. Repetitivebiting would cause blisters and small wounds.
Cosmetic and lip care products
Many of the products applied on lips can also lead to wounds in this area. Some of the cosmetic and care products would lead to allergic reactions and irritations. As a result, an individual would experience cheilitis and other types of rashes on lips.
When such rashes are infected, the condition will worsen and appropriate treatment is required. You should thus be keen on what you apply on them, terminate the use of certain products if they are harsh or cause irritations. You should then report to your dermatologist for advice recommendations.
Lip injuries also play a grander role in the appearance wounds. They are mainly due to surgical procedures, sharp food stuff, harsh chemicals, bites, and more.
Again, injuries would emerge form sporting activities. Physical fights is another cause. The severity of the wounds resulting from injuries would fundamentally hinge on the source. Some would be serious and thus leave permanent scars on lips.
This is a condition characterized by the inflammation your mouth. It is usually very common at the corner of the mouth (angular cheilitis). Various conditions would lead to lip cheilitis but the common ones include dry lips, allergies, irritations, sun exposure, infections or nutritional deficiencies.
Again, there are various medical conditions that increase the risk of developing this problem. Diabetes, immune disorders, anemia, cancer, down syndrome, liver, kidney and lung cancer.
There are more factors that can cause wounds on your mouth and lip area including oral cancer ( for cases which won’t go away after two weeks or more). It thus requires a right diagnosis in cases where you are not certain about causes. This would help in deciding on the best treatments.
Lip wound treatment or and soreness remedies
Lip wound care or rather treatments would depend on the cause and severity. Certain mild cases can be easily treated at home using some of the natural products. However, severe ones and those lip wounds that come and go would necessitate proper medical treatments.
Generally, treatment and care would encompass lifestyle changes, home remedies, over the counter products as well as prescriptions by medical practitioners. Some treatments would also come with their downsides, we thus recommend that one be keen when trying to treat lip sores or wounds.
Here are the treatment options that we recommend:
Home remedies for wounds on lips would depend on nature, type or severity. Those wounds from injuries that accompany deep cuts would require first aid to stop bleeding, clean the wound, protect the wound and then visit a doctor.
Home remedies would be great in relieving the symptoms and enhancing healing processes since in some cases, they can’t treat the underlying causes but relieve the linked symptoms. The home products usually used are those that have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties, help soothe the affected area and also boost the immune system.
The effectiveness of such treatments would vary from one individual to the other. Here are the most preferred home remedies.
Aloe vera has been used for many skin disorders and thus can also apply to blisters on the lip. Aloe gel is an effective treatment with antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal and it will reduce chances of secondary infections.
Cut aloe leaf into two and get the fresh gel. Apply it to the wounds. Actually, this is one of the best lip sore treatments.
Coconut oil has various active ingredients that can also be beneficial for managing wounds on lips. It kills bacteria and thus is good for clearing the infections. It also nourishes the skin not forgetting that it is a good natural moisturizer.
However, this home remedy would only be appropriate for mild wounds.
One threat is that cracks or cut on lips would be easily infected by bacteria. You can get yourself out of this trap by simply applying honey on the affected area. Honey will soften the skin and also limit the risk of infection. Take raw honey and dab on the affected area.
Studies reveal that honey has antibacterial properties and also help in healing damaged tissues.
There are still many other home remedies that can be used but not all of them are effective. Again, their effectiveness would also depend on the severity and the type of a concerned you have.
When the situation does not improve after applying home remedies, please make sure you see your doctor immediately.
Over the counter products
These wounds can also be managed using certain products acquired over the counter. The products should be applied after considering the nature, cause and the severity would. OTC products include lip sore creams, lotions and gels and usually are applied topically.
The ingredients contained in the products include steroids, salicylic acid and more. Actually, these products may also contain natural ingredients such as aloe vera among others.
Again, not all over the counter products labeled for lip wounds are good, or rather, the effectiveness of such products would vary from one individual to the other. Be very careful when you apply these over the counter products, some would cause new wounds on lips!
When home remedies and over the counter products don’t prove worthwhile, professional medical treatment and prescription will be needed. Your doctor or dermatologist would do prescriptions depending on the underlying causes and the severity of the associated symptoms.
Since lip wound treatment would depend on the underlying cause, proper diagnosis is essential to establish the exact cause.
For instance, if you mouth wound is due to cold sores, antiviral medications such acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir would be prescribed. Infections would also be treated using both topical and oral medications.
In case, the issue originates from allergy, then your dermatologist would prescribe antihistamines.
There are still more prescriptions your doctor would recommend for your wounds. These prescriptions would be guided by two aspects, underlying cause, and the severity.
How to prevent them
They say, prevention is better than cure, and that goes without saying! A number of causes can be prevented but some cannot. Some would occur accidentally.
Here are some of the preventive measures you can try to avoid ending up with lip wounds:
- You should make efforts to stop lip licking or biting. If they are body compulsive actions, then you should see a professional therapist for help.
- Protect them from damage. Avoid sun exposure and make sure the cosmetic and lip care products you apply are not harsh. Also, avoid sharp and hot foodstuffs
- You should also exfoliate healthy lips regularly. Use home remedies or OTC products to do this.
- Hydrate, moisturize your lips and generally take good care of them to avoid developments of complications.
- Avoid allergens and substances that would cause irritation on your lips. Work closely with your doctor to identify such substances.
- You should also protect them from sun damage using a good lip sunscreen.
- You should maintain good oral hygiene to prevent infections that would lead to wounds inside mouth and on your lips.
- A regular medical check-up is also important since it can help you detect certain underlying medical conditions that would lead to the wounds.
Wounds on lips can be dealt with by the various approaches we have discussed. Those involving deep cuts and intense bleeding would require first aid before further treatments are initiated probably by a qualified medical practitioner.
Mild cases would be treated at home using natural products. Over the counter, products could also be applied to relieve the resultant symptoms.
However, serious causes or those whose cause is not known should be treated in doctor’s office. Such cases may be due to a serious unveiled medical condition.
As our last advice, apart from the right and proper treatments, healing duration of the lip wounds would absolutely consider how an individual care about the wounds during treatment- proper care would speed up the healing process.
Cited sources and references