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Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen, Doctor (other than dermatologist)
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 55754
Experience:  Board Certified in 2 Medical specialities and US Medical School Graduate
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Hi, Ive had a red mark on my upper lip for all of August now

Customer Question

Hi, I've had a red mark on my upper lip for all of August now that I thought might have been a cold sore -- but it's still full blown red and not really receding at all... Also, before this it was a white bump for several months that could only be seen up close so I did not try to drain it while it was white (I do get cold sores and acne close to my lip from time to time but the acne I can usually deal with very quickly by draining it with a syringe and the cold sores take max 14 days to fully fade).

Here's a picture:

So what could this be? This picture doen't even do it justice -- it looks horrible and just wont begin to fade.

EDIT: it's not actually on my lip, just above but the redness slightly fades into the lip. Not like a full blown cold sore though.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. Owen replied 7 years ago.
This is most likely a few things - it could be the acne, it could also be a cold sore which is actually a HSV (herpes infection) - and these can last awhile, or a hair follicle that is infected - although these get bigger with time if not drained (you can actually squeeze the puss out and you do not need to use a syringe.
Since you do have cold sores I would recommend something like an over the counter cream called abreva or if you can get a prescpirtion for acyclovir cream which goes under various names such as denivir, etc this works very well if used soon after noticing any symptoms. Also, you can get a prescription for pills of acyclovir or valacyclovir and use this for a 5 day period with any outbreak and this works well too. I hope this helps, take care.

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