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Ask Dr. S. Attili Your Own Question
Dr. S. Attili
Dr. S. Attili, Dermatologist & Dermatopathologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 5175
Experience:  MRCP (Dermatology), Int. Board Certification in Dermatopathology
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I get strange flesh colored bumps on my upper lip. I have

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I get strange flesh colored bumps on my upper lip. I have had one larger bump for about 3-4 years now. This bump is larger than the head of a pin and it is white, red or flesh colored. It looks a lot like a pimple. It is not itchy and is not sore, it doen't bother me except for the appearance. After about a year of this, I went to the dentist and he said it looked like a cyst and it wouldn't go away on it's own. I begged him to take it off so he gave me a shot of novacane and lasered it off. I don't know what kind of laser it was and he did not take a biopsy. Within about 12 hours I was covered with what appeared to be a rash of the bumps on my upper lip. I now think these bumps may have been fordyce bumps. They were very itchy and sensitive to everything. I called the dentist and he said it was an allergic reaction to the novacane. (I had gotten novacane in the past without a reaction). It took several weeks for the new bumps to clear up. The larger bump that had been lasered off began to return almost immediately after it healed. It soon looked the same as it had before the laser.
The small bumps are flesh colored, very itchy and sore. They seem to form clusters. I have been putting petroleum jelly on it or burts bees lip balm to soothe it. When it is dry it becomes hard painful to move my mouth in any way.
About 2 or 3 days ago I made an ate home face mask out of a raw egg and chamomile tea. Less than 12 hours later I could feel the bumps forming. By the next day it was much worse. People at work commented on it. I have been putting gobs of Chapstick medicated or burt's beeswax lip balm on my lips and the surrounding skin constantly in order to keep the area calm. I have recently been using tretinoin cream that I had left over from a previous occasion. I hear that helps, but it doesn't seem to do anything but dry the area out more. Is this Fordyce spots or an allergic reaction to something? What more can I do? Cold milk seems to make the area feel relief. This is my third outbreak of the tiny bumps. The larger bump appeared with the first outbreak. How can I prevent outbreaks and how can I treat this condition?
Dr.Sasi Attili : Hi, can you upload a picture of these bumps? I will be able to advise you better once I have looked at the picture. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
today's photo
Sorry I can't see any picture. Can you try again?
You can upload the pictures here using the paperclip like icon in your chat box. If you can't find it (usually if you are browsing via a mobile or non-internet explorer browser), you can either upload the pictures to photobox or picasa web albums and paste the link here.
Alternatively you can email them to***@******.*** with the subject line 'FAO dermatology expert Dr. Sasi Attili'.
Please note that you HAVE to send them from the email address you registered with on justanswer OR paste the link to your question in your email, or else the email won't be forwarded to me. Also do note though that emails might take up to 24 hours to be forwarded to me (and hence uploading to online sites like picasa preferable), though usually they are forwarded within a few hours.
I shall get back once I receive the photos. Hope to hear from you soon.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
here are some photos from yesterday as a word document.
Sorry cant see them.
Also can you tell me if the bumps have only been there since you applied the raw egg mask a few days ago? Or have they been these since the injection but only got worse recently?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Please wait about 3 minutes before responding to this post because the only way for me to attach the photo is to edit the posted message before it is replied to. HERE are some photos I took yesterday of the bumps. You can see the larger one on the side of the upper lip as well. In these photo the area is covered with vasaline. The bumps are more visable when they are dried out (they look crusty and more white or red) but to have them dry becomes unbearably itchy and sore. If you need those photos I can retake them. Also the small bumps were not present before the face mask. The larger one has been there for 3-4 years without change.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
As I said the smaller bumps I have now, have occurred in the past on 2 other occasions. Right now they are spreading beyond my upper lip and forming small clusters on the edge of my lower lip as well. The majority of these small bumps seem to be just outside of the vermillion line (or at least those are the itchiest ones).
I am afraid it is saying it is not a valid .doc file and I am unable to view the pic.
I'd possible please try an upload here in jpg format
However from what you are saying these bumps probably represent an allergic reaction to the face mask you applied this time. Using cortisone cream available over the counter, twice a day should clear them up in a week. Obviously you should avoid using the mask again. You might have has a similar allergy to other products on previous occasions.
If for any reason the problem is recurring, it would be bet to see a dermatologist and get allergy testing done to pin point the culprit.
I agree that the longstanding bump is probably a cyst, and the best way to get rid of it is to have it cut out rather than lasered!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have tried the hydrocortizone cream as well as other anti itch creams with little relief. It only seems to help when I put on a lot of it (to the point where the cream will no longer soak into the skin and there is a lot of white residue on my face). Even then it only helps for about 15-30 minutes before the itching returns. I have used the maximum strength kind as well. Most of these creams seem to relieve the itchiness temporarily, but over time cause the area to dry out more which makes the bumps worse. I think that submerging the area in very cold milk several times a day is helping to relive both the itching as well as the appearance of the bumps. I do not know why the photos did not work, I am sorry. I know that you tried to give me the best answer possible without seeing the photos, but I have become frustrated with the technical issues of the website and have decided to make an appointment with a dermatologist to resolve my issue.
Ok. I have tried again and for some reason, the word document opened fine now. Not sure what happened.
What you have is consistent with a dermatitis. I suspect that the allergic reaction is just too severe to improve with the cortisone. i would suggest getting a prescription a strong steroid like clobetasol propionate ointment from your doctor or the dermatologist and use it once a day for a week. That should hopefully clear it up.
But if you are seeing a dermatologist anyway, would be a good idea to get allergy testing done to find out what is causing this.
Sorry for the technical problems but hope you do find something that works. I cannot see anything serious in the photos. It should clear up soon with appropriate treatment.
best wishes
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am glad to know that you were able to view the photos. Does the larger bump appear to be a cyst? Is there any way to treat this without lasering or cutting it off? Also is there any way for me to avoid another bump like this in the future? What causes these? About the smaller bumps, what should I use to moisturize and clean the area without irritating it further? Is there any way for me to know what I am allergic to without an allergy test? Since it was something different that triggered each outbreak, does that mean I must be allergic to several things?
The larger bump does appear to be a cyst. I am afraid it will need to be cut off but is a simple 20-30 min procedure and should not leave a big scar. Probably a couple of mm at the most. Cysts on the lips are usually caused by blocked glands which are abundant on the lips. Harmless!!
I would just suggest using plain petroleum jelly/ vaseline to moisturize and the steroid cream on prescription as suggested earlier.
I am afraid because you have had the reaction a few times now, it would be impossible to say what you are allergic to without the tests. You could either be allergic to a single chemical (more likely) commonly present in all the products you have used, OR, to few different chemicals. Once the allergy tests identify which chemicals you are allergic to, it is just a question of looking up the ingredients of any cosmetics you buy in future, and avoiding ones that contain the chemicals you are allergic to.
Hope that answers your question.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am now experiencing what looks like hives on my chin and nose. At first I thought these were the start of pimples, but they formed as small clustered and were easily irritated. They are very itchy and I have tried several kinds of anti itch creams with no relief. I believe that 2 of them became infected (from being covered with the anti itch creams and the vasaline) and have become large and swollen with yellow puss coming out of the center. They are about 1/4 inch in diameter with the outter area being red and scaly. They are beginning to form scabs and the puss has slowed, but the lower half of my face is constantly itchy. What are these new bumps and how can I treat them and prevent them in the future? What causes them and why is the anti itch cream doing nothing to help? Also why are they causing other areas of my face to itch?

I am fairly certain all this is being caused by an allergic reaction and hence it is very important you make an appointment with a dermatologist ASAP.

Your rash now sounds like an infected eczema and I suggest you see your GP and take a 10 day course of flucloxacillin tablets to treat the infection. Have you started the steroid cream I suggested? That would also help.

Once you have the allergy testing, you will have all your answers. The new rash now is probably due to secondary infection

Please credit me for my time by accepting my answer, if you are happy with my consultation. Thanks

Dr. S. Attili and other Dermatology Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the help. Apparently my insurance just dropped me so I am not able to go to a doctor. It doesn't sound like there is much that I can do at home for this beyond what I have already been doing. So unless you have other suggestions, I will just keep on doing the same thing I have been thus far and hopefully it will go away on its own.
I am sorry to hear that. I would suggest you just try the avoidance root by avoiding all cosmetics and creams. But i am afraid you do need antibiotics for the infection now. I guess you will just have to pay for it.
Sorry I can't think of anything else apart from paying from the prescription.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is there a way to get the steroid cream without a doctor's visit?
Cortisone cream is the only one available over the counter, but might work for you. You can use that along with neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment twice a day and if that might help.