While a pimple on the lip line is perfectly normal, it can be extremely frustrating. Common treatments that you use on your face may also be deemed unsafe. After all, it’s easy to ingest something when it is so close to your mouth. That’s where natural remedies come to the rescue. These options, using ingredients found in your kitchen or garden, provide gentle therapy for healing your skin.
Before you look into these remedies, take some time to rule out other causes. Confirm that the pimple is not actually a cold sore, a viral infection that can also develop on the lip. Here are 7 natural remedies to get rid of a lip pimple.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is an effective antibacterial agent that is perfectly safe to consume. Fortunately, studies have also determined that lemon juice is an effective cleanser for acne vulgaris.1 Besides being an astringent, it is also antimicrobial, preventing the spread of
Steaming your face and mouth can unclog pores and remove dirt. It serves as a gentle cleanse that also boosts circulation. Avoid using a vessel that is designated for food. This will prevent more impurities from entering your pores. A dedicated facial steamer may be a worthwhile investment. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser or clean water and dab dry before steaming. Allow the steam to warm your face and open up the pores so
For red and swollen pimples, apply an ice pack. Just wrap a few ice cubes in a soft cloth or tissue and hold against the affected area. This will slow down blood flow and circulation in the region. In turn, inflammation and pain might lessen, easing some of the swelling and redness. The cold compress seems to help people with acne for the same reasons that they work for easing muscular pain, though no specific studies have been done on the remedy.
4. Basil Leaves
An Ayurvedic remedy of crushed basil leaves (Ocimum basilicum) was found to be just as effective as a combination of the topical application of sulfur and the oral ingestion of a 500 mg dose of tetracycline, an acne medication.3 All you need to do is apply the basil juice to the affected area using a clean cotton ball.
5. Neem Oil Or Leaves
Leaves of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) are also used in many acne-healing folk remedies. Researchers have found that neem (both the oil and crushed leaves) can shrink the size of a pimple when applied to the affected area. This is likely due to the natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of neem.4 Neem oil is quite strong so dilute it in coconut or olive oil before dabbing on the pimple.
While neem oil is generally safe for adults in moderate quantities, children may experience side effects such as vomiting. It is best avoided for individuals under 18.5
6. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. These two substances inhibit production of sebum, the natural oil responsible for pimples when produced in excess or built up with dirt.6 In addition, green tea is antibacterial and has the ability to balance hormones. Therefore, it can act from the inside and out.7 Consume about 2–3 cups of green tea every day and combine it with a topical application. Brew some green tea leaves to soften them, drain away the water, and place the leaves on your acne. Some remedies suggest adding honey, which also has antibacterial properties, to the tea before applying as
You can also try super-healer turmeric. With its anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, turmeric can help heal pimples and reduce the secretion of sebum.8 Mix a pinch or two of turmeric powder with a little yogurt or water and apply on the pimple. Wash off once dry.
Aside from these natural remedies, preventing further breakouts and inflammation is just as important. Here are some things you can do to keep your skin clean and healthy.9
- Avoid using lip gloss, balm or too much makeup on the affected area to prevent chemicals from clogging up your skin and worsening the problem. These products are also magnets for unwanted dirt and particulates.
- Cleanse the area well. Always wash your mouth after a meal, snack,
- Use a mild toothpaste to avoid irritation from harsh chemicals, artificial colors, and fake flavors.
- Do not scrub the area to get rid of the pimple. It will only make it worse. As the American Academy of Family Physicians explains, mechanical trauma causes acne to flare up. This worsens acne and should be avoided.10
- Avoid touching your face. Your hands pick up germs and dirt from whatever you touch through the day, consciously or unconsciously. And each time you touch your face, you transfer some of that matter to your skin on the face, potentially making your acne worse.
- Use your gadgets on speaker mode. Your phone is another magnet for dirt. Switch to using it on speaker mode so you don’t make contact between the gadget and your face.
- Don’t pick at your pimple. It can be tempting to try and burst a pimple or pick at it. Don’t! This may cause the area nearby to
For maximum effect, the American Academy of Dermatologists suggests a combination of treatments. This can include any of the natural remedies mentioned. As always, don’t forget to check with your skin specialist before incorporating new products. If your acne problem is hormonal, you might need to consult an endocrinologist to get to the root of the problem.11
Benzoyl Peroxide, AHA Creams, And Natural Remedies To Avoid
The American Academy of Dermatology backs the use of topical treatments that include benzoyl peroxide for general acne.12 However, this is also a chemical that you should not ingest, deeming it unsafe for use on the lip. If you use it on a blemish outside of the lip line, extra care should be practiced. Do not let it touch your lips and do not use it at night, as you may unconsciously swipe some into your mouth while you sleep. Your best bet is to wash off any trace of benzoyl peroxide before bedtime.
For the same reasons, remedies like tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are not feasible for lip pimple treatment. While they’re excellent for general acne treatment, they could be potentially dangerous (and poisonous) when ingested. Additionally, the application of foods with alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) is also not effective, unlike AHA creams which can often yield desirable results. Such foods include grapes, apples, and sour milk.13
|↑1||Shinkafi, S. A., and H. Ndanusa. “Antibacterial Activity of Citrus Limonon Acne vulgaris (Pimples).” International Journal of Science inventions Today 2 (2013): 397-409.|
|↑2||Dhanavade, Maruti J., Chidamber B. Jalkute, Jai S. Ghosh, and Kailash D. Sonawane. “Study antimicrobial activity of lemon (Citrus lemon L.) peel extract.” British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology 2, no. 3 (2011): 119-122.|
|↑3||Azimi, Hanieh, Mehrnaz Fallah-Tafti, Ali Asghar Khakshur, and Mohammad Abdollahi. “A review of phytotherapy of acne vulgaris: perspective of
|↑4||Kapoor, Shweta, and Swarnlata Saraf. “Topical herbal therapies an alternative and complementary choice to combat acne.” Research journal of Medicinal plant 5, no. 6 (2011): 650-669.|
|↑5||Mishra, Ajay, and Nikhil Dave. “Neem oil poisoning: Case report of an adult with toxic encephalopathy.” Indian journal of critical care medicine: peer-reviewed,
|↑6||Azimi, Hanieh, Mehrnaz Fallah-Tafti, Ali Asghar Khakshur, and Mohammad Abdollahi. “A review of phytotherapy of acne vulgaris: perspective of new pharmacological treatments.” Fitoterapia 83, no. 8 (2012): 1306-1317.|
|↑7||Rubin, Mark G., Katherine Kim, and Alan C. Logan. “Acne vulgaris, mental health and omega-3 fatty acids: a report of cases.” Lipids in health and disease 7, no. 1 (2008): 1.|
|↑8||Zaman, S. U., and Naveed Akhtar. “Effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa Zingiberaceae) extract cream on human skin sebum secretion.” Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 12, no. 5 (2013): 665-669.|
|↑9||Questions and Answers about Acne, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.|
|↑10||Topical Therapy for Acne, American Academy of Family Physicians.|
|↑11, ↑12||American Academy of Dermatology issues new guidelines of care for acne treatment, American Academy of Dermatology.|
|↑13||Dermatologists advise patients that over-the-counter acne products can have benefits and a place on their medicine shelf, American Academy of Dermatology.|