Pimples Around the Mouth

Having pimples or pimple looking rashes around your mouth area is very common. These may be itchy and look red or swelled.

There are many reasons for getting them, and the management would depend upon the cause.

Why Do Pimples Occur?

Our skin is supplied by oil (sebum) secreting glands. These gland keep secreting sebum, which prevents our skin from getting dry.

If the duct draining any of these glands gets blocked, sebum starts getting collected inside it. Gradually, a pimple is formed.

Blockage may occur due to excessive secretions, dirt, dead skin cells etc. A regular wash with gentle scrubbing of the skin with a soft loofah would assure a clean skin free from pimples.

Skin Irritation due to Food

If you have the habit of eating such that your food sticks around your mouth, you may get rashes around your lips. This is because the food particles may serve as an irritant, thereby eliciting a reaction.

The reaction subside as you clean the area around your mouth cavity.

Red Itchy Bumps (Fungal infection)

As we eat our food, some food particles stick around the mouth region. Our oral cavity is filled with fungus, like candida.

This fungus may find grounds to grow around the mouth area, where food particles are present.

The area looks red with small bumps. It is itchy. Treatment is applying anti fungal medication over the affected area. Nystatin may be used for around 2 weeks.

Alternatively, you may  use plain home made yogurt to combat the infection.

Perioral Dermatitis

Dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin around the mouth, is common in females in the age group 25 to 40. There may be redness and small bumps around the mouth. These may or may not be itchy.

Reason behind dermatitis is not clearly known. It is postulated that use of fluoridated toothpaste or waxy make up kits may be the cause.

Cold Sores

Cold sores, need to be differentiated from pimples. These sores may be caused by viral infestations, like herpes.

These sores may be symptomless, present as re bumps over the skin surface.

Red Bumps

Several red bumps may occur around the mouth if you have constipated or other gastric upsets. This is a way improper digestion surfaces out over the skin.


It is imperative to first make a correct diagnosis regarding the nature of the pimple around your mouth. Whether it’s a fungal rash, a cold sore or a pimple.

Accordingly, treatment modalities may be decided.


Simple pimples may be left as such. They usually fade away on their own with time. All you need to do is to maintain good hygiene.

Wash your face twice daily with a mild cleanser. Apply a moisturizing lotion over it, to ensure there is no dryness.

Pimples which are red in color or appear to be containing pus need antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics are usually applied topically in the form of ointments.

For most cases azithromycin or bactroban may work.

Fungal Lesions

Rashes, bumps or pimple looking lesions, which are fungal in origin, are managed by applying antifungal treatment. Nystatin ointment may be used in most cases.

Also, there is a need to take care of your oral hygiene.

Cold Sores

These are usually caused by viruses affecting the skin. Anti viral treatments are recommended.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Pimples Around the Mouth

  1. Emtee

    I’ve been getting very big pimples but it’s filled with blood and not puss. it’s all around the mouth area. I do have very oily skin. I work in an environment where I’m face to face with customers everyday. it is affecting my work as I don’t feel confident in doing my work. What could be the cause of these pimples and how could I get rid of it???

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Are they just around your mouth or all over your face? Your age? Do you get regular menses?

  2. Liz

    I have rosacea and have been no symptom manic for some time now but I noticed these small pimples just around my mouth recently, maybe a couple of weeks or so. Only thing that has changed is that I’m out in sun but use sunscreen. I’m an mri technologist and spend most of my time indoors and in the dark. Your opinion and possibly diagnosis is appropriated.

  3. Sam

    I’m a teenager with pimples around my lip line. They are not in clusters but they do feel irritated at times. I keep looking up all types of things online and am getting frightened with the results. I do not believe it is herpes because they don’t form in clusters and I can pop them while pus comes out and not water/oil. Please help!


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