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Lip bleeds
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mivna100 posted:
My girlfriend, who is 60 has recently over the past couple of months has been experiencing lip bleeding on a part of her lower lip. It will bleed profusely for a half hour to an hour. Ice on it helps. She saw her dermatologist but did not come away with any help. Is their a medical issue and is their any balms to help.
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Gwen Cohen Brown, DDS, FAAOMP responded:
Hi miniva100,

I hope that your girlfriend is feeling better and that her lip is healing.

In general vertical lip ulcers affect the lower lip and are chronic. They open and bleed, begin to heal and then split again. The lip next to the ulcer becomes fibrotic (dense and scar like, like a keloid) with very little blood flow so tbe feel hard and non pliable. This type of lip ulcer will, in general, not go away on its own and topical medication is not usually effective.

Vertical lip ulcers tend to get worse with changes in weather and decrease in humidity, this can include air conditioning and dry heat in addition to climate change.

If this presentation is consistent with your girlfriends situation you may want to suggest that she sees an oral surgeon or a plastic surgeon who can treat the lip. It is not normal to have bleeding from the lip for this much time and it is in her best interest to get a diagnosis and treatment.

There are no balms or topical dressings I can suggest without a prescription.

She should not use petroleum jelly as it is hydrophilic and will draw out moisture from the lip, exactly the opposite of what she needs. The skin of the lip is very thin and petroleum jelly is great for knees and elbows but it is contraindicated for the lips. Bees wax or glycerin would be better choices.

I hope that this helps!

Dr. Gwen Cohen Brown


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