Read below about burning pain on the outside of the lips, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your burning pain on the outside of the lips from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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10 Potential Burning Pain on the Outside of the Lips Causes

  1. 1.Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (Anug)

    Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is a relatively rare infection of the gums. It's also known as "trench mouth", as it was discovered in a large number of soldiers in WWI that were stuck in trenches. The pain caused by ANUG is what makes it different from chronic periodontitis, and it requires treatment by professionals.

    Good prognosis with treatment. Without treatment, ANUG can become recurrent and chronic.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    bleeding gums, gum pain, chronically bad breath, severe mouth pain, gum swelling
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  2. 2.Cold Sore

    Cold sores (also called oral herpes or fever blisters), are viral infections of the mouth caused by the herpes virus type 1. You were probably infected very early in life as a child when an adult kissed you. The virus stays asleep (dormant) and causes infections every now and then after exposure to lots of sun or emotional/physical stress. It is contagious when an outbreak is happening, but treatment is limited unless you are immunocompromised.

    1-2 weeks. Natural healing process starts within 24 hours of the initial sore starting.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    mouth lesions, itchy mouth, pain on the outside of the lips, lip numbness, burning pain on the outside of the lips
    Symptoms that always occur with cold sore:
    mouth lesions
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Non - Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)

    Dermatitis is the inflammation ("-itis") of the skin ("derma" is a layer of the skin). It can be caused by any number of causes, from allergies to infections to autoimmune issues. Dermatitis of Normal Variation (also called, "NOS") means that all of those other causes of your rash have been ruled out. This is very common.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    red rash, itchy rash, painful rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific dermatitis (skin inflammation):
    red rash
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Non - Specific Skin Rash

    A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific skin rash:
    rash
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  5. 5.Gingivitis

    Gingivitis is the infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is caused by plaque and/or tartar that has built up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky layer of gunk made by food particles, mucus, and bacteria. After a while, plaque hardens to become tartar (or calculus). Plaque and tartar at the bottom of the teeth causes the gums to become irritated and infected.

    Great, with dental care and improvement in dental hygiene

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    bleeding gums, gum pain, gum swelling, gum redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Burning Pain on the Outside of the Lips Checker

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  6. 6.Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

    Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, and irritated.

    This is a long-term, recurring condition but symptoms are manageable with care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    trouble sleeping, feeling itchy or tingling all over, dry skin, scalp itchiness, flexor surface rash
    Symptoms that never occur with eczema (atopic dermatitis):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  7. 7.Irritant Contact Dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. This condition most often affects skin of the hands, and may occur after repeated and prolonged exposure to substances such as water, detergents (soaps, bleach), solvents (such as gasoline), acids, powders, dust, and soil. The onset of the skin reaction is usually within 48 hours of coming in contact with the substance.

    1-2 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    rash with well-defined border
    Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Perleche (Angular Cheilitis)

    Perleche (angular cheilitis) is inflammation of the corners of the mouth. It's typically caused by collection of moisture at the corners of the mouth, which allows for fungus, bacteria, or other organisms to infect the skin. This typically happens in children who mouth-breathe or thumb-suck, adults with poorly fitting dentures, or people with vitamin deficiencies, anorexia, or bulimia.

    Good prognosis with treatment. Relapses occur because you do not use the medication enough or the underlying cause isn't dealt with.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in the corners of the mouth, corner of the mouth redness, spontaneous skin changes, mouth skin changes
    Symptoms that always occur with perleche (angular cheilitis):
    pain in the corners of the mouth, corner of the mouth redness
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  9. 9.Common Cold

    The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.

    The common cold resolves within 7 to 10 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat, congestion
    Symptoms that never occur with common cold:
    being severely ill, severe muscle aches, rash, severe headache, sinus pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  10. 10.Pityriasis Rosea

    Pityriasis rosea is a common skin condition with no known cause. It is not contagious and does not usually lead to any dangerous complications. It most often appears as a larger "mother" patch which comes first, surrounded by smaller "daughter" patches which appear soon after.

    Pityriasis Rosea will go away on its own within 2-8 weeks

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    rash, itchy rash, curved rash, rough patch with red spots around it
    Symptoms that always occur with pityriasis rosea:
    rash
    Symptoms that never occur with pityriasis rosea:
    blue-colored skin changes, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Burning Pain on the Outside of the Lips

  • Q.Do you have a rash?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS?
  • Q.Where specifically is your mouth pain?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our burning pain on the outside of the lips symptom checker to find out more.

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Burning Pain on the Outside of the Lips Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced burning pain on the outside of the lips have also experienced:

    • 14% Swollen Lips
    • 10% Burning Lip Pain
    • 9% Lip Rash
  • People who have experienced burning pain on the outside of the lips had symptoms persist for:

    • 47% Less Than a Week
    • 27% Less Than a Day
    • 10% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced burning pain on the outside of the lips were most often matched with:

    • 13% Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (Anug)
    • 7% Cold Sore
    • 6% Non - Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

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