A dermatologist lists many causes of a red spot the lip; find out if cancer is one.

What can cause a red spot on the lip?

Can cancer be a cause?

Rebecca Tung, MD, explains that often, a red spot(s) on one’s lip can be “small collections of blood vessels going by names such as telangiectasia, angioma or venous lake.”

These are benign and can also appear elsewhere on the body.

“Most often there is no particular cause and can be easily treated with a vascular laser,” continues Dr. Tung, director of the dermatology division at Loyola University Health System, Chicago.

More Serious Causes of a Red Spot on the Lip

“However, if there are sprays of blood vessels (broken capillaries) on the lips and face/body — this may signal a more serious condition called hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia,” says Dr. Tung.

“Affected people are at risk for nosebleeds, acute bleeding in the gut and other internal organs.

“Treatments circles around reducing bleeding from blood vessel lesions.

“Another condition where you can see widespread vascular lesions and thickening of the skin is called scleroderma.

“A particular type of this autoimmune disease is called CREST syndrome—calcinosis (calcium deposits in the skin).”

If you have scleroderma, you’ll have other symptoms far more troubling than a red spot on your lip.

Another condition that can cause red spots on the lip is Raynaud’s syndrome, a vascular disease that affects the legs and other parts of the body.

Dr. Tung names more conditions: “Esophageal dysmotility (cannot swallow properly), sclerodactyly (finger skin becomes abnormally thickened and easily forms ulcers—very painful).

“Fortunately, medicines which adjust the body’s immune response are often helpful.”

As you can see, cancer did not make the list of conditions that can cause a red spot to appear on the lip.

However, if you’re still concerned, ask a dermatologist to inspect it with a dermatoscope, a handheld lighted lens.

Dr. Tung’sdr. tung specialties include general dermatology with skin cancer surveillance, moles, melanoma, surgery (Mohs micrographic, laser, skin cancer reconstruction) and cosmetic dermatology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


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