How Can My Lip Bump Be Fixed?

Q: I am wondering about reducing an area of my upper lip. Here is the problem.  When I was younger, I had an incident that cut an area of my upper lip.  My lip healed fine and the cut mark is no longer there.  However, it appears that an excess of fat or tissue (not sure what it is) has collected in that part of my lip.  I am guessing the procedure may be something like liposuction or something like that. It looks rather simple to do and perhaps could just be fluid in there.  Please advise.

A:  The bump on your lip that you are seeing is undoubtably scar tissue. It is not fluid or fat. This is an absolutely classic case of scar formation that occurs after a significant cut or laceration on the lip occurs.

While scar forms anywhere on the body after injury (this is how things heal), the lips are uniquely different from what occurs in skin…because they are not skin. Lips are a combination of wet and dry mucosa which is much thinner and more elastic than skin. It has to be so that the lips can be flexible. There is a reason that you can pull on your lips and really stretch them out without tearing them. (up to a point) Wet mucosa is more flexible than the dry mucosa which is the part of the upper and lower lips that we externally see.

The thinness of mucosa, particularly the dry mucosa, makes it very susceptible to forming a thicker scar. This can particularly occur with many lip lacerations which are often left to heal on their own. Such secondary healing almost always leads to a thicker area which disrupts the smoothness of the horizontal lip lines.

Lip scars can easily be re-excised and closed with successful smoothing of the lip line. Lip scar revisions can usually be done under local anesthesia.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana