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Mucous Cyst on Lip

Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.

The medical terminology for mucous cyst on lip is called a mucocele. They are also called as mucous retention cyst. They form when saliva or mucus escapes into a lining of the connective or surrounding tissues and creates a soft round smooth lump that is filled with fluid. In seventy-five percent of cases of mucous cyst on lip they occur on the inner surface of your lower lip. They can also appear on the floor of your mouth, which are called ranulae. When they are found on your gums they are called gingiva. They may also appear on your tongue or the inner lining of your cheeks, which are called buccal mucosa. When a person has a superficial mucous cyst on lip they will be there for several days or week, then spontaneously rupture and heal a few days later. Usually they rupture whileΒ  eating. They can recur again many times and could lead to a lump on the inner surface of your lip that is permanent from repeated occurrences.

There are two general types of mucous cyst on lips, which are:

  • Superficial β€” these are smaller and easier to rupture under pressure, leaving a tiny ulcer and are the ones that normally appear on your lower lip
  • Classic β€” these are firmer to the touch and larger and normally appear inside your mouth or inner upper lip.

What mucous cyst on lip looks like?

  • Most are transparent dome-shaped lesions that are fluid filled
  • Can be multiple or single lesions
  • They can range in size from one to fifteen millimeters in diameter
  • When they are superficial lesions they have a bluish transparent color because of the thin layer of epithelium that covers the bluish capillaries.
  • Epithelium is a layer of cells
  • Deeper mucous cyst on lip are covered with a thicker layer of tissue so they are basically the same color as your lip
  • If the lesions bleed it can cause them to have a bright red color and may resemble a haemangioma, which is a non-cancerous growth
  • At times the surface of the mucous cyst on lip may become rough, scaly, and white because of repeated sucking on the cyst.


Most of the mucous cyst on lip is bothersome but painless. Many times there are no symptoms.

Causes of Mucous cyst on lip

The cause for many of these mucous cysts on lip trauma in your mouth that injures your small salivary ducts that is inside of your lip. If any of these microscopic excretory ducts are ruptured or injured it can lead to an mucus accumulating inside the connective tissue of your lip. Another common cause is the sucking action or lip biting that draws the mucous membrane of your lower lip between your teeth and can cause damage or blockage to your salivary gland. Many times people are not aware of having any type of injury to this area. If you have your lip pierced there is a chance that you will develop a mucous cyst on lip at the sight of the piercing.


When it is a superficial mucous cyst on lip it will normally require no specific treatment as they spontaneously resolve on their own. If they recur frequently or are problematic there are different treatments that can be used. Any of these treatments can also be used on deeper mucous cyst on lip. One thing that you should not do is to force the cyst to open before it is ready to rupture or cut it to get it to drain. If you do you risk getting an infection in the cyst.

  • Surgically remove the mucous cyst on lip if all other treatments and home remedies fail to get rid of the mucous cyst on lip. During the surgical procedure the physician will numb the area around the cyst and then make a small cut to drain the cyst. It will take at least fourteen days for the area to heal completely after surgery.
  • Create a pouch inside the cyst, which is called marsupialization. Doing this procedure helps a new duct form to help the saliva to leave your salivary gland. To do this procedure the area is numbed, then disinfected. The physician or dentist will put a stitch through the mucous cyst on lip and tie a knot. They will gently press out the saliva and after a week the stitch will be removed.
  • Cryosurgery, which is freezing the mucous cyst on lip using liquid nitrogen
    laser ablation, which is removing material from the cyst by irradiating with a laser beam
  • Micro-marsupialization, which is a minimally invasive treatment that is used for children and adolescents who have a mucous cyst on lip.
  • Removing the damaged salivary gland using a laser or scalpel. To numb the area you will be given local anesthesia.
  • Steroid injections
  • Medication applied to the surface of the mucous cyst on lip

If there is an infection in your mucous cyst on lip you will normally be given a prescription for antibiotics by your physician.

Home remedies

  • Honey β€” known for its antiseptic properties it is a great home remedy to use to treat a mucous cyst on lip effectively. It can help to reduce the inflammatory response around your cyst. Apply the honey generously on the cyst before you go to bed and in the morning you can gently wipe it off. Do this every night and you will start to notice results. In order for this treatment to work you will need to make sure that you are using medical-grade honey and not one that is commercial-grade. One type of medical-grade honey is called manuka honey.
  • Warm saltwater β€” with this home remedy you need regular table salt, which acts like a natural antiseptic. It can help to destroy the harmful microbes that cause your mucous cyst on lip. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and after taking a drink swish it around in your mouth for at least two or three minutes, then spit it out. You should do this at least two times a day and follow it up by using an antiseptic mouthwash rinse. The mucous cyst on lip should clear up within seven days.
  • Alum β€” this is also known as hydrated potassium aluminum sulfate. Apply it to the mucous cyst on lip to facilitate healing. It is also used as a food additive. When you apply it to the cyst it will increase in size rapidly until it ruptures. Smear a small amount on the mucous cyst on lip and leave it there for fifteen minutes. If you have trouble getting the powder to stay on the cyst you can also make a paste with a small amount of water added to the alum. Rinse the area after fifteen minutes and use a Listerine mouthwash for two minutes, which will help to prevent the infection from becoming further aggravated. In a matter of days you will notice the cyst popping out. Once it ruptures you will see liquid oozing out so just rinse it over and over time you will see new skin starting to form. You should continue this treatment until you see the normal skin forming.

Make sure that when you have a mucous cyst on lip that you refrain from biting or sucking on your lip because if you do you could rupture it before it is ready and possible cause germs to enter the ruptured cyst, causing a possible infection.

Pictures of Mucous Cyst on Lip

Take a look at some of the pictures of mucous cyst on lip…

mucous cyst on lip

mucous cyst on lip photo

mucous cyst on lip picture

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