Irritated Philtrum (Lip) with red flaky skin

Posted , 6 users are following.

A small but definitive localized spot above my lip (philtrum) has been red, flaking, in pain, and at times a little bit itchy since January. It has never fully healed for a long period of time, and has always required some sort of lubricant in order to keep it from drying out, flaking, and turning more red. At times, it looks completely normal....for a few hours or while being medicated. I have consulted multiple doctors and none have been able to prescribe treatment solutions that have helped short- or long- term to effectively address the issue. 

My doctor has swabbed the area and the results have come back negative. This was the report: 'No polymorphonuclear cells seen, no squamous epithelial cells seen, no organisms seen'

My doctor had diagnosed as follows:

persistent redness and small pustules on lip, philtrum since January, despite zovirax/caltrex/Hyderm

Over the months, I have also exposed my lip to many different environments with no change in any environment (under safe protective conditions):

1) Extremely hot weather

2) Extremely cold weather

3) Direct sunlight

4) Shade

I have tried the below solutions without addressing the root issue and eliminating the problem - please help!!! Attempted solutions:

1) Tea Tree Oil

2) Vaseline

3) Hydrogen Peroxide

4) Zovirax

5) Bioderm (antibiotic treatment)

6) GM Hyderm Cream 1%

7) Hydrocortisone cream 0.5%

8) Fucidin Ointment 2%

9) Vitamin E 100% pure oil

10) Face cream  (Complex 15, Clinique moisturizing lotion)

11) Nothing on the area at all 

What can this issue be? What other possible solutions can I try? I have provided ample time inbetween medications/ointments/creams and even spent weeks without putting anything on at all. The result remains the same: irritated, red, flaky skin that gets inflammed (?) without specific triggers. 

I have not put on any creams, lotions, make-up, cleansers, soaps, or anything new that I have not already used for years. Since the irritation, I have stopped using all products in that entire area. I have cleaned with only water and rarely with gentle soap (e.g. after swimming or sunscreen use). 

Thank you for your attention, diagnosis, and suggestions for remedies!!

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I’ve had that same problem all my life It started when I was about 4-5 and I’m 35 now . I was given a cream my dad found that took the problem away as long as I use it at least once a week it doesn’t crack bleed or peel anymore . I would get so annoyed and insecure because it looked horrible but now it’s smooth again . As soon as I start to notice any flare up I put a pea size on and it’s gone in about a day or two . I used to go months with this problem and only have maybe one day a month of relief now it feels great almost all yr. it is a prescribed cream but can be found on eBay . It’s called gelmicin it’s an antifungal and it’s the only thing that’s ever worked for me . Ive tried about a million creams and remedies nothing ever worked but this. Hope you find relief . This cream hardly doesn’t sting or burn it’s pretty easy on the irritated skin. Good luck 
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    • Posted

      Thank you stace06932! This is a good tip! But I used different product...

      I suffered with the same symptom and had social anxiety throughout my young adult life.

      I tried maintaining good diet, which in a way helped reducing my other skin issues like acne, blemishes and uneven skin tone. But the rash on my philtrum comes and goes without warning. Smiling and laughing were always painful. I lived in tropical weather country but I never thought that played a part with it, until I moved to South Korea for 3 years. That's when I realized the rash and flaky skin on my philtrum never came back throughout autumn winter and spring. I never changed my skin routine, but during these seasons I'll apply healing gel to get rid of the scars at that area.

      Now I'm back in my home town, the rash seldom came back, but when it does I'll apply any non alcohol gel to relief the rash or at least stops it from getting worst. Not Vaseline, but Mentholatum Deep Moist Menthol Lipbalm was also my other counter measure to apply on my philturm, it's the only lipbalm I know works for me.

      I also stopped taking claritin or loratadine, if possible. Reason is, I realized that when I took antihistamine the skin on my philtrum will get worst. But if I don't take antihistamine my philtrum area remained normal. So, I only took antihistamine if my allergy reaction is really really bad.

      And unfortunately I had a bad allergy last week and I took 2 small tablets of antihistamine for 4 days in a row. AS expected it came like a nightmare. Irritation on the philtrum I can handle, but when it went up to the subnasale that's where it hurts!

      So I googled everywhere for any cream that can heal this, and all said the same, no ultimate resolution. Until I found yours!!

      Unfortunately we have no access to Gelmicin here in Asia, but by referencing to what the product contains, I found the closest thing. Basically I just go to Anti-Fungal cream counter and look for the ones with either Betametasona, Clotrimazol, and/or Gentamicina. The only anti-fungal cream I found only had Clotrimazol in it, but I tried it anyway... and it works!

      Took me two days to patiently apply on the area, 3 times a day. And I always wiped the area clean first before putting new application. Now it's clear as day. The only set back now is to put healing cream on the crack wound on my subnasale. Now I can talk, smile and laugh again.

      Hope this helps, as I know Stace06932 tips definitely did for me smile

      Thanks!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for writing this! I ordered some gelminic and it’s working wonders. I’m so grateful! I’ve been suffering with a crack Philtrium for too long and finally something that’s actually working. 
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    • Posted

      So glad it helped I know how hard it is to struggle with this skin problem . I’ve been using gelmicin for years and it’s the only thing that will clear up my face I use it on any skin flare up it worked on my daughters acne And excema on her arms and face . Hope it continues to work for you . Thanks for sharing . 
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    • Posted

      So glad it helped . I understand how hard it can be getting creams in Asia I was stationed in uinongbu when I was in the army in South Korea 2id and it was very hard finding stuff for my skin. Hope your skin continues to heal . 
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    • Posted

      So glad it helped I know how hard it is to struggle with this skin problem . I’ve been using gelmicin for years and it’s the only thing that will clear up my face I use it on any skin flare up it worked on my daughters acne And excema on her arms and face . Hope it continues to work for you . Thanks for sharing . 
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  • Posted

    Hi ,i have had similar flare up on the philtrum area from my puberty onwards. Consulted many doctors in Singapore and everyone said its eczema and prescribed steroid. The whole area became very dark , and i feel very ashamed to face people. After 20 yrs, when i consulted a gynae in india, i shared this issue. She suggested to do the threading on that area. Sometimes, hair can get stuck and develop infection. I started threading and its disappeared. I ever thankful to her. Those who have not tried, please try and see.

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