Mucocoele of the lip

Mucocoele of the lip

Chris Schach

Author Bio -


Key Points
*Skin condition typically affecting the inner lower lip
*Caused by trauma in the affected area which injures salivary ducts
*Consists of domed lesions which are transparent and filled with fluid, which may be bluish in color if superficial

Mucocele of the lip is a skin condition which typically affects the lower lip's inner surface, though it may present on the gums, cheeks or tongue. The condition consists of the formation of one or more domed lesions which are transparent and filled with fluid. Superficial lesions may be bluish in color, while deep lesions will do not change in color. Lesions may also turn a bright red color due to bleeding in the lesion interior. Abrasion and pressure on the affected area may cause the area to become rough, white and scaly. Mucoceles of the lip typically rupture and resolve on their own, but tend to recur regularly, which may lead to a lump in the affected area which is permanent.

Mucoceles of the lip are caused by trauma to the area in which the lesion appears. As a result of trauma (lip biting or sucking), salivary ducts in the area become injured, which causes fluid to build inside the connective tissue. Anyone may develop a mucocele.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Benign or malignant salivary gland neoplasms
Venous lake
Soft irritation fibroma
Oral lymphoepithelial Cyst
Gingival Cyst in adults
Soft tissue Abscess
Cysticercosis (parasitic infection)

Key Points
*Initial diagnosis based on appearance of the affected area
*A biopsy will be performed to confirm diagnosis and rule out other conditions

Mucoceles are initially diagnosed based on the appearance of the affected area. A biopsy of the lesion will be performed to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other, similar appearing conditions.

*Treatment is typically not required as the condition is often self-resolving
*If required, treatment may consist of removal or destruction, amongst others

Mucoceles do not typically require treatment, as the condition is self-resolving, though it has a tendency to recur repeatedly. In cases where recurrence becomes an issue, treatments include surgical excision, cryotherapy, laser therapies, and marsupialization. If nearby minor salivary glands are removed along with the lesion, they should not recur in most cases.

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