Blips on Lips


A 39-year-old woman presents with red vascular streaks on her upper and lower lips. They have slowly multiplied and become more prominent since she first noticed them several years ago. Although the lesions are asymptomatic, their effect on her appearance bothers the patient.

Her primary care provider tried to resolve the problem with cryotherapy. But the treatment attempt was unsuccessful.

During history-taking, the patient divulges other existing health problems. She has been diagnosed with Raynaud syndrome, which flares several times a year, especially in cold weather or times of exceptional stress. She also has permanent thickening of the skin on her distal fingers, a result of sudden-onset swelling of all 10 fingers several years ago.

She denies any problems with eating, such as heartburn or difficulty swallowing. She also denies any respiratory problems or chronic fatigue.

Red vascular streaks on upper and lower lips

Seven very slender telangiectasias, most aligned vertically, are seen on the upper and lower vermillion surfaces. They range from a pinpoint to 6 mm in length. There are no similar lesions are on the rest of the oral mucosae, the face, or the chest.

The patient’s fingers, from the metacarpals to the tips, are decidedly edematous and firm but not tender. Several fingertips are scarred from past Raynaud episodes.

Swollen and scarred fingertips from Raynaud episodes

The patient looks her stated age and is in no distress.

What’s the diagnosis?


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