Blister woes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rviser, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. rviser

    rviser Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2008
    Last week I played pretty hard gigs Mon-Thurs night. Lips felt fine Friday but decided to take a day off. Friday night I start feeling a blister swelling up right around where red lip tissue meets normal skin on lower lip. I would wake up throughout the night and could feel it getting bigger and bigger, by Friday morning it was pretty big and over the next 24 hours or so, three little red smaller blisters showed up on it. This definitely isn't a blister from too much playing right? Seems like those usually show up immediately after playing, and not delayed like this one. I had to lay off for 4 days and then last night was a big benefit I had to play. It hurt and the fact that it was already swollen def didn't help since I just switched to a Parduba, YIKES!! So, I have gigs tonight, Thurs, and Friday. I guess my biggest concern is if I can do any permanent damage by playing on it as it still has not completely healed? Thanks for the help guys!!

  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria

    there is few things that you should always carry in your trumpet case that have nothing to do with maintaining your horns: One of them is


    or any other antiviral creams that you may find better working for you. Apply them as soon you feel the first symptoms. Be prepared. I am afraid that now is too late to do anything about. I don't think that you may do any permanent damage, but the gigs won't be fun. If you can find a dep better do it.
  3. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Sounds like a cold sore, caused by a virus. They can be VERY painful. Doctors theorize that they can be triggered by stress or trauma. You possibly could have triggered the attack if the gig was stressful. There is medicine to shorten the extent of attacks and some outbreaks are more severe than others. Because it is a virus (if that is the deal, and it certainly sounds like it) medicine is only partially effective. It will go away but could re-occur. Trumpetnick's advice is spot on. Good luck.
  4. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    did you shave prior to playing?

    that could be massive factor, that we all forget about, shaving causes milions of tiny little invisible wounds on your skin. Sometimes that wounds coud infect themselves causing blisters
  5. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria

    Lip blisters also called Orolabial herpes, cold sores, fever blisters or Herpes labialis are caused by a virus and shaving has nothing to do with it. What you refer to is called Friction Blister, but I have never seen one on the lip area caused by simple shaving.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  6. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    he said it is "around where red lip tissue meets normal skin on lower lip" I have plenty of facial hair there and is very dense
  7. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    This may sound like a bit of a cop-out, but I strongly recommend that you see a doctor about this. I've never had a "blister" from playing the horn. Cuts, swelling, and an occasional cold sore inside my mouth yes, but never a blister. The fact that this thing grew and multiplied would be a cause for concern for me.

    Anyone who's trying to diagnose this over the internet without even seeing a picture is just guessing.

    Find a sub if you can. Playing on damaged chops is no fun...
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I agree with the other replies. It sounds like a "cold sore". This is caused by herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1). As someone already stated, the virus remains dormant, with outbreaks caused by stress or other triggers. It likely had nothing to do with your mouthpiece.

    It typically appears on the lips, at the border of the red skin and normal skin. It is typically painful. It is usually a red area with small (2-3 mmm) blister-like bumps. (They can also appear on the hard roof of your mouth. But sores on the fleshy part of the inside of your mouth are usually not herpes, but are aphthous ulcers, which are not infectious.)

    It is very common (maybe 50% of all Americans have it). But it is also very contageous. So use some comon sense during an outbreak, be careful what you touch after touching the infected area, no kissing or oral sex, and do a lot of hand washing.

    An astringent (like witch hazel) is one treatment. Abreva (which is over the counter, and which I often prescribe) is another good treatment. Zovirax, which someone mentioned, is also good. As someone suggested, start using it at the first sign of tingling, even before the lesion is visible.

    Outbreaks tend to decrease over time. However, if it continues to recur, see your doctor about suppressive therapy. Or as someone suggested, maybe see your doctor anyway to get a definitive diagnosis.
  9. opus

    opus New Friend

    Feb 10, 2010
    I have to agree that it does sound like a fever blister breakout. Which can occur under any kind of stress, gig night or otherwise. I would follow what TrumpetMD has advice to the letter. I have dealt with many bouts of fever blisters due to stress and I have found that I really have to pay attention to how my body is feeling, including my lips. If you can recognize that you are trying to break out in a fever blister and start your treatment at first sign the faster you can get the blister to begin drying out. Drying out the blister is the key, in my opinion. I would stay away from applying things on the blister that will keep it moist. You may have to stay off your trumpet for a while during the breakout or drying out process. If you do play and you apply to much pressure to the blister when it is trying to peak and/or heal you can cause it to break open and bleed...not profusely buy enough to make it even more tender and sore.

    A) whatever is causing you to stress you need to find a way to let it go so your lip does not break out.
    B) pay close attention to how you are feeling; what kind of symptoms you may be experiencing, such as headaches, maybe a tender or sore spot on your lip where the blister is trying to break out, a kind of tingle feeling on your lip, etc.
    C) start immediate action to try and catch the blister before it rears its ugly blistery head. Anything you can do to try and dry it up right away is best in the long run.

    For me personally, when I feel a blister coming on I start taking Tagamet, twice a day. This is OTC antacid medication. There is something in this medication that really begins working to dry out the blister. 9 times out of 10, if I catch it right away at first sign I never break out in blisters at all. Just my 2 cents worth and good luck.
  10. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    Get to a physician. I thought I had a pimple on my upper lip, then it started bleeding...profusely. It was a hemangioma, (non-malignant tumor composed of bundles of arteries) and it had to be removed by a plastic surgeon. Different situation than yours, but in any event, don't take any chances!

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