Lip damage! :(

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by the newbie, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. the newbie

    the newbie Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2011
    San Francisco
    Kinda over did it a couple of days ago and have developed a little pimple on my top lip, one of the tiny sore little pimples with a white head.

    Whats the best way to recover? Is there any fast ways, or should i just wait it out?

    Either way no playing for me this weekend...:(
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Personally, I would pop the little sucker -- then put some triple antibiotic on it!!! (I am NOT a doctor, so people will advise you differently).
    but, basically, my questions would be 1.) is it necessary to get right back at the trumpet today?? 2.)if you took a couple of days off, do you think you would lose the ability to play the trumpet in those few days? 3.) would playing softly and some easy low range slurs, or even a bunch of long tones cause you a lot of pain in that area???

    (of course someone is going to ask if you are allergic to your mpc -- but I won't) ---- ultimately it is your choice --- I don't think a pimple is of the same nature as swollen lips, or strained muscles ---- and I think you will be OK
  3. the newbie

    the newbie Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2011
    San Francisco
    1.No, Im okay with taking a day or 2 off, (I always have my mandolin), 2. Not too worried about loosing my ability, just i felt like i was making good progress lately and hate to be forced to stop now. 3. yeah i tried to play last night and the little pimple gives a lot of pain for all the size it is! Dont want to make it bigger or turn it into a cut/tear so i'm on hiatus.
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    probably a good choice to be on hiatus --- I have found over the last month of OUR break from community band, that taking every other day off, and limiting my practices to just under an hour and a half --- has really helped rejuvenat my "tired" chops ---- as I used to do 3 hr practices each night, anyways -- a day off is not a bad thing for me
  5. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    I would doubt that a true whitehead would be anything to do with your playing and if I get on on my lip or any where I pop the swine and stick TCP on it. It should heal quickly and I have played with the odd one and never been the worse for it
  6. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Good advice already given.

    While popping it is not necessarily a bad idea, I tend to shy away from recommending this. It's only because popping it the wrong way can increase the chances of scaring. A more conservative approach would be to apply a warm washcloth for 5 minutes a few times a day, followed by an astringent like witch hazel.

    This is assuming it's a pimple. If it's a herpes cold sore, I would use Abreva (an over-the-counter anti-viral medication) or witch hazel. If it's acne, I would use over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide or witch hazel.

  7. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    This is the correct advice in a general sense. Will offer a few other recommendations below though. And I would agree that those in the medical field would probably not offer this advice. However an MD usually isn't a trumpet player. He doesn't know that we have commitments and that people are dependent upon us to do our job. Also just letting nature take it's course is the slow way to recover. The buildup of puss (ger-ross, no?) wreaks havoc on an embouchure. If the pimple is located anywhere on or near the rim of the mouthpiece cup? You can't play at all. Period.

    So by all means take King's advice but with these qualifications:

    1. Sterility of all surfaces is of paramount concern.

    2. Use your mom's sewing needle. One that is sharp as possible. NOT a pin. Pins are fairly dull in the tip. With the eyes I once had I could actually see the tip of any standard pin. Unacceptable! The dull pin makes too large of a penetration. Not only requiring more time and work from Mother Nature to heal but also making a hole large enough to allow plenty of infectious microbes to come in.

    Then yer really screwed! So be careful to always lance sharp sharp SHARP!

    3. When lancing the G--damned thing make as small a penetration as possible. AVOID making two holes.

    4. Clean with peroxide and cover with gauze, band aid etc.

    5. Depending upon how nasty the zit was do not play at all for 24 hours. Maybe longer.

    If you perform this measure properly the wound will heal quickly and you'll be back in the saddle shortly.


    A. Collect the sewing needle, box of baby wipes, washcloths, band aids, and disinfectant ahead of time. Work in the kitchen where the gas stove is. I suppose you could just use a candle flame if you don't have a gas range although candles tend to leave soot on the needle.

    B. Apply warm washcloths on the infection, hot as you can take it for 4 - 5 minutes prior.

    C. HEAT the sewing needle over open flame until the tip glows red. Let cool in air. Do NOT touch needle to anything else prior to lancing the zit. Usually the hand that holds the needle will need some kind of insulation from the heat. Use leather gloves. Yeah just use the gloves. If you must use something to cool the hot needle down instead of waiting for it to cool in air (an air cool method is S-L-O-W)? Touch the hot end to a new baby wipe and squeeze wipe over the end. Listen for the immediate sizzle and allow for it to cool for say 20 seconds

    D. Lance the nasty thang from the side of zit towards the middle being VERY CAREFUL not to poke through the other side of the yellow area. ie lance just one hole, not two.

    E. Use new baby wipes as needed to clean off the nasty yellow s--t. Apply a decent disinfectant and cover with bandage or gauze.

    F. Don't play at all for 24 hours. Then only light blowing until you feel healed. No heavy arm pressure, high notes or other actions likely to re-open the wound.

    This works. it really does.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  8. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    Oh, and one other thing. You may want to start, if not already doing this, rinsing your mpc after each time you play. One, it'll make the finish last longer; and two, it may provide a bit of asepsis--that is, a relatively non-germier surface which you put in your face the next time. If a cold sore, I have found supplementing with lysine to cut their frequencies to near zero.
  9. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    All I can say is this: DO NOT PLAY until it is completely healed. I hope you don't have a performance in the near future. If you do, find a sub.
  10. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    There was a previous discussion on's the link, may be useful:

    As you can see, many of us were also involved in that ^.^

    Add: I have had this in the past and solved it to be able to play by two days after, but I would advise allowing it more time for a proper healing. However, I advocate Local's advice
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012

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