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Bad bottom lip rash after practicing. Help!?

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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Hampshire
Jeeez..too much info :eek::oops:

That looks quite serious and probably should be getting some more Medical advice. Hopefully you can sort it soon!
 
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40
Location
UK
How did you find the Legere reed? I've tried the Bari plastic reed and I really don't like the tinny sound it produces.
I'm only a beginner, so to be honest although it was different I soon got used to the difference. I think I do prefer the sound of real reed when I play it, but I'm hard pushed to say which is which if I listen to audio samples of other people playing them.

My lip is no where near as bad as that, if it was I'd be less worried about the tinny sound and more worried about the lip! Even if you only used a legere for practice, it is probably worth trying to see if it improves.
 

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
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Citizen of Nowhere
Hydrocortisone or Betnovate (both steroidal creams/ointments) will clear that up in no time at all. However, you need to let the medication do its job and that means taking a break from playing. If all goes well it may be less than a week. If you're unlucky, two weeks. If you don't let it heal, especially doing 5 hours every day, it simply never will.

And once you're healed, you can then find the cause.

Are you biting?
Are you playing while rarely taking the mouthpiece out of your mouth so the reed and lip is constantly wet, causing chapping?
Is the reed too rough?
Are you playing for too long?
Is your emboucher too tense?
Are you taking too much lip over your bottom teeth?

I also suffer from sore/damaged bottom lip from time to time, too. Thankfully it's become less frequent but it still happens. Oddly enough, when I first started, I had irritation in exactly the same place as you.

For me the solutions were to not let the reed become too wet when practising for long periods of time, relax my emboucher (otherwise you're basically grinding your lip into the reed) and play with a much more 'lip out' technique. I always polish my reeds on paper, which helps a lot and I always address any soreness before it becomes a problem. Usually this is little more than lip balm and a day or two off from playing.

When I saw your pictures, I saw chapping that hadn't been allowed to heal. First the skin becomes dry. If it's not addressed immediately, that dry skin starts to itch. Once the itching starts the skins becomes red and inflamed. At this point there is no other option than to stop irritating it. The weeping you describe is the skin trying to heal.

Imagine you have an itch on your finger caused by a piece of grass tickling the skin. Rather than remove the grass you scratch the itch. And then continually scratch that itch for the next two months. You can imagine what the skin on your finger will look like. That's what you're doing with your lip. The reed is constantly rubbing the already sore and delicate skin.

When you started your BMus, did your practise regime suddenly jump from an hour or two every day to five? That's a big jump and would explain the sore lip. Continuing to play for five hours a day explains why it's not had chance to heal.

Did you go from playing relatively quietly in your practise room to regularly playing at volume with other musicians? This would also explain how the lip initially became sore. And, again, if you continued to play at volume without allowing the healing process to take its course, why it's still a problem now.


Have you changed instrument or had it checked for leaks? These may sound like strange questions but I recently changed instrument and found my new sax allowed me to radically relax my emboucher. My old tenor had no leaks yet when I went back to it I found I had to put a lot more effort into playing it. My lip is a much happier appendage now thanks purely to my new horn. ;)
 

s.mundi

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460
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Texas Gulf Coast
An internal allergic reaction would affect more areas of your body. Your body is trying to tell you that she does not like something. You need to replace cane reeds with synthetic reeds and metal ligatures with material ligatures.
 

s.mundi

Member
Messages
460
Location
Texas Gulf Coast
This is simply not true. If it is contact dermatitis rather than simple chapping and chaffing then it would still only affect the area of contact.



Er... :confused2:


We have treated many patients with similar symptoms and this is not a simple chapping concern. If she does not approach this from a medical standpoint, she will be left with a permanent scar. The body has areas of contact and release. The affected area is a release point.
 

Veggie Dave

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As someone who has dealt with this exact problem for 50 years, steroidal cream and not irritating the skin so that it heals is the first step. Avoiding the cause is the second.

Contact dermatitis will cause this exact problem - as her doctor has already diagnosed. The issue is what caused the initial irritation. Simple chaffing and chapping will cause this exact skin issue, This is a fact because I've had to deal with it all my life.

It's not serious, it's easy to treat and relatively easy to avoid in the future.
 

Veggie Dave

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A little medical information regarding the subject:

Focus especially on how frequent contact to mild irritants (such as simple water) can cause the exact symptoms Cailin describes, and on dribble (or drool) rash in particular, which is a form of dermatitis caused by excessive contact with saliva. This is usually seen in babies, however adults can suffer from this excessive exposure, too - the skin being subjected to hours touching a saliva-soaked reed, for example.

You'll notice in Cailin's images that the majority of the rash isn't on her lip but on the skin just below it. Her doctor has already diagnosed contact dermatitis - irritation caused by excessive exposure to saliva (possibly exacerbated by the reed rubbing on the irritated area) is a logical conclusion based on both the evidence given and on personal experience.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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I've never looked in the mirror before while playing but thought to make sure.
Rightly or wrongly the edge of my bottom lip doesn't touch the reed.
So although you have been playing for years maybe you could try changing your embouchure to more lip out. You might not play quite as well while getting used to it but it would allow that area to heal.
 

Ivan

Undecided
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6,457
Location
Peeblesshire
Actually yes, at least two I know of :)

Jx
(Neither of them are dermatologists, but one at least did Family Medicine so he will have seen some rashes in his time)

Anyway going to see a proper doc seems best to me. (I'm not sure why @s.mundi thinks doctors treating skin rashes cause scars, unless they still use leaches, scarifying and blood letting over there)

@cailinrabie I would choose Légère ahead of Forestone because I have found that Forestone have sharp edges which sometimes nip my bottom lip .... which wouldn't be much fun for you. Légère doesn't nip

Even if this is primarily a contact dermatitis (which we don't know @Veggie Dave), you can get an infection in broken skin so simply using cortisone by itself treats the inflammation but drops the defenses against bacteria or fungi, which can have a field day. A combination cortisone and antibacterial or antifungal shoots both birds, without scarring

Anyway... get a doc to look, decide, treat and review... is my advice
 

sizzzzler

Member
Messages
143
Location
London
See a dr and take a rest from playing.
Disinfect the crook, mouthpiece and all your reeds. If you use a crook or sax swab, put them in the washing machine along with your pillow covers using ecover laundry liquid. Chuck all you lipsticks, lip balm and anything else you put on your face. Switch to body shop shampoo, soap and skin care products and try using a salt solution to brush your teeth and as mouthwash. If these work slowly reintroduce your usual brands until it starts again and you’ll find the culprit.
Surprisingly shampoo can cause all sorts of odd reactions on skin. They contain products that coat the hair and can cause a local reaction.
 

sizzzzler

Member
Messages
143
Location
London
i had a similar skin thing suddenly happen on a single patch on the back of my neck and it turned out to be a new additive in nearly every shampoo that made the hair glossier. A friend lost patches of hair from his head, changed his tooth paste and his hair grew back. Go figure.
From the look of your lip and the diagnosis reported by your Dr, if she is right think of it as a symptom of something changing and find the cause.
 
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