Causes of a Swollen Lip

Updated April 17, 2017

Swelling in the lips can be caused by many different factors. Some of these factors include allergic reactions and medical conditions. Becoming familiar with how to avoid certain foods or allergens that contribute to swelling, as well as becoming knowledgeable of the type of medical conditions that contribute, can be important first steps in treatment.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to certain foods, medication and environmental conditions can cause the swelling of lips. Many cases of swollen lips are caused by food allergies. Food allergies happen when the immune system attacks a food that has entered the body. A tickling or tingling feeling around or on the mouth, as well as the tongue or throat may first occur as a reaction. This can this be followed by swelling of the mouth. Symptoms like these can occur within just minutes after eating the food. The best way to treat the swelling in the mouth in these circumstances is to take care of the allergen first. This might mean taking an antihistamine or over the counter prescribed medication, such as benadryl. This should reduce or completely eliminate the swelling in the lips.

There are many medical conditions that may also contribute to swollen lips. This can include conditions like herpes simplex or inflammation of the lips due to cheilitis. Herpes simplex virus, also known as cold sores, can be caused by stress, colds, flus and any change in the immune system. A side effect of the virus could be a cold sore on the mouth. This could also be accompanied by swelling around the area of the lip. Swelling of the lips can also be caused by cheilitis. Cheilitis is inflammation of the mouth caused by different factors, such as atopic dermatitis.

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About the Author

Randi McCreary has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been featured in "Black Praxis" Second Edition, the NoMoreSilentCries anthology, "Present Magazine," "Riseup Magazine," and "Essence." She is the author of "Sweet.Water.Horizion" and is a tenth year educator with a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's in education from Avila University.