Swollen lips often feel painful and look unsightly. Many conditions can cause your lips to swell, such as an injury, an allergic reaction, or an infection. A swollen lip can usually be treated at home, but if you experience difficulty breathing or if swelling persists for several days with no apparent cause, seek medical attention.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Determine the cause of the swelling, if possible. For example, determine whether you are injured. If,not, check whether you have you applied a new type of cosmetic, such as lipstick, lip balm or perfume, or have recently switched detergents or been exposed to cleaning chemicals. Recent exposure to a new cosmetic or other product may indicate an allergic reaction. Check for visible sores, since sores may indicate a viral disease, such as herpes simplex virus.
Remove any possible irritants, such as lip balm or lipstick, if you suspect an allergic reaction. Drink water and take an antihistamine, such as benadryl (diphenhydramine), according to the instructions on the package.
Wrap an icepack in a towel and apply it to your swollen lip for 15 minutes every hour.
If your lip is swollen from injury, take ibuprofen according to the package instructions to help reduce inflammation. An injured lip may also appear discoloured and feel painful.
See a doctor if you have sores on your lips or if swelling persists after 2 or 3 days.
Tips and warnings
- Chronic lip swelling may indicate an allergy to your detergent. Wash your linens and clothes in an unscented gentle detergent.
- Never drain swelling with a needle or other sharp object.
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