There are many reasons why lips can become swollen. It becomes swollen when fluid builds up in the skin tissue or if there is underlying inflammation. Let’s see what can possibly cause swollen lips.
Skin conditions and severe allergic reactions may be the cause of swollen lips, and it is essential for those with swollen lips to identify their specific symptoms and potential causes so that they can receive proper treatment.
Additional symptoms include:
- sensitive to the touch
- cracked skin
Allergies That Cause Swollen Lips
Environmental allergies are allergic reactions to substances found in the environment. Commonly these include pollen, mold spores, dust, and pet dander.
Symptoms of an environmental allergy include swelling of the lips and other areas of the body, wheezing, hives, sneezing, and a blocked nose. Depending on the severity of the reaction, a person can treat the allergy with an over-the-counter antihistamine. In more serious cases, a person can get a series of allergy shots, or called immunotherapy, to help the body get used to the allergens.
According to a report from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), between 4 and 6 percent of children and around 4 percent of adults have a food allergy.
Allergies tend to run in families, but it is impossible to predict if a parent will pass an allergy on to their child.
About 90 percent of food allergies involve the following:
- peanuts and tree nuts
- fish and shellfish
Besides swollen lips, the ACAAI list the following symptoms of food allergies:
- stomach cramps
- shortness of breath
- swollen tongue
- trouble swallowing
- weak pulse
- pale or blue skin
The main way to manage a food allergy is to avoid the food that triggers it. This can involve reading labels carefully and asking about ingredients at restaurants.
Swollen lips may also be caused by insect bites, stings, and allergies to specific drugs. Some people have allergies to specific medications particularly penicillin. Some symptoms of penicillin allergy include rashes, itchy eyes, hives, wheezing, swollen tongue or face, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and headache.
This short-term condition happens when there is swelling under the skin. It often occurs as an adverse side effect of a medication or in response to a trigger that causes an allergy. It often affects the hands, feet, area around the eyes, tongue, and genitals.
Minor cuts and wounds to the lips can also result in them becoming swollen. The lips have a rich blood supply, so they are susceptible to swelling. If the injury is large, was caused by an animal bite or is extremely painful, seek help from a healthcare professional.
Rare Medical Conditions
A rare condition that can cause swollen lips is granulomatous cheilitis. This condition causes a lumpy swelling of the lips. Causes include an allergy, Crohn’s disease, sarcoidosis, or orofacial granulomatosis. Another condition is Miescher-Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a recurrent, long-lasting swelling of one or both lips with facial muscle weakness and a fissured tongue. The cause is unknown, but genetics is believed to be a factor.