What is Swollen Lips
Lip swelling means expansion of one or both lips owing to fluid accumulation or inflammation in the tissues of the lips. The lips can be swollen either on one side of the top lip, half of it, in the middle or the complete lip can get swollen. It can be sudden and can appear overnight while you are sleeping.
Lip swelling on your top lip can happen due to a number of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions. It can also happen from inflammation, infections, trauma or cancer.
Swollen Lips Symptoms
The symptoms of swollen lips can be mild or serious. You need to different types of diagnosis to ascertain the reason behind swelling if you do not know the actual reason. The common symptoms include:
- Numbness on the lips
- Dry or tight lips
- Lip distention (fat or enlarged lips)
- Pain on your lips
- Redness or a change in lip color (Lip discoloration)
- Blisters or chapped lips
- Discharges from the lips (pus or pus filled bumps)
- Itchiness, inflammation or tingling feeling
However, these are not the only symptoms of swollen lips. You can experience some other symptoms along with lip swelling. For example, you can have lip swelling if you are suffering from fever, warmth or redness around your lips. Some of the symptoms that may occur along with lip swelling are:
- Chapped lips
- Change in lip color (Lip Discoloration)
- Fever and Chills
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Pus-filled bumps or skin sores
- Congestion (running nose)
However, lip swelling can also lead to life-threating conditions like anaphylactic reaction. If you are suffering from lip swelling and also notice some of the below mentioned symptoms, then consult your doctor quickly.
- Fever along with red and tender areas.
- Severe swelling in other part of your body
- Itching in the mouth or the throat
- Respiratory problems like shortness of breath, labored breathing, difficulty in breathing, not breathing and choking
- Swollen tongue
- Extreme distress
Related Post: Learn about Numbness in Lips
Causes for Swollen Lips
The lips generally become swollen if someone experiences some kind or a trauma in the soft tissues of the lips. Other reasons include extreme weather conditions, dryness, dehydration, using poor quality lip products and nutritional deficiencies. In maximum cases, swollen lips are accompanied by bleedings and cuts in the lips that makes it difficult to eat, drink and also talk properly. However, lip swelling can vanish quickly or can last longer depending upon the cause of your illness. Lip swelling can also be caused by allergies, infections, or any kind of trauma to the lips. It can happen owing to minor conditions such as sunburn, or serious condition.
- Infections – Lip swelling can occur if you are suffering from some kind of infections. Some of the infections that lead to lip swelling are bacterial, viral, fungal, cellulitis, herpes simplex virus infection. Oral herpes and other infections like chicken pox, measles, etc. affect your lips and cause lip swelling, blisters or inflammation.
- Allergies – Lip swelling can also happen if you are suffering from minor to grave allergic problems such as Drug allergy (Penicillin or codeine allergy), insect bite allergy (bee sting), food allergy, have fever, having allergic reactions from dust, pollen, cosmetics or animals. Allergic reaction can also occur indirectly or without actual contact. For example inhaling something that you might be allergic to, can also cause swollen lips.
- Trauma – Lip swelling can arise if you are suffering from some kind of a trauma or injury like hot and spicy food, oral surgery, surgery on the lip, severe sun burn, laceration, etc. Dental appliances like braces also cause temporary swelling in the lips as well as the mouth. During injury or in comes case of irritation, the lip usually gets swollen temporarily. However, it may also result in a permanent formation in some severe cases.
- Lack of vitamins or some microelements – Vitamin deficiency can also cause a swelling in the lips. For instance, if you suffering from a deficiency of vitamin B in your body, then it would directly affect your lips and they become dry, swollen and also get covered with red spots or cracks.
- Cheilitis – This is an illness that is caused by swollen lymphatic structures. This type of illness is rare.
- Cellulitus: This is common to most women. Cellulitus affects your face and hence the lips also get affected. This causes an inflammation in the body tissues making your lips swollen.
Other causes that can also lead to swollen lips are:
- Rare neurological disorder (Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome)
- Blood transfusion reaction
- Acne and pimple can also cause swollen lips
- Serious genetic disorder (Hereditary angioedema)
- Fluid retention usually occurs when you are pregnant
- Organ failure (heart, kidney or liver)
- Severe malnutrition
- Serious condition of pregnancy (Preeclampsia) accompanied by high blood pressure, swelling and protein in the urine.
To diagnose the reason behind lip swelling, your doctor will ask you a number of questions that will be related to your symptoms. Every reason requires special treatment. A physician will help you to find out the real reason behind your swelling, treat you, and if required, advice you the best way to deal with it.
What is the Treatment for Swollen Lips
You must be looking out for ways to cure your swollen or fat lips. To treat swollen lips, you can use medications prescribed by the doctor. If it is caused by allergies, then you can get antihistamines or the prescribed medicine. You can use brands like Benadryl, Zantac or Zyrtec to reduce enlargement of the lips.
Lip swelling can also be a sign of some serious or life-threatening condition so you should consult your doctor immediately if it does not get healed within a few days. However, if you experience difficulty in breathing, respiratory problem, skin or other skin tissue removal and have high fever, rashes, redness and intense distress, along with lip swelling, then seek medical help instantly.
Home Remedies for Swollen Lips
The abnormal growth of lip is easily noticeable by people and also becomes embarrassing. If swelling of your lips is causing you pain and inconvenience, then here are some fabulous home remedies to help get rid of swollen lips after you recognize the reason behind the swelling:
- Aloe Vera – Applying freshly extracted aloe-vera gel twice or thrice a day on the affected area reduces swelling along with any kind of burning sensation occurring on the lips. This remedy is best when the swelling occurs due to an insect or a mosquito bite or if it happens from some kind of allergic reaction. Aloe Vera gel can also be mixed with tea tree oil in the ratio 2:1 and then applied as a mask on the affected lips. You can wash it off with cold water when it is dried. This process needs to be repeated several times in a day.
- Cold Compress – This method is simple and the easiest way to treat swollen lips. Applying a cold compress quickly to the swollen area reduces swelling if it is caused by lip piercing. Put some ice-cubes in a cloth or a towel and press it gently on the swollen area for around 10 minutes. You can repeat the process until the swelling decreases.
- Warm Water – Warm water also helps in curing swollen lips. You need to take some warm water in a bowl and dip a cloth in the water and then apply this cloth on the lips after flushing out the extra water from it. Doing it a few times in a day will reduce the swelling of your lips.
- Honey – It contains antibacterial as well as natural healing properties to effectively cure a swollen lip. You just need to dip a cotton ball in one teaspoon of honey and apply it on the affected area for sometimes and then wash it off. Repeating the process for around two times in a day will not only reduce the swelling, inflammation and pain. It will also moisturise your lips as well. Please note that honey also contains heating properties so do not apply it for more than twenty minutes.
- Black Tea Bag – Applying a black tea bag also reduces swelling in the soft tissues of the lips. You just need to soak a black tea bag in warm paper and after it cools, you can apply it gently on the affected area. Black tea contains a compound called tannins that have wonderful astringent qualities.
- Baking Soda – Very few people know that baking soda also helps in treating swollen lips and reduces the pain and the swelling. It is highly recommended when you have swollen lip caused some allergic reaction, an insect bite or blister and fever. Applying a thick paste of baking soda (three teaspoon) and water on the affected area for a few minutes and then rinse it off. It is also known to subside swelling.
- Turmeric – Turmeric powder is considered as an antiseptic so it helps in preventing infections. To treat swollen lips, mix a little turmeric powder with fuller’s earth and make a paste of it by pouring in some cold water. Apply this paste on the swollen area and wash it off when dry. This should be done daily to get rid of pain and swelling.
- Witch hazel extract and salt – It is mixed in a ratio of 2:1 and contains strong anti-swelling properties. You should apply this mixture on the lips for around twenty minutes and then can wash it off with cold water. Repeat the process twice a day for best results. However, if you are allergic to plants, then please consult your doctor before using this.
- Lip Balm – If the swelling in the lips is caused owing to dryness, then the quickest way to heal them is by applying a medicated lip balm. They contain different properties according to your chemical composition. Choose the one that would best suit you. Also check if you are not allergic to the chemical components.
It is also recommended that eating a healthy and a balanced diet with foods rich in vitamins also helps in reducing swollen lips caused due to nutritional deficiency. It generally takes around a week or two to completely heal a swollen lip.
How to Prevent Swollen Lips?
Swelling of lips can happen due to a number to reasons. So it is sometimes easier to prevent the occurrence of swelling of lips than curing them later. By following a few simple tips you will never face the problem of swollen lips:
- First of all, you should know that you are allergic to. It is difficult to cure allergy but it is easy to stay safe from it. If you have an allergy to something, then stay away from it. Some products that generally cause allergies are nuts, fish, egg whites, sesame seeds, dairy products, latex, chocolate, pollens, bee stings. A good allergist will help you for sure. Allergy testing is often recommended by the physician to know what a person is allergic to. If you are at a risk of life-threatening allergic reaction, then doing an epinephrine auto-injector is usually encouraged.
- Secondly, any kind of metabolism disorder generally affects your skin and especially the lips. Consult a dietician to keep your metabolism in shape and also consume healthy and nutritional products in your everyday life. Drinking enough water is necessary to keep your body fit.
- Lastly, you can also avoid the problem of swollen lips in a number of ways. Biting lips is considered a bad habit and will be good for you. You should also use cosmetic products that will help to keep away the insects particularly in the summer months. Also avoid long kisses as biting and pressuring them can cause swelling on your lips.
Swollen Lips Pictures, images and Photo’s