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Is Lip Swelling an Allergic Reaction?

Is Lip Swelling an Allergic Reaction?

This article provides some information about lip swelling and also discusses whether it is an allergic reaction or not.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Swelling of the lip is a case where the upper or lower lip, or both, increase in size and look swollen. Although this rarely causes any kind of major difficulty in talking and eating, a swollen lip can be a major physical concern for a lot of people. There are cases where this kind of swelling may be due to an allergic reaction, however, there are often other reasons for the lips to swell up.
Swollen Lips: Allergic Reaction or Not?
No, there are certain cases where the lip swelling is due to some other causes besides an allergic reaction. Here are the various causes of this condition, allergic reactions being only one of them.
Macrocheilia: Macrocheilia is a condition wherein there is permanent swelling of the lips. This normally happens as a result of distended lymphatic spaces. Often, the upper and lower lip, both are affected, and there is lip swelling for no reason.
Cheilitis Glandularis: Cheilitis glandularis is a condition wherein there is benign inflammation of the submucosal glands of the lower lip. Thus, there is a progressive enlargement of the lower labial mucosa. Thus, in this disease, only the lower lip swells up.
Trauma or Injury: If there is any kind of trauma or injury to the lips, then there is an inflammatory reaction that is instigated which leads to the swelling.
Other Causes: Other causes of non-allergic sudden lip swellings include orofacial or cheilitis granulomatosa, which is characterized by enlargement of the lips. The onset of the disease is normally initially sudden in nature, but later on it takes a progressively chronic course. The disease eventually leads to large and everted lips. Lip swelling, along with facial swellings, is also seen in Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. Angioedema of the lips may also result in lip swelling. Allergic reactions due to certain other syndromes may also occur, but they are very rare.
When is Swollen Lips an Allergic Reaction?
There are certain cases where the swelling may be due to an allergic reaction in the body. Such conditions include:
Bee Sting: More often than not, a swelling of lips may occur as a manifestation of a bee sting swelling. This is because after a bee sting, the person's body tries to fight off the allergens that have entered the body. This leads to an inflammatory reaction, which causes edema and swelling of lips.
Anaphylactic Reaction: There are certain conditions where the person may develop lip swelling as one of the anaphylactic shock symptoms. This mostly occurs as a result of a severe allergic reaction to a medication that the person may have taken.
Urticaria: Urticaria or hives is one of the severe allergic reactions due to which a person may develop lip swelling allergies. Sometimes, it may even occur due to the consumption of certain food items that the person may be allergic to.
For reducing the swelling of lips, one can take certain natural antihistamine or antihistamine drugs which might be beneficial. However, as they say, prevention is better than cure, so if a person knows that he/she is allergic to a certain medication or food item, it is best to avoid them. If one is not sure of his/her allergy, he/she can even try to get a patch test done first so as to prevent the chances of developing an anaphylactic reaction, and thus prevent lip swelling. Allergic reactions are the most common causes of transient swelling of the lips. Thus, it best to avoid such allergens. However, if one does have a lip swelling that has lasted for long, or a swelling that does not recede, then one should immediately visit a doctor and get the condition diagnosed and treated.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.