A pins and needles kind of sensation is felt either in the upper lip or lower lip and at other times, it can be felt on both the lips. It is mostly accompanied by numbness due to which there is a complete or partial loss of sensation in the lips. In medical terms, this condition is referred to as lip paresthesia. It is not always a very serious issue but it causes a lot of discomfort mainly because the lip area is highly sensitive.
The triggers behind tingling is as varied as allergic reactions to infections to nutritional deficiencies. Following are some of the most commonly found causes of tingling lips:
Allergy: Whenever the lips come in contact with some toxic substances or allergens, there is a chance that you will get a tingling sensation on them. The allergens may come in the form of pollens, chemicals present in cosmetics, soaps, medicines or certain food components. Poisons include toxic fumes, pesticides, cleaning agents used in household, etc. This may last for a few minutes to few hours. Other accompanying symptoms are lip swelling, itchiness in and around the mouth and inside the throat. In some serious cases, shortness of breath, hives, nausea and dizziness are also observed.
Peripheral Neuropathy: This is a form of sensory nerve damage that causes numbness in various parts of the body including the lips. Most of the time, it starts with legs and then it moves up and affects other parts of the body. Usually, this particular symptom shows up during the nighttime. Diabetes is one of the key reasons that can lead to damage in the sensory nerves.
Raynaud's Phenomenon: This is a condition where the blood vessels near the surface of the skin become narrow on exposure to very low temperature. As a result, prickling sensation, spasms and pain are felt in the exposed area. Sometimes, the skin turns pale white or blue in color due to this problem. It mostly affects the lips, feet, hands, face and earlobe. In some cases, Raynaud's syndrome is a symptom of other underlying health condition like lupus.
Panic Attack: During a panic attack or in a stressful condition, a person tends to breathe heavily and rapidly. As a result, a large amount of carbon dioxide is lost from the blood which in turn aggravates the anxiety symptoms further. This is known as hyperventilation and it can trigger a tingling sensation in lips, feet and hands along with painful twitching of the muscles.
Other Causes: Tingling lips can also be a symptom of low levels of essential minerals like potassium, calcium and phosphate in the body. Other symptoms of mineral deficiency are prickling tongue, nose and ears and muscle spasms. Infections like herpes, leprosy, multiple sclerosis, seafood poisoning, side effects of medicines, excessive alcohol consumption are the other major causes.
Since tingling is a symptom and not a disease, its actual cause has to be identified and treated properly in order to get relief from it. Once the underlying health condition is cured, this annoying symptom will disappear on its own.
- If tingling sensation in lips is caused by allergies, then the specific allergen need to be avoided altogether. Sometimes, antihistamines are prescribed for allergy relief.
- When diabetes is the cause of peripheral neuropathy, the blood sugar levels should be controlled with the help of medicines and proper diet.
- Nutritional deficiencies are treated with suitable dietary supplements and healthy foods.
- Those who are prone to frequent panic attacks are advised to practice yoga or other relaxation techniques to reduce their mental stress.
- There are several herbal remedies available for herpes which can be used to eliminate the viral infection fast.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.