Causes of Swollen Lips
Swelling of the lips can be caused by a variety of different conditions. Some
of the causes of swollen lips include:
- Trauma or injury to the lip and mouth
- Allergic reactions, either to foods, medications, or other substances
- Angioedema (a condition in which there is swelling of the tissue beneath the skin)
- Infections and inflammatory conditions of the skin
- Less commonly, medical conditions or illnesses that affect the entire body
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) definition and facts:
- Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare, autosomal dominant genetic disease that causes
swelling of the skin and tissue just beneath the skin.
- Some symptoms of hereditary angioedema include:
- Swelling of the skin (most common symptom)
- Swelling of the hands and feet
- Muscle aches
- Skin tingling
Abdominal pain (sometimes severe)
- Shortness of breath
- Mood changes
- Laryngeal edema (medical emergency)
- Multiple reoccurrence symptoms
- The cause of hereditary angioedema is due to low production of a C1 inhibitor protein, or
C1-INH, (Type I HAE); or production of a faulty C1 inhibitor protein (Type II
HAE). Type III is an estrogen -dependent form of HAE that is a result of
mutations in the gene for coagulation factor XII.
attacks may be triggered by many different situations including stress, anxiety,
injuries, surgical or dental procedures, certain illnesses, physical activities
(for example mowing the lawn), medications,
menstrual periods, pregnancy and
- HAE is diagnosed by the patient's appearance, family history, blood testing for serum C4
levels, and other complement levels such as C1, C2 and C4. Ultrasound,
scan, and X-rays may demonstrate swelling.
- Treatment for HAE follows the guidelines set out by the World
Allergy Organization (WAO) by using C1-INH or other drugs to treat hereditary angioedema.
- The most dangerous complication of hereditary angioedema is laryngeal edema that leads to shortness of
breath or complete obstruction of the airway within a few hours.
- Tips for managing hereditary angioedema include recommendation for the patient to
carry treatments for acute HAE attacks at all times, and to consider preventative
treatment when encountering a common HAE trigger, for example, a dental
- With early diagnosis, the prognosis for individuals with hereditary
angioedema range from good to fair depending on their individual disease
severity and response to treatment. There is no known cure for HAE
What is hereditary angioedema (HAE)?
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare hereditary disease that causes swelling
with fluid accumulation of the skin and tissues just beneath the skin
(subcutaneous tissue). The disease is unique in each individual. How often the
swelling occurs and how severe it is along with its location is variable. If the
swelling occurs in throat tissue, it can cause a medical emergency as breathing
could be inhibited or stopped by swollen tissue.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/13/2016