Swollen Lip: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Swelling of the lips can arise due to different conditions. Trauma or injury to the lip and mouth area is an obvious cause of swollen lips. Allergic reactions, either to foods, medications, or other substances, can often be accompanied by swelling of the lips. This may be accompanied by other allergic symptoms, such as hives and itching. Angioedema is a condition in which there is swelling of the tissue beneath the skin, and this is often concentrated around the eyes and lips. Some infections (such as herpes simplex virus infection) can result in blisters (sometimes referred to as cold sores) and localized swelling of the lips. Infections and inflammatory conditions of the skin can also lead to inflammation and swollen lips (cheilitis). Less commonly, medical conditions or illnesses that affect the entire body may cause lip swelling, sometimes in association with fluid retention or swelling in other areas of the body.

Related Symptoms & Signs

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/20/2018
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