What is lip swelling?

Lip swelling is the enlargement or distention of one or both lips due to fluid buildup or inflammation within the lip tissue. Lip swelling may also be referred to as lip edema.

A variety of mild to serious disorders, diseases and conditions can lead to lip swelling. Swelling can result from infections, inflammation, trauma or malignancy (cancer).

Depending on the cause, lip swelling can be brief and disappear quickly, such as when you have sunburned and chapped lips. Lip swelling that develops over time and occurs along with additional symptoms may be a sign of an infection or extensive inflammation.

Because lip swelling and swelling in general may be a sign of a life-threatening condition, such as an anaphylactic reaction, you should seek emergency medical care (call 911) if you experience lip swelling accompanied by difficulty breathing, hives or rash, intense distress, fever, and redness or warmth.


What other symptoms might occur with lip swelling?

Lip swelling may occur with other symptoms depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For example, lip swelling due to infection may be associated with fever, redness, and warmth around the lips.

Symptoms that may occur along with lip swelling

  • Lip swelling may accompany other symptoms including:

  • Blisters
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What causes lip swelling?

Lip swelling can be caused by infection, allergies, or trauma of the lip tissues. Lip swelling can be due to relatively mild conditions, such as sunburn, or serious or life-threatening conditions, such as an anaphylactic reaction, which should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting.

Infectiou... Read more about lip swellingcauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 5, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

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