Swollen lip

A swollen lip (or lip edema) may be caused by fluid retention or inflammation of the lip.

The lips are among the most sensitive parts of the body.

The outermost skin layer of the lips is much finer compared to the skin layers of the rest of the body.

A blow or contact with an allergen or irritant can cause swollen lips.


Causes of lip swelling

The most common causes of swollen lips are:

1Allergy is a common cause of swelling on the lips, especially in children and infants.

  • Latex allergy. Direct contact with latex can irritate the skin and cause swelling, itching or rashes.
    The contact can come about through balloons, some children’s toys or gloves.
  • Allergy to penicillin, which is contained in antibiotics.
  • Food allergy to eggs, fish, crustaceans, nuts, oil, soy or milk.
  • Allergy to cosmetics can be caused by some lip gloss, lipsticks or lip balm.
  • Insect bite (mosquito, vesp), which can suddenly lead to an allergic reaction.

Some people have swollen lips the morning after awakening due to an allergic reaction. It is therefore important to look for the cause.

2. Blow or lesion

  • Anyone who has experienced trauma to the lips or face (for example, an elbow rumble or punch) may develop swelling.
  • Waxing is another cause of swelling and redness of the lips.
  • Rarely, a bite on the lip can cause swelling, but in some cases it causes a skin injury and aphthae inside the lip.

3. Burnt or chapped lips
Sunburn on the face and lips can cause swelling (edema).
Chapped lips can cause swelling. The main causes of cracking are:

  • excessive wetting or licking of the lips,
  • windy and dry climate,
  • too much sun.

4. Nutrient deficiency
Sometimes lip swelling can be caused by nutrient deficiencies, especially if there is a lack of vitamins from the B complex. If the corners of the mouth are swollen and torn, this could be an indication of vitamin deficiency.

5. Herpes labialis Herpes labialis
is a viral infection that leads to the formation of fluid-filled blisters. The blisters can be around or on the lips. Cold sores are caused by the virus herpes simplex type 1. Those who suffer from this disease, whose lips are inflamed and even a slight pressure causes mild to moderate pain.

6. Other causes

  • Angioedema is swelling that can be caused by an allergic reaction to food, pollen, insect bites or medications. Often, however, the cause is unknown.
    The swelling may affect:

  • Infection. Infections caused by fungi, bacteria or viruses can cause lip swelling. If the lips are brittle, infections can enter the lips through the resulting skin openings.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women suffer from fluid retention, which can lead to lip swelling.
  • Heart and kidney failure. Patients with these diseases suffer from generalized edema (swelling of several regions of the body).

Plötzliches Anschwellen der Oberlippe

Wenn eine plötzliche Schwellung der Oberlippe auftritt, sind die wahrscheinlichsten Ursachen:

  • Insektenstiche,
  • Food allergy.

To reduce the swelling, you can put a few ice cubes in a paper napkin or cloth and press against the lip at intervals of 20 minutes. If the swelling does not pass, a doctor should be consulted.

Nocturnal lip swelling

A swollen and painful lip can be caused by allergy-related urticaria.
When occurring at night, the allergy may be caused by:

  • the feathers in the pillow,
  • the detergent with which the bed linen was washed.

During sleep, minor lip traumas can be caused by:

  • unwanted bites,
  • Friction on the pillow.

Another cause may be a condition called idiopathic angioedema.

Swollen lip after local anesthesia at the dentist

local anesthetic does not block all nerve conductions, only the pain fibers. It’s like a very strong painkiller applied locally, so you can still feel something like:

  • Cold
  • Heat
  • Pressure
  • Tingle.

Is it possible to get lip swelling from the injection?
Swelling by injection is very rare, so you have to talk to the dentist about it.

There are several causes of inflammation of the lip, including:

  • Allergy to the latex gloves worn by the dentist.
    This would explain why there is lip swelling.
  • A reaction to one of the components used in the material used by dentistry.
    Some materials can cause a burning sensation on the lip, but they do not cause swelling of both lips.
  • Allergy to the local anesthetic (rare).

How long does lip swelling last? When does it pass?
The feeling of a swollen and asleep lip depends on the amount of anesthetic used, but usually it only takes a few hours.

Concomitant symptoms of
lip swelling

Often, lip swelling occurs along with other symptoms according to the underlying condition, for example:

  • Decreased sensitivity
  • Feeling warm

Swollen lip due to infection
Lip swelling due to infection can occur together with:

Swollen lip due to cold sores

  1. Bubbles and bubbles
  2. Chapped lips
  3. Wounds of the skin or pus-filled bumps

Swollen lip due to trauma

  1. Variations in lip color, which can turn purple
  2. Ache

Swollen lip due to allergy

  1. Itch
  2. Erythema
  3. Eye swelling
  4. Fatigue
  5. Fever and chills
  6. Headache
  7. Pimples (rash))
  8. Lacrimation, itching of the eyes
  9. Nasal congestion.

How can the lip be decongested?

Treatment for swollen upper and lower lip
The following medicines are used to treat lip swelling and underlying medical conditions:

  1. antihistamines (in case of allergy);
  2. anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal drugs (for example, alrheumun or ibuprofen);
  3. adrenaline injections in case of strong allergic reactions;
  4. locally applied antiviral agents for cold sores.

Natural and home remedies for swollen lip

Cold envelopes
Wrap a few ice cubes in a towel.
Apply this cold compress to the swollen lip.
Alternatively, place a tablespoon in the freezer for some time and then gently press it on the lips.

Hot compresses
Place a towel moistened in hot water on the lips for 10-15 minutes.
These compresses are helpful if the cause of the swelling is an injury.

Salt and witch hazel: A mixture of witch hazel extract and salt in a ratio of 2:1 helps reduce swelling.
This mixture must remain on the lips for about 15-20 minutes, after which it must be rinsed with cold water.

Turmeric and bleaching earth: Another effective remedy is the application of a mixture of:

  • 100 g turmeric powder,
  • 100 g bleaching earth,
  • 50 ml of water.


  • Apply the mixture to the lips.
  • Leave on for 10 minutes.
  • Wash off with lukewarm water.

Turmeric has an antiseptic effect and promotes scarring.
Bleaching earth is a clay and has cooling properties that make it easier to decongest.
You can also add a teaspoon of honey to this mixture to prevent the lips from drying out due to turmeric and bleaching earth.

Tea bags: Immerse a tea bag in hot water for a few minutes.
Remove the tea bag and allow to cool. Then place it on your lips for a few minutes.
For a rapid swelling of the lip, it is recommended to repeat this measure several times a day.
Apply a medicated balm to the lips to prevent dry lips.

Aloe vera and tea tree oil: A mixture of 25 ml aloe vera gel and 3-4 drops of tea tree oil soothes inflammation of the lips.
Apply this paste to swollen lips, massage in and allow to dry. Then rinse with cold water. You can do this procedure a few times a day if the swelling does not pass.

Potatoes: They can promote swelling.

  • Grate a potato.
  • Squeeze out the juice.
  • Apply the potato juice to the swelling to reduce inflammation.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is effective for treating skin injuries.
It prevents excessive drying of the skin and relieves inflammation and swelling.
Apply a layer of coconut oil to the lips 3 to 4 times a day.

Sodium bicarbonate: If the swelling is the result of an insect bite, sodium bicarbonate is very useful.

Mix together:

  • 3 teaspoons sodium bicarbonate,
  • 1 teaspoon of water.

Apply this mixture several times a day until the swelling has passed.

Salt water: If the cause of the swelling is a possible lip injury, lukewarm salt water can reduce the swelling.

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • dissolve in a cup of water.

Apply the solution several times a day with a cotton ball.
The skin injury is healed faster, but a burning sensation may occur.

Honey: This food has antibacterial and healing properties.
Honey can cure swollen lips very effectively in a short time.


  • Put about a teaspoon of honey on a cotton ball.
  • Apply directly to the lips.
  • Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
  • Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.

Honey moisturizes the lips and prevents infections.
This remedy also reduces inflammation and pain that occurs with swollen lips.

Tea tree oil: One of the best remedies if you suffer from swollen lips.
It is important never to use the tea tree oil pure, as it burns on the skin.
It must be used diluted:

  • Put 5 drops of tea tree oil in a small cup.
  • Dilute with 10 drops of other oil, for example with almond oil
  • Then apply this mixture to the lips with cotton wool.

It is a natural remedy for:

  • Subside
  • Moisturizing and disinfecting the lips.

It also alleviates pain and inflammation.

Lip piercing
How long is the lip swollen after a piercing?
As a rule, swelling caused by the punching lasts about 2 weeks, but can also last up to a month.
In some people, the swelling passes after just a few days.
A swollen lip is perfectly normal and is a phenomenon of the healing process.

Recommendation for medication after lip piercing
Following this recommendation is important to prevent the risk of infection.
Since the swelling of the lip caused by piercing is an open wound, the following rules of conduct must be observed until this wound is completely healed:

  • No kisses and oral intercourse.
  • Do not eat hot or very cold foods or things that can irritate the mouth and lips.
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol must be completely avoided.
  • Avoid touching the piercing with dirty hands.

Brushing your teeth and oral hygiene reduce the risk of infection.

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