Merck Manual

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Lip Swelling

By

Bernard J. Hennessy

, DDS, Texas A&M University, College of Dentistry

Reviewed/Revised May 2022 | Modified Sep 2022
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Topic Resources

Spontaneous (ie, nontraumatic) lip swelling is usually painless. Itching may or may not be present. Cheilitis Cheilitis (lip inflammation) Lip inflammation may be generalized, or localized to one or more ulcers or lesions. Although some swelling may be present, the main manifestation is discomfort. Lip swelling with little or no... read more Cheilitis (lip inflammation) sometimes causes lip swelling, but patients typically present because of the painful inflammation and lesions.

By itself, lip swelling is not dangerous. However, when lip swelling is caused by angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is edema of the deep dermis and subcutaneous tissues. It is usually an acute but sometimes a chronic mast cell–mediated reaction caused by exposure to a drug (eg, angiotensin-converting... read more Angioedema , concurrent swelling in the oropharynx and/or lower airways can be fatal.

Lip swelling may be acute or chronic.

Acute lip swelling may be caused by

Chronic lip swelling may occur with

Treatment includes elimination of identified causes and treatment of causative diseases. Corticosteroid ointment or antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine) may be used for allergic lip swelling. Surgical removal of chronic excess lip tissue may have cosmetic benefit.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Drug Name Select Trade
Aid to Sleep, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Aller-G-Time , Altaryl, Banophen , Benadryl, Benadryl Allergy, Benadryl Allergy Children's , Benadryl Allergy Dye Free, Benadryl Allergy Kapgel, Benadryl Allergy Quick Dissolve, Benadryl Allergy Ultratab, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Benadryl Children's Allergy Fastmelt, Benadryl Children's Perfect Measure, Benadryl Itch Stopping, Ben-Tann , Children's Allergy, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Diphedryl , DIPHEN, Diphen AF , Diphenhist, DiphenMax , Dytan, ElixSure Allergy, Genahist , Geri-Dryl, Hydramine, Itch Relief , M-Dryl, Nighttime Sleep Aid, Nytol, PediaCare Children's Allergy, PediaCare Nighttime Cough, PediaClear Children's Cough, PHARBEDRYL, Q-Dryl, Quenalin , Siladryl Allergy, Silphen , Simply Sleep , Sleep Tabs, Sleepinal, Sominex, Sominex Maximum Strength, Theraflu Multi-Symptom Strip, Triaminic Allergy Thin Strip, Triaminic Cough and Runny Nose Strip, Tusstat, Unisom, Uni-Tann, Valu-Dryl , Vanamine PD, Vicks Qlearquil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Vicks ZzzQuil Nightime Sleep-Aid
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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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