Merck Manual

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Lip Swelling

By

Bernard J. Hennessy

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

Last review/revision May 2022 | Modified Sep 2022
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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.

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