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Lip swelling: causes and what to do


Plump lips look beautiful, but if the effect was caused by any disease, then I want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Puffiness is not only an external defect, but can pose a threat to health. Therefore, it is so important to find out what caused the problem and begin treatment. In some cases, only the doctor will tell you exactly what to do if the lip is swollen. And sometimes, eliminating puffiness will come out on its own.

Swelling of the lower and upper lip is also called edema. One of the reasons for this phenomenon may be an inflammatory process. Lip augmentation in size occurs due to the accumulation of fluid in the tissues.

Swelling of the lips is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • fluid bubbles
  • cracked lips
  • lip color change,
  • deterioration of general well-being, increased fatigue, apathy,
  • fever, chills,
  • the appearance of pustules and ulcers,
  • itchy eyes
  • runny nose.

The essence of the problem, the reasons

The reasons why the lips can swell are different. First of all, the following violations cause such a defect:

  • inflammatory process,
  • allergy,
  • penetration of an infection or virus into the body,
  • mechanical damage during piercing or tattooing,
  • gum disease
  • herpes,
  • malignant neoplasms,
  • trauma due to dental intervention.

Often the cause of a swollen lip is an inflammatory process. In this case, suppuration, the appearance of an ulcer and an unpleasant odor are possible. Affected areas hurt. If measures are not taken in time and treatment is not started, a large amount of pus can accumulate in the tissues, which cannot be removed without surgical intervention.

Another common cause of lip augmentation is the presence of infection. In this case, the temperature often rises and the general condition worsens. The main culprits:

  • fungal infection
  • herpes,
  • bacterial infection.

It is necessary to consult a doctor and treat the infection itself. This is the only way to cope with the swelling of the lips.

Lip swelling often causes dental intervention, especially if the doctor acted unprofessionally. One of the complications is periostitis - severe inflammation of the periosteum. The lip swells with poor antiseptic treatment. Swelling may occur due to improperly installed fillings. A concomitant sign is gum redness, which eventually spreads to the lips.

The upper lip swells when you are allergic to anything. The reason for this reaction is often:

  • a drug
  • food products
  • contact dermatitis
  • fluff, dust, plant pollen or wool,
  • allergy to bites of weaves, wasps and other insects.

Any mechanical damage to the tissues can cause the upper lip to swell. These injuries include:

  • damage due to surgery
  • injuries caused by a dental instrument,
  • mechanical dissection or blunt bump,
  • cosmetic procedures on the face in the lips,
  • burn when eating hot food,
  • lip augmentation by introducing chemicals into them,
  • sunburn,
  • lip surgery
  • tattoo and piercing.

Finding out the cause, you can proceed to treatment.

What to do and how to relieve swelling?

If the lip is suddenly swollen, then first aid is necessary at home:

  • A tissue moistened with cold water is applied to the lip. The compress is held for at least a quarter of an hour. It will relieve pain and slightly relieve swelling.
  • Make a compress of aloe leaf. It must be cut lengthwise and applied to the sore lip so that it contacts the juice. Substances that contain aloe will help eliminate inflammation and pain. They will remove the swelling of the lips and have a disinfecting effect.
  • If the lips are swollen, it seems, for no reason, then the tea bag will remove the inflammation. It is briefly dipped in hot water and allowed to cool, and then applied to a sore spot and kept for some time. This compress relieves swelling of the lips and reduces pain.

This is only the first stage, facilitating the patient’s condition, not eliminating the cause of lip inflammation completely.

Treatment is prescribed after detecting the culprit of the swelling. A lip that is swollen is treated with an antiseptic, for example, hydrogen peroxide. This is especially important if there are wounds. After that, they burn her with iodine. If the site of the lesion remains unchanged and does not dry out, then it is better to seek qualified help from a doctor.

1. For allergies, you need to find out the cause of the reaction and eliminate it. Then take an antihistamine, which is prescribed by a specialist. From allergies, such drugs as Suprastin, Diazolin or Claritin are used.

2. In case of inflammation caused by a dental error, it is better to entrust the treatment of the problem to a qualified dentist. Since the lesion is located inside the oral cavity, you cannot do anything on your own. Especially dangerous is inflammation, which is accompanied by an accumulation of pus in the swollen upper lip. After all, it can enter the brain. This is fatal. With periostitis, ointments and rinses will not help, since pus accumulates inside the jaw or periosteum.

3. Injury, bruising of the upper lip due to a blow is often accompanied by the development of bruising, a hematoma occurs. In order to prevent it, a compress is made of ice cubes wrapped in a napkin from the freezer. Apply to lips for about 15 minutes. You can’t keep ice for a long time. At the same time, it must be wrapped up in something to prevent hypothermia.

4. Alternatively, apply a bottle of cold water to a lip that is swollen. The procedure is repeated several times until the swelling subsides. In this case, the bruise can be avoided.

5. At the pharmacy you can buy a badyagi. It is used for hematomas and bruises on the face and body. If it is a powder, then it is diluted with water. The finished gel-like mass is also for sale. It is applied in the form of compresses to the affected area, and after a while the tumor on the lower and upper lip will decline, and their size will normalize. Antiseptic agents are applied to the affected area several times a day for the purpose of disinfection. These drugs include Actovegin, Chlorhexidine, Miramistin. At home, use essential oils, such as tea tree. After treating the wounds, a bactericidal patch should be glued.

6. If the cause of the inflammation is a cosmetic effect, such as tattooing, then the swelling is most likely caused by non-compliance with the recommendations of a specialist in lip care. At first, you will have to refrain from eating food and smoking to prevent the penetration of infection into the wound. After the tissue is restored, it will be possible to lead a familiar lifestyle.

7. But if the inflammation has not passed, then there is a bacterial infection. Herpes virus or fungus may have been introduced during the procedure. In this case, you should consult a doctor so that he prescribes the appropriate drug.

For infections accompanied by pain and ulcerative lesions of the lip mucosa, antiviral agents are prescribed, such as Remantadin, Tamiflu, Arbidol, Viburkol. When a herpes virus is detected, ointments such as Acyc, Gerpevir or Acyclovir are prescribed. They eliminate inflammation, dry the wound, acting directly on the lesion.

In any case, if the lip simply swells, it is advisable to provide the patient with first aid. And before starting treatment - be sure to find out the cause of swelling of the lips. It is best to consult a specialist.

Post-traumatic swelling

Most often, if the lips are swollen, the cause is an injury:

  1. Mechanical. This includes the habit of biting your lips, bruising, piercing and tattooing.
  2. Thermal. It occurs due to a burn of the mucous membrane or skin. For example, when drinking too hot drinks or foods.
  3. Chemical. A swelling appears after contact with chemicals - acids or alkalis, as well as poisons that have gotten bitten by insects.

It’s easy to make a diagnosis - you need to establish that the day before the injury occurred (piercing, bruising, tattooing, burns, etc.). In addition to edema, the consequences of traumatic injuries are determined - hematomas, defects, pain.

Allergic reaction

Swelling of the lips can cause a severe allergic reaction - Quincke's edema. This is a condition that threatens a person’s life.

The disease is characterized by sudden swelling of the lips, perioral region and face. Symptoms come in contact with an allergen. Can provoke edema:

  • insect bite - bees, wasps, bumblebees,
  • food products (especially nuts, citrus fruits, strawberries),
  • medications
  • cosmetics.

The disease is often accompanied by other symptoms - numbness, itching in the edematous region.

In severe cases, there is swelling of the respiratory tract, which is manifested by respiratory failure, hoarseness, suffocation. With the development of these symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Another common cause of edema is recurrent herpes. Herpes often develops in areas that contain a lot of loose connective tissue. The acute development of symptoms is characteristic. The main symptom of herpes is a rash in the form of vesicles. Additionally, puffiness appears in the areas of rash. After 2-3 days, the bubbles burst, painful erosion appears in their place.

Herpes is a chronic disease, so even after treatment, the symptoms appear again. This is facilitated by hypothermia, systemic infections, and a decrease in immunity.


Erysipelas are characterized by both local and general symptoms. The cause of erysipelas is beta-hemolytic streptococcus. Local symptoms include:

  • swelling of the lips and face,
  • skin redness
  • sharp pain
  • clear boundaries between healthy and diseased tissue.

Other skin areas, such as the lower limbs, may be affected. Often common symptoms come to the fore - fever, weakness, chills, headache.

Causes of edema of the upper lip

Edema is a reaction of the body to any stimulus and mechanical effect. Symptom may also mean the development of certain diseases.

The main causes of edema of the upper lip.

Allergic reaction . It is characterized by hypersensitivity to one or another irritant (dust, pollen, animal hair, medications, food, etc.). The reaction occurs immediately after contact with the allergen or after 3-6 hours. In addition, accompanying symptoms in the form of lacrimation, runny nose, redness of the eyes are observed.

Poor decorative cosmetics, hygiene violations.

Dental diseases, stomatitis, teething, flux. If along with the upper lip the cheek swells, then the main cause of the symptom is periodontitis. The disease is a complication of tooth injuries, caries and poorly performed dental procedures. As a result, the inflammatory process passes to the cheek and lip. In this case, severe pain is felt in the area of ​​the affected tooth, there is swelling of the gums, an increase in body temperature.

Infectious or viral disease against a background of high body temperature, the effects of hypothermia, frostbite, hot weather.

Neuritis of the facial nerve. It is accompanied by edema and numbness of the upper lip.

Surgery (plastic on the face) and injuries (biting the upper lip, damage to the lips with a toothpick, dental floss, piercing, burn).

If the edema of the upper lip is accompanied by pain, then, possibly, an inflammatory process develops due to trauma, the presence of ulcers, cystic acne, wounds, abrasions. Pain can be associated with an infectious process. After all, abrasions, open wounds are an excellent environment for the entry and reproduction of microbes. In addition to edema and pain, the patient there is an increase in body temperature, numbness of the skin, unpleasant odor from the oral cavity. If you do not start treatment in time, the inflammatory process will go to neighboring tissues and lead to complications.

When the upper lip is swollen, periostitis develops from the inside - inflammatory process in the periosteum and bone jaw tissues. Complicated by suppuration, abscesses, tissue necrosis. The causes of the disease are insufficient dental procedures, improper antiseptic treatment, installation of a seal. Edema of the lips is accompanied by redness and swelling of the gums.

In children, a symptom may appear due to the development of stomatitis, an allergic reaction, pathological lesions of the teeth and gums, bruise, and malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract.

Complicated caries

Swelling of the surrounding tissue can occur as a complication of caries. For example, with purulent periodontitis, pulpitis.

A distinctive feature is toothache, which occurred a few days before the swelling. In addition to edema, soreness, redness of the mucous membrane and skin, as well as general signs of inflammation - an increase in body temperature, an increase in regional lymph nodes are determined.

Causes of swelling of the lower lip

As in the case of the upper lip, the causes of lower edema become such.

Pathological factors include diseases of an infectious and non-infectious nature. It:

ARVI, ARI, herpes,

cheilitis (a rare inflammatory disease of the mucous membrane and red border of the lips),

An allergic reaction manifests itself in food, medicine, cosmetics. It is accompanied by edema and numbness of the lower lip.

Traumatic factors include:

constant lip biting

ultraviolet burn after eating hot drinks and food,

bump, scratch, puncture,

piercing, tattooing, permanent makeup, surgery, anesthesia.

Leads to edema lower lip Vitamin B and C deficiency . Vitamin deficiency occurs due to starvation, adherence to strict one-component diets.

An increase in the area under the lip can indicate the development of aphthous stomatitis (inflammation of the oral mucosa), fibroma (benign neoplasm), angioedema (Quincke).

If the edema touched both the lips and the chin, then this indicates an abscess of the lower jaw caused by trauma to the tooth pulp.

Swelling of the inside of the lip indicates obstruction of the salivary glands. A symptom appears with frequent biting of the cheeks, lips, and the presence of piercings.

The cause of swelling of the lips can be fluid retention in the body (usually observed during pregnancy), blood transfusion, diseases of the liver, kidneys, heart and blood vessels. In this case, the symptom extends not only to the lower, but also to the upper lip.

Rare diseases

The cause of swelling of the lips can be such rare diseases as trophydem Maige, Melkerssson-Rosenthal syndrome.

Trofedem Maige is hereditary and manifests itself at a young age. Symptoms develop quickly, have the following features:

  • swelling of the lips combined with swelling of the face and legs,
  • swelling persists for a short time (2-3 hours),
  • swelling increases after exercise.

Common symptoms are also characteristic - weakness, increased fatigue, numbness, paresthesia.

Melkerssson's syndromeRosenthal characterized by a triad of symptoms:

  • lip augmentation (often the upper, less often the syndrome is the cause of edema of the lower lip),
  • facial nerve neuritis,
  • folded tongue.

Diseases are rare, but if other causes are excluded, you should think about these diagnoses.

How to quickly remove edema?

Edema caused by bruising or trauma (without cracks, abrasions) is eliminated with applying a cold compressnecessarily wrapped in a clean cloth. Hold it for a quarter of an hour. The compress allows you to slow down the flow of blood to the damaged area and quickly relieve swelling, relieve pain.

How to remove lip edema in the presence of abrasions and wounds? A fresh aloe leaf is used. It is cut in several places and applied to the sore lip for 5-7 minutes. The plant will relieve inflammation, disinfect and remove swelling.

A warm tea bag, tea tree oil will help return the lip to its original appearance.

All these manipulations are performed immediately after the appearance of swelling and serve as elements of first aid.

Drug treatment

Treatment depends on the cause of the symptom.

Edema caused by infection of a wound, abrasion, pimple is first treated with antiseptics - hydrogen peroxide, iodine solution, Chlorhexidine. Then, anti-inflammatory ointments are applied to the affected area - tetracycline, erythromycin, oxolinic, as well as Flucinar and Sinalar.

The swelling resulting from an allergic reaction is treated with antihistamines - Zodak, Zirtek, Cetrin, Suprastin. As local therapy, antipruritic, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory ointments are used. Suitable for these purposes are Flucinar, Prednisolone, Fluorocort.

After injections for lip augmentation or permanent makeup, it is recommended to apply a cold compress for 2-3 days.

If the cause is fluid retention in the body, diuretics or diuretics are taken.

Hematomas and bruises that lead to swelling on the lip will cure badiagi. Её смешивают с водой и наносят на отёкшую область (или приобретают уже готовый гель). Для этих же целей подходит Синяк офф, Лиотон, Спасатель, Троксевазин.

A burn on the lip, which caused swelling, is treated with Levomekol ointment. She will disinfect the affected area, stop the pain. As a burn-removing ointment, Solcoseryl, Rescuer are used. Necessarily burnt area is regularly treated with antiseptic drugs.

Stomatitis and other inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity are treated with an antiseptic rinse the mouth (Furacilina, Chlorhexidine, a solution of 1% Clotrimazole, Miramistin, a weak solution of manganese). Also used for therapy is the spray Stomatidin, Lugol, Hexoral. They are also good antiseptics. To combat bacteria, fungi and viruses, gel Holisal, Viferon, Lidochlor, Komistad is used. Means eliminate inflammation, stop pain and fight microbes in the oral cavity.

If the cause of edema is herpes, then antiviral drugs and ointments are prescribed. Usually, swelling is accompanied by itching and tingling. Then redness and small blisters appear, combining with each other. It occurs due to the weakening of immune functions. It is not possible to completely overcome the virus and remove its cells from the body. However, there are tools that will help achieve long-term remission. This: ointment Acyclovir, Zovirax, Herpevir. They have not only an antiviral effect, but also quickly relieve itching, burning, eliminate inflammation and pain. In order to quickly regenerate tissues, Bepanthenol, Solcoseryl are prescribed. Important here are measures to strengthen immunity.

Ointments are applied to the lip by soaking them with sterile gauze or bandage. This will prevent the product from entering the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract.

If a tumor is detected on the lip, it is better to go to the doctor and undergo an examination. Based on the results, the doctor will determine the cause of the symptom and prescribe treatment.


Preventive measures are as follows.

The first thing to do is to take measures to strengthen the immune system - eat right, don’t be nervous, play sports, get rid of addictions, relax more. This is opposed to the development of infectious diseases.

Choose a beautician, dentist with special care, contact only trusted clinics.

Do not touch the wounds on the lip with dirty hands.

If there is a tendency to allergies, then decorative cosmetics and other lip products should be purchased marked "hypoallergenic" or "for sensitive skin."

Avoid overcooling and overheating.

Drink plenty of water.

The menu includes foods rich in vitamins B6, C, B12.

After cosmetic procedures, follow all the recommendations of doctors.

Undergo a medical examination once every six months.

Edema of the lip occurs for various reasons - allergic, traumatic, pathological. All of them require an urgent examination, otherwise serious complications can not be avoided.

How does the symptom manifest

With various diseases, swelling can manifest itself in different ways. But there is a common symptom - lip enlargement, swelling, skin tightness.

In this case, the swelling can have different localization:

  • upper or lower lip only
  • symmetrical damage to both lips,
  • focal swelling - a tumor appears on a small area of ​​one lip.

In addition, redness, vesicles, suppuration may appear on the mucous membrane or skin. These signs indicate an inflammatory process.

Specific treatment

The main treatment for puffiness is determined by the cause that led to its development. For each specific disease, treatment approaches are different. There is no universal method that would relieve edema in all cases.

You must immediately seek medical help, treatment at home will not help. The following drugs are used:

• Antihistamines. Allows you to reduce the symptoms of allergies. At home, you can take Suprastin, Loratadin. Enough 1 tablet per day.

• Glucocorticosteroids. Appointed in severe cases, in a hospital. Prednisolone, Dexamethasone for injection are used.

• Adrenaline. Used intradermally in the development of airway obstruction.

The tactics of treatment depend on the amount of damage. With a slight bruise, shallow wounds, it is enough to apply a cold compress. Puffiness will pass on its own in 3-4 days.

With deeper damage, a compress alone is not enough. The following remedies are recommended:

Chlorhexidine Wound Treatment

Miramistin ointment,

Solcoseryl ointment,

Methyluracil ointment.

If the swelling of the tissues does not go away, and the wound is deep, you need to see a doctor. You may need to stitch.

Etiotropic treatment is prescribed - antiviral drugs:




Usually it is enough to use preparations in the form of ointments. The ointment is applied to the affected area with a thin layer. The frequency of application is 5-6 times a day. Apply the ointment for at least 5 days.

In no case should you pierce the bubbles. This can lead to the attachment of bacterial flora, the development of purulent inflammation.

The main treatment is the use of antibacterial agents. Antibiotics are prescribed from the group of penicillins or macrolides:




Additionally, local treatment is used - treatment with antiseptic solutions. In the formation of erosion, dressings are used with a solution of furatsilina, chlorophyllipt. At the granulation stage, the surface is smeared with methyluracil ointment to speed healing.

Purulent processes in the oral cavity

Treatment at home is ineffective, you should contact your dentist and carry out oral sanitation. In severe cases, antibiotics are prescribed. Swelling will pass after eliminating the cause of inflammation.

Folk remedies

If puffiness arose suddenly, and there is no possibility to immediately see a doctor, you can use folk remedies. They will help relieve swelling, but they will not completely relieve the disease.

What can be used at home:

  1. Aloe. Aloe juice has anti-inflammatory and decongestant effects. A cotton pad should be moistened in juice and applied to the swollen area for 30 minutes.
  2. Soda. Baking soda should be diluted with water in equal amounts. The resulting slurry is applied to the site of edema for 10 minutes, then washed off with water.
  3. Parsley. A cotton swab or piece of gauze should be moistened in a parsley decoction (1 teaspoon of parsley in 1 cup of water) and applied to the swollen area.
  4. Plantain. The leaves of plantain need to be chopped and applied to the edematous area for 20 minutes.

Cold compresses can be used to relieve puffiness. To do this, a piece of gauze should be moistened in cold water and applied to the lips. You can also use ice, which is applied over the fabric.

We offer you to watch a video on the topic of the article.

Education: Rostov State Medical University, specialty "General Medicine".

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