Swollen Upper Lip

Do you occasionally suffer from a swollen upper lip? If you discover it in the morning, could you have injured it while you slept? Or does it just appear from nowhere, with no apparent reason?

Can upper lip swelling be caused by sunburn, pimples, allergies, canker sores, cold sores, insect bites, injuries or infections? How will you treat your inflamed upper lip?

What describes the possible appearance of a swollen upper lip?

Swollen top lips may be only swollen on one side, one spot, half of the lip, on the inside or outside, or over the entire lip. The swelling may appear overnight, during sleep, or suddenly, during the day. This is a problem for many people, adults and children alike.

article-5-pic-1Swollen upper lip

Symptoms of a swollen upper lip

If only your top lip appears swollen, you will probably experience various symptoms and signs. They may be quite mild or somewhat extreme, and they may indicate numerous possible causes.



Some underlying causes result in the same symptoms, so you or your physician may have to do some investigation to discover the reason for your swollen lip. Common symptoms will include:

  • Numbness of upper lip
  • Fat or enlarged lip (distension)
  • Dry & tight lip
  • Lip pain
  • Color changes, including redness
  • Inflammation
  • Itchiness
  • Tingling
  • Bumps filled with pus
  • Discharge of pus
  • Chapped lips
  • Blisters on lips
  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Chills & fever

These aren’t the only swollen upper lip symptoms. You may experience others, depending on the cause. If you experience blue-ing of fingernails, tight throat, rash and hives, swelling of the tongue or breathing difficulties, seek medical attention immediately.

Why is your upper lip swollen?

There is always SOME cause for lip swelling, even if you just wake up one morning and find it. We’ll discuss some common causes.

  • Allergic reaction that causes a swollen upper lip

Allergic reactions are a common cause of lip swelling. They are caused by a variety of allergens that include, but are not limited to, lip care products, pet dander, medicines, latex or some foods. If you are having an allergic reaction, you may also experience symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes or swollen eyes or face.

If you develop a swollen top lip shortly after you eat some specific food, you may have an allergy to the food. Don’t eat that food anymore. You may want to consult your physician to see if you should be tested for other potential allergies.

  • Surgeries, trauma and injury

This is the most common swollen lip cause, and it could be brought about by:

  • Botox
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Restylane injection
  • Injuries from dental braces
  • Burning, with hot food, etc.
  • Kissing
  • Biting your lips
  • Upper lip piercing
  • Dental work
  • Lip surgeries
  • Injury from blunt object hitting the lip

 

  • Pimples and acne

Having a pimple or acne may cause swollen lips, either lower or upper or both. Cystic acne is more painful, with bigger pimples.

  • Lip & mouth infections

Stomatitis and lip infections can cause swelling. Some of these include:

  • Chelitis
  • Angioedema
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Canker sores
  • Cold sores
  • Fever blisters
  • Type 1 herpes simplex

article-5-pic-2Upper inner lip swelling from mouth ulcers

  • Swollen upper lip from hives

Hives or uticaria can also cause upper lip swelling. It is at its most basic a severe allergic reaction that causes a rash, with itchy, raised, red, pale bumps. It affects various parts of the body, including the lips, causing them to swell.

  • Harsh weather, sunburn and sun poisoning

Over-exposure to sunlight can cause a swollen upper lip, as well as cracked and blistered lips. If you are exposed to very cold, dry and windy conditions, these may also lead to lip swelling.

  • Swollen lips that happen during sleep or overnight

Why would your lips be swollen when you wake up in the morning? This indicates that the swelling occurs overnight, while you’re sleeping.

One possible cause for this phenomenon may be hypoxia. It is closely associated with sleep apnea. Alternately, you could have an allergic reaction to the material in your bedding, you might bite your lip while sleeping or you could have gotten an insect bite.

  • Upper lip numbness & swelling

If your lips are numb as well as swollen, it could be due to cellulitis, an infection caused by bacteria that causes warm, swollen, tender, red skin, according to webmd.com. Other causes include:

  • Granulomatous cheilitis
  • Infected piercings up upper frenulum or lip
  • Lip plastic surgeries
  • Dental aesthetics

Other causes for a swollen upper lip include:

  • Herpangina
  • Reaction to a blood transfusion
  • Organ failure
  • Lip cancer
  • Eczema
  • Abscess, possibly after a piercing
  • Ingrown hair, if you shave or wax them

article-5-pic-3Child with half of upper lip swollen

What can cause a sudden swelling of the top lip?

The main source of sudden lip swelling is an allergic reaction to various lip care products, including lip balms, lip gloss or lipstick. You may also have allergies to pet dander, medicine allergies, latex allergy or food allergies.

If you have unexplained swelling on your upper lip without any clear reason, and you haven’t been bitten by any insects, try prescription or OTC antihistamines and see if they improve the condition.

Swollen upper lip frenulum

The most common causes of swelling in the upper lip frenulum include trauma, injury, dental issues, gum disease and injuries to the lip.

Home remedies and treatment for a swollen upper lip

If you have a fat or swollen lip, there are many ways to treat it. Home remedies and medications can heal or cure the lip, or at least help in swelling reduction. Some well-received treatments include:

  • OTC allergy medications
  • Prescription antihistamines
  • Honey
  • Black tea bags
  • Aloe Vera extract
  • Tea tree oil & aloe Vera
  • Witch hazel & salt
  • Turmeric powder
  • Cold compresses
  • Coconut oil

These methods will be helpful in treating swollen upper lip or lower lip, if you want to heal it up and reduce swelling.

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