What are the Common Causes of Lip Swelling?

Anna T.

Lip swelling is often caused by lip injury, but there are some products that may be applied to the lips to cause them to swell intentionally. These lip swelling products are normally used for cosmetic purposes by people who wish to have plumper-looking lips, but the effects are normally just temporary. People occasionally opt to have collagen injections in their lips to plump them up for longer periods of time than what may be achieved with the use of lip-plumping products, and these injections might cause the lips to swell up to sizes larger than what is desired for the first few days after the injections are done. Allergic reactions to various substances might also cause the lips to swell. Some examples of allergic reactions that could cause swollen lips are bee stings and allergies to certain foods.

An ice pack, which can help reduce lip swelling.
An ice pack, which can help reduce lip swelling.

The most common reason for unintentional lip swelling is likely lip trauma. When a person falls on his face or his lips come in contact with some other type of hard surface accidentally, his lips may bust open and bleed. Once this happens, swelling tends to follow. The lips can stay swollen following an accident like this for days or even weeks depending on the severity of the accident. The use of an ice pack on the injury might reduce the swelling because the cold sensation can cause the blood vessels to constrict.

Collagen injections in the lips may cause lip swelling.
Collagen injections in the lips may cause lip swelling.

Lip plumping products are designed to either make the lips appear fuller or actually make the lips fuller with the use of certain chemicals. Less expensive lip-plumping products rely on shiny gloss and glitters to give lips the appearance of being fuller even though they are not. Other types of lip plumpers contain chemical irritants that might cause a stinging or tingling sensation inside the lips. The irritants are not typically harmful, but they may cause the lips to swell slightly for a few hours. Collagen injections in the lips are also often used to make them appear fuller, but these normally last for several months before the lips lose their plumper-looking appearance.

People who are allergic to bee stings or who have allergies to specific foods, such as fish or peanuts, might occasionally experience lip swelling if they become affected by the things that trigger their allergies. When allergies cause lip swelling, other areas of the body, including the entire face and neck, might swell up as well. Getting the swelling to go away typically depends on the type of allergy. People who are allergic to bee stings may have to take a pill to reduce the swelling. Sometimes antihistamine medications will also eliminate any swelling associated with an allergic reaction.

Allergies may cause the lips to swell.
Allergies may cause the lips to swell.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


There's something in some snack mixes that makes my lips swell. I am not remotely allergic to peanuts, but any trail mix or similar that has peanuts in it, or has a salty component, makes my lips swell. I don't have any other symptoms of an allergic reaction -- just the swollen lips.

I also had the same reaction at a Mexican restaurant with one variety of their salsa. Have not had the reaction with any other salsa, or anything else at a Mexican place -- just with that one salsa. I'm sort of at a loss to understand why this happens, so I just try to stay away from those foods I know will cause the reaction. Still haven't figured out the salsa, though.


I have tried lip plumpers. Hated them! Swollen lips are not attractive. I wasn't sure what they were going to do, but they stung and I didn't think my lips looked all that great. I'll just stick to shiny lip gloss for a fuller look.

Back in the winter, I had a terrible problem with my lips. They were flaky and swollen. I hadn't changed lipstick or anything, so I still don't know why they did that. I tried everything to keep them moisturized. I even bought some pricey coconut oil. I'm glad I got it because it's been great for other things, but it didn't do much for my lips.

They finally healed up when I got a 99-cent tube of Blistex medicated lip balm. I got relief almost immediately. By the next day, my lips were almost back to normal. I don't know what it did, but it worked!

Post your comments
Forgot password?