Why do I have swollen lips?

swollen lips

Why do I have swollen lips?

With the number of people with allergies increasing across the world, it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms. This will lead to a faster response and can save lives. Swollen lips are a sign that you could be experiencing an allergic reaction. They can signal a severe reaction, or a milder one, so being aware of other symptoms that come along with swollen lips is useful in determining the action you need to take.

Spotting the signs

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening type of allergic reaction. Other symptoms of anaphylaxis include tightening airways, a swollen tongue, swollen throat, fainting, and a weak or rapid pulse. What is important to note with anaphylaxis is the timescale. These reactions will happen rapidly.

Immediate treatment with medication and contact to the emergency services is often necessary. Swollen lips can be one of the first signs of this type of reaction. Most people who suffer from a severe allergic reaction will know their triggers. They often carry the necessary treatments on their person.

Not an emergency?

Sometimes, even if you don’t think you have any allergies, you can still experience swollen lips. This might lead to confusion about whether your symptoms are a result of contact with an unknown allergen or for an unrelated reason. If you experience them often, without knowing a valid cause, it could point to an allergic reaction. In this case, getting tested for sensitivities to a wide variety of allergens could provide the answer to the cause of your symptoms. If you have banged, cut, burned, or damaged your lip, this could result in non-allergic swelling. In this case, your go-to treatment might be an ice pack.

Allergic swelling of the lip is also known as allergic angioedema. This term includes swelling of other parts of the body too. It is due to the release of histamine in response to an allergic trigger. This causes fluid to leak into the deep layers of skin in your lips which leads to swelling. There is a wide range of allergens that cause swollen lips, but some are more common than others. These include medications like penicillin, other antibiotics, and bites/stings. Food like cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish are notorious for causing allergic angioedema. Also, some people with hay fever may experience swollen lips.

But, people with allergies often experience allergic reactions differently. Swollen anything isn’t fun, so don’t suffer in silence.

The best way to avoid lip swelling and symptoms of an allergic reaction is to avoid the triggering substances. If you don’t know what these substances are, it is wise to book an allergy test to determine your triggers to allow you to live stress-free and safe. At The London Allergy & Immunology Centre, we test for a selection of more than 600 allergens when you book an appointment with one of our consultants.

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