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Causes of a Swollen Lip

Causes of a Swollen Lip Causes of a Swollen Lip Causes of a Swollen Lip

A swollen lip is often the result of an injury from a car crash or from an after school fight. Swollen lips can also be caused by an allergic reaction to a certain allergen or as simple as a cold sore developing on the outer lip. Treatments for a swollen lip vary depending on the cause of the swelling.

Allergic Reaction

Allergens that come into contact with a person's respiratory tract, skin, nose, eyes and gastrointestinal tract can produce an allergic reaction if the person has an allergy to that allergen. Most allergic reactions are mild; however, others can be life-threatening. According to Medline Plus, the allergic reaction is contained to the body part that came into contact with the allergen. An allergic reaction can produce hives, rashes, itchy, watery and red eyes. A moderate to severe reaction can produce swelling of the lips or tongue, the person may have difficulty breathing or swallowing, redness in the face can occur as well as unconsciousness. For severe allergic reactions, call 911. For mild reactions, a doctor can help identify the allergen and recommend antihistamines.

Lip Lacerations

Lacerations to the lip are often the cause of a fight, car accident or other accident. Lacerations to the lip can cause swelling, bleeding and bruising to the area. According to University of Ottawa, lip lacerations that have torn the skin and the muscle should be repaired or can result in a depression in the scar. Treatment can be a couple of stitches if the cut is small. Or a plastic surgeon may have to perform surgery to repair the skin and muscle if it is torn as well. It is also important to make sure that nerve damage hasn't occurred to the face, which can occur is the laceration is deep enough,

Cold Sores

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are fluid-filled lesions that generally occur on the outside of the lips, but can appear on the nose, fingers and chin. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and go away on their own within two weeks, reports the MayoClinic.com. Signs and symptoms include a tingling or painful sensation around the area a day or two before the blister appears. When the blister appears, it is a red, swollen area with a painful fluid-filled blister. Treatment can include lidocaine to help relive pain, and benzocaine can be used to reduce irritation.

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