What kind of allergy causes swollen lips

The swelling will generally get better by itself in a few days, but there are treatments that can assist it settle faster and reduce the risk of it happening again.

The treatments recommended depend on the type of angioedema you own. For example:

  1. allergic and idiopathic angioedema are generally treated with antihistamines or, occasionally, steroid medicine to reduce the swelling
  2. drug-induced angioedema will generally resolve if you change to a diverse medicine – your doctor will advise you about this
  3. hereditary angioedema cannot be cured, but medicines can assist prevent swelling and quickly treat swelling when it occurs

Angioedema can generally be treated at home, although treatment in hospital may be necessary in serious cases.

Read more about how angioedema is treated.

Sheet final reviewed: 28 August 2019
Next review due: 28 August 2022

5 Possible Swollen Lips Conditions

The list under shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced swollen lips.

What helpful of allergy causes swollen lips

This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Swelling caused by use of an ace inhibitor

ACE Inhibitors are drugs used to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in conditions such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart failure and diabetes. In rare cases, these drugs can cause an allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: shortness of breath, swollen face, trouble swallowing, swollen lips, swollen tongue

Symptoms that never happen with swelling caused by use of an ace inhibitor: hives, red swollen bumps or patches with a pale center

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

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Allergic reaction (not life-threatening)

When the body encounters a harmful substance, it responds with inflammation and swelling that can be protective.

What helpful of allergy causes swollen lips

In numerous individuals, the body responds this way to substances that are not normally harmful, love foods or pollen. This is the basis of allergy, or Type 1 Hypersensitivity.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: swollen face, swollen lips, lip numbness, hives, red swollen bumps or patches with a pale middle, lip redness

Symptoms that never happen with allergic reaction (not life-threatening): shortness of breath, throat itching

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Angioedema is a condition which can cause swelling and puffiness of the face, mouth, tongue, hand or genitals.

It is often related to an allergic reaction to food, medicines or insect bites.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: nausea or vomiting, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), diarrhea, swollen face, hand swelling

Urgency: Hospital emergency room


Hypothyroidism, or "underactive thyroid," means that the thyroid gland in the neck does not produce enough of its hormones.

This causes a slowing of the body's metabolism.

The condition can happen due to autoimmune disease; any surgery or radiation treatment to the thyroid gland; some medications; pregnancy; or consuming too much or too little iodine.

What helpful of allergy causes swollen lips

It is often found among older women with a family history of the disease.

Common symptoms include fatigue, constantly feeling freezing, weight acquire, slow heart rate, and depression. If left untreated, these and other symptoms can worsen until they lead to extremely low blood pressure and body temperature, and even coma.

Diagnosis is made through a simple blood test.

Hypothyroidism is easily managed with daily oral medication.

What helpful of allergy causes swollen lips

The patient generally starts feeling better after a couple of weeks and may even lose some additional weight. It's significant for the patient to be monitored by a doctor and own routine blood testing so that the medication can be kept at the correct levels.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight acquire, muscle aches

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition most commonly caused by an allergic reaction. In anaphylaxis, two types of immune cells — mast cells and basophils — are suddenly activated and release numerous inflammatory substances that cause blood vessels to dilate and become leaky, which can lead to low …

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Several conditions can cause swollen lips.

What helpful of allergy causes swollen lips

While some of these conditions can be serious or even life-threatening, others may resolve on their own. You should see your doctor any time that the swelling cannot be explained, does not improve after a few days, is accompanied by difficulty breathing, or if you suspect any of the life-threatening conditions covered below.


Swollen lips are a characteristic of oral allergy syndrome (OAS), a cross-reactive type allergy in which certain foods trigger a tingling mouth and allergic inflammation when eaten. Rarely is OAS is considered serious and generally resolves on its own after a few minutes or an hour or so.

Angioedema is another more concerning allergic reaction related to something you've eaten, an insect bite, pollen allergies, or a medication you've taken.

What helpful of allergy causes swollen lips

It causes swelling of the lips, face, and tongue, which generally occurs rapidly. It can also sometimes be accompanied by redness or bumps (hives). Due to the swelling, you may own difficulty talking.

Angioedema emergencies can be treated with epinephrine—known as a "sympathomimetic" drug that stimulates alpha and beta adrenergic receptors.

If you own had this type of reaction, you should carry epinephrine (EpiPen) or a single-dose epinephrine syringe (Symjepi) with you in case of an emergency.

When to get medical advice

See your GP if you own episodes of swelling that affect your skin or lips and you’re not certain of the cause.

What helpful of allergy causes swollen lips

You may need to own some tests to determine the cause. Read more about tests for angioedema.

Dial 999 for an ambulance if you, or someone with you, has swelling and:

  1. sudden or worsening breathing problems 
  2. feels faint or dizzy
  3. passes out or collapses 

These are signs of a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). If you, or the person who’s ill, own been prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector for this, use it while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Symptoms of angioedema

The swelling most often affects the:

  1. feet
  2. hands
  3. area around the eyes
  4. lips and tongue
  5. genitals

Many people also own a raised, itchy rash called urticaria (hives).

In more serious cases, angioedema can also cause breathing difficulties, tummy (abdominal) pain and dizziness.

Read more about the symptoms of angioedema.

Causes of angioedema

There are several diverse types of angioedema, each of which has a diverse cause.

It can be caused by:

  1. an allergic reaction, such as a food allergy – this is known as allergic angioedema
  2. a medicine, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for high blood pressure – this is known as drug-induced angioedema
  3. a genetic fault that you inherit from your parents – this is a rare, lifelong condition that usually starts in childhood called hereditary angioedema

But in numerous cases, it’s not clear what causes angioedema.

This is known as idiopathic angioedema.

Read more about the causes of angioedema.


Trauma to the face or lips—for example, burning your lips on boiling food or being hit in the mouth—can cause swelling. In minor cases, the swelling can generally be controlled using a freezing pack and will resolve in a few days.

If the injury occurred more than 24 hours earlier, your doctor will likely not be capable to apply stitches, especially if the wound is overly swollen or at risk of infection. In this case, your physician will clean your wound and schedule a repair in a couple of days.

If stitches are shut to your lips, you should follow these care guidelines:

  • Eat a soft diet for two to three days.
  • Avoid spices in your food until the wound is healed.
  • Rinse your mouth with water area every meal to remove debris from the wound
  • Do not drink with a straw as the sucking motion creates negative pressure that can damage the repair.


What kind of allergy causes swollen lips