What Can Cause Puffy Lips?

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  • Written By: Nya Bruce
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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Puffy lips are often the result of allergic reactions. These allergic reactions can lead to a condition that causes short-term swelling to occur beneath the surface of the skin, a condition known as angioedema. Puffy or swollen lips may also be caused by other conditions, such as an infection, injury, or certain hereditary conditions.

Lip swelling is one of the more typical symptoms of angioedema. It frequently develops when a person is having some form of an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can occur as a result of certain foods, drugs, the environment or insect bites. When the body comes into contact with these allergens a chemical called histamines is released. The histamines cause the body to react in a way that can result in puffy lips.

Common food allergies include peanuts, dairy products and shellfish, although any type of food may potentially cause an allergic reaction. In addition to puffy lips, a person may also experience some itching around the mouth. When swelling of the lips occurs after taking medications, it can be a cause for concern. This is a sign that the person is having an allergic response to the drug that was taken and it can occur even if a person has previously taken the medication without any problems. If a person's lips begin to swell after taking medication he should contact a doctor.


Environmental allergies that may cause lip swelling are frequently the same allergens that cause hayfever and other allergic responses. In addition to sneezing, itchy eyes and runny noses, pollen and molds in the air may also cause puffy lips. Other environmental sources that can result in swelling of the lips include household dust and dander, or shed skin, from pets.

Hereditary angioedema is an immune disorder that results in swelling of the face, including the lips. Puffy lips from this condition can be triggered by an illness or certain medical procedures. A person with this condition should pay close attention to his breathing when he notices that his lips have become swollen. Difficulty breathing may be a result of the airways swelling and cutting off his air supply.

During the healing process following lip surgery, lips will often have a puffy appearance. This isn't uncommon and will eventual return to normal. A swollen lip may also indicate the presence of an infection, particularly if the area feels hot or looks inflamed. Injuries, such as being hit in the mouth or having a cut or pierced lip, may also cause the lip to swell.


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Post 3

I had hyaluronic acid filler injected to my lips last month. My lips became so puffy afterward. First, I freaked out because I was worried that it would stay like that forever. But the puffiness slowly went down after a few days.

It's always scary to have cosmetic procedures like this done on the face. Almost all of these procedures leave the face and lips very puffy. It looks bad!

I guess the key is to be patient and wait for the face to go back to normal.

Post 2

@feruze-- Have you had an allergy test done to confirm that you're allergic to cantaloupe?

I have the same reaction to vinegar but I don't think it's an allergy. I think the acid in vinegar irritates my lips and causes puffiness. Plus, I can eat foods like mayonnaise which also have some vinegar without problems. I know the lips are very gentle, it's the thinnest skin layer we have. So I'm guessing that this is the cause of my lip puffiness when I eat vinegar dressing.

Post 1

I get puffy swollen lips from cantaloupe. This is how I found out that I'm allergic to it. Thankfully, I didn't experience swelling anywhere else or I would have gone to the hospital. I completely avoid cantaloupe and melon now.

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