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Some women go to great lengths to plump up their lips with everything from topical creams to facial fillers. While the big, pouty look may be attractive when it's desired and controlled, swollen lips that result from an injury or other medical condition aren't so appealing or kissable. Swollen lips can occur from a number of irritants or causes, some of them obvious and some of them subtler.
A rare disease that causes unnaturally large lips is called granulonatous cheilitis. It's very uncommon but it causes the lips to swell and become lumpy. According to DermNet NZ, the condition can result from other medical problems such as Crohns disease, allergies or sarcoidosis. When the bumpy, swollen lips become chronic and continue to appear on a regular basis, the condition is called Miescher-Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, a long name for a disease that strike one or both lips. The cause may ultimately lie in your genes and it can affect people of all ages and races.
You don't have to kiss a poison ivy plant to get hives and swelling on your lips. If the oil from the offending substance to which you are allergic gets on your hands and you touch your face, bam, you're going to get the welts on your lips. Hives usually are not life threatening, but they sure itch and look like heck. Some of the most common irritants in addition to poison ivy that could make your lips swell include foods such as shellfish, peanuts and eggs, as well as pollen, animal dander, and insect bites and stings
While many people might refer to the swollen lips they get from eating shrimp as an allergic reaction, it's really just a food sensitivity. A true allergic reaction could cause anaphylactic shock that also could make your lips swell up, but honey, a lot more will be going on at the same time and you better get some emergency help right away. You'll usually get a warm feeling rush through body before the swelling starts, then you might get a feeling of impending doom before your heart starts racing and you vomit. When you're allergic to something and go into shock, your lips could swell, your throat could close up and you could pass out.
A host of other possibilities could be going on if you get swollen lips. Watch for other signs like a fever or headache to assess your danger. According to MedlinePlus, obesity is a major cause of swollen lips. High blood pressure often causes edema, or a build-up of fluid in your body that results in swelling in various body parts. If you get yourself punched in the mouth, your lips are most likely going to swell. A tooth abscess also could be the culprit. The final word? If you have swollen lips and aren't sure what's going on, get to your doc right away and have her check you out.