If you ever have the misfortune of waking up one fine day only to notice that your lips have swollen to twice or thrice their normal size, you’ll quickly realize how painful and uncomfortable it can be.
With a set of swollen lips, it’s hard to talk, eat, or even open your mouth. Usually, swollen lips are accompanied by a few symptoms that can range from mild to extreme, from pus discharges and dry and tight lips to blisters, itchiness, and inflammation.
Secondary symptoms will typically go away when the swelling subsides, so it is crucial that you work on treating the swollen lips rather than the symptoms. In this article, you’ll learn more about the causes of swollen lips and what home remedies may help to relieve them.
What Causes Swollen Lips?
By far, the most common cause of swollen lips is an allergy. The allergic reaction can be to something you’ve eaten, come in contact with, an insect bite, pollen, or even a medication you’ve taken. If you have never experienced swollen lips before, then your first experience may come as a shock. But, there is a silver lining, however. When you do experience swollen lips due to an allergy, you will be able to pinpoint down what it was that caused the allergic reaction.
Allergies are not the only source of swollen lips. Having severe trauma or injury to your lips can cause them to swell as well. Unlike an allergy, you may need some medication to help alleviate the swelling.
Other Causes of Swollen Lips
Your environment can also play a factor in whether or not you will be dealing with swollen lips. You will find that in harsher weather, you will more likely be dealing with swollen lips. The condition can also because of chapped lips caused by windy, dry, or arid weather. Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections are other leading causes, and they can also lead to redness and soreness of the lips.
Thankfully, this is a condition that can often be managed at home with no visit to the doctor. There are many effective remedies for sore and swollen lips you can implement in the comfort of your home.
10 Remedies for Swollen Lips
Battling swollen lips is not something that you have to put up with. The good news is that if you are dealing with swollen lips, there are plenty of home remedies that you can try to help alleviate some of the swelling.
1. Cold Compress
This one is a no-brainer. A cold compress is effective at managing the swelling as it restricts the blood flow to the area. Besides that, it also numbs the pain. One of the easiest ways to create a makeshift cold compress is to use a cold spoon or a bag of frozen vegetables or meat.
If you have a little time and ice cubes in your freezer, you can wrap the ice cubes in a piece of cloth and use the homemade compress to reduce the swelling. We highly recommend that you follow the second option.
Make sure not to press down too hard on your lips as it might cause further damage. Apply the compress gently for up to 10 minutes at a time.
2. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric powder has been used for ages as it is known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. You can make use of turmeric to bring some much-needed relief to your swollen lips by creating an herbal ointment with it.
All you’ll need is a teaspoon of Fuller’s earth, a pinch of turmeric, and some cold water. Mix these three ingredients and apply copious amounts of the resulting paste all over your lips. Wash it off with lukewarm water after allowing it to dry completely. You can repeat the process up to two times a day.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another powerful age-old remedy that people primarily use to get rid of any ailments concerning the skin. The oil has strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that allow it to gently soothe the lips, keep them nourished, and eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Being an emollient, the oil also moisturizes the lips and prevents dryness and chapping. All you have to do is gently massage a few drops of the oil on the affected area and let it sit for about an hour or two. There is no limit to the number of times you can carry out this remedy.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Another unique and fragrant oil with strong anti-microbial properties,
tea tree oil can treat swelling of the lips due to insect bites. Tea tree essential oil usually comes in very strong concentrations, so you might have to dilute it using carrier oils such as castor oil or sunflower oil before using it directly on your skin.
Once you’ve diluted it, apply the oil to the affected area and wash it off with cold water after 30 minutes. You can follow this treatment around 2 or 3 times per day until the swelling subsides.
5. Black Tea
Black tea is not only a refreshing beverage to consume, but it also has healing properties due to tannin. Tannin is a compound that has astringent properties and can help bring down the swelling of the lips. Soak a black tea bag in warm water for up to 10 minutes, take it out of the water and let it cool.
Once the temperature has gone down, gently place the tea bag over the affected area for another 10 minutes. Again, there’s no limit to the number of times you can use this remedy in a day.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apart from being used in the culinary arts, apple cider vinegar also has a place regarding home remedies due to its ability to act as an antiseptic and reduce inflammation and edema (abnormal fluid buildup).
Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water, soak it up using a cotton ball, and apply it to your lips. After leaving it on for about 2 minutes, rinse the affected area with cold water. You can repeat this process up to 2 times a day.
Honey has been around for centuries now and has been extensively used in cooking, beauty routines, and healthcare. You can make use of this wonder liquid to cure your swollen lips if the swelling results from bacterial infection. Take a tablespoon of honey and a ball of cotton to soak it up.
Apply the honey thoroughly to your lips, leave it on for around 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it off with cold water. Do this a few times a day and your lips will soon be restored to their original size (and well-moisturized).
8. Aloe Vera
Although it might closely resemble a cactus, the aloe vera plant is a part of the lily family and is a succulent plant with exceptional healing and analgesic properties. It can relieve itching, reduce irritation and pain, and give a cool and soothing effect.
Swollen lips can sometimes be accompanied by a strong burning sensation. In that case, applying aloe vera gel on the lips and gently massaging the area can help reduce allergic reactions.
As aloe vera is harmless when ingested, you don’t have to worry about swallowing the gel. It is advised that you reapply the gel up to three times a day for maximum relief.
9. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is a mineral compound (magnesium sulfate) that has been used therapeutically for hundreds of years. As Epsom salts are readily absorbed by the body, they’re effective in providing quick relief to swollen lips. Take a tablespoon of Epsom salt and dissolve it in a cup of warm water.
Dip a washcloth into the solution and place it on the lips for about 15 minutes. The warm Epsom salt water relieves any pain or discomfort you may have and speeds up your body’s natural healing process, reducing the swelling.
Because Epsom salt was designed to be used externally, you want to make sure that you take care not to ingest any of the solution. Doing so can cause more harm than good.
After trying this method several times a day, you are sure to see some improvement.
10. Baking Soda
If the swelling in your lips was caused by fever blisters, an insect bite, or an allergic reaction, then baking soda might be able to help you. Sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda, has extraordinary soothing abilities.
To use this home remedy, mix three tablespoons of baking soda with some water to make a thick paste. Apply this paste over the swollen lips and let it sit for a few minutes. Wash it off with cold water and pat dry. You can repeat this treatment until the swelling subsides completely.
When to See a Professional
If you continue to experience persistent swelling and inflammation in your lips even after trying the multiple home remedies listed above, consult a health care professional as soon as possible.
The swollen lips may be a sign of a deeper issue in your body and properly diagnosing the problem is a part of the solution. If the swelling is a symptom of an underlying disease, not undergoing proper treatment at the right time can permanently damage your lips.
Apart from the lips being swollen, if you notice any discoloration, visit a medical professional right away to reduce any chances of complications.
It is imperative you properly learn to identify the cause of your swollen lips as it can prevent the condition from occurring again. Sometimes, the swelling might not be because of the external factors explained above. Instead, it may be due to bad nutrition or an imbalanced diet.
In that case, incorporating more vitamins and minerals in your diet, particularly vitamin C, can help deal with the problem. Vitamin C boosts your immune system, improves your immune response, and speeds up the healing process. Introducing more green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and asparagus also supplies your body with the micronutrients it needs to function properly.
Home remedies are a great way to deal with swollen lips that don’t require harsh chemicals or medications with potentially negative side effects. If you find yourself with swollen lips, try one of the natural methods we’ve discussed here today. If symptoms persist, contact your doctor.
Having to deal with swollen lips is obviously something that is not fun to deal with. Luckily, you should be able to find relief with these methods that we have listed above. Have you ever tried any of these methods? If so, let us know in the comments section below what you thought of them. If you know someone who is constantly battling swollen lips, be sure to share this helpful guide with them as well.