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What is the cause and treatment for swelling of lips?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 709 Questions
hi Doctor. Been having lips swelling [more like puffiness not severe anaphylaxis] and ear ringing for several months. Constantly. At first thought it was an alergic reaction but went to an allergy specialist and he ran a series of tests all came out normal. He said to see a general doctor to determine the cause, as it is not allergy related. I went to an ENT for the ear ringing and he said there is not way to determine the cause after a good hearing test was done. The lips swelling is worse when I wake up in the morning but still constant puffiness through out the day. Over the holidays I was away from work and it slowly got better but was still there. Back to work with in a couple days the swelling was as bad as its ever been. I have exhaustively searched the internet and not sure what kind of doctor to go see to help figure this out. I tried contacting a medical toxicology specialist but they are hard to find and many dont see patients. Im not even sure if this is something at work or not. Please help, thanks
Posted Sat, 1 Feb 2014 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Rajkishori Godhi 2 hours later
Brief Answer: allergy cannot be ruled out. Detailed Answer: Hi, You are right lip swelling typically occurs in allergy. It is usually related to food allergies. It could be anything from cooking oil, food additives, colouring agents, preservatives, things at work...... anything. Since you say it got better during holidays it is probably something at work. Allergy tests cannot rule out all the allergens (allergy causing agents) under the sun. You can take anti histamimes. They are safe. If your symptoms feel better with antihistamines, then most likely the cause is allergy related. I prescribe my patient cetrizine 10mg tablets daily for 10 days. You can discuss with your treating doctor. Allergy can be identified based on blood tests. I am not sure if your doctor run those tests on you. Also you can ask them to widen the spectrum of allergens they test on you. I don't think medical toxicologist is the right specialist to deal this problem. Let me know if you need clarifications. Regards, Dr Rajkishori
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is the cause and treatment for swelling of lips? 2 hours later
Ive taken lots of benedryl and met with an allergy specialist several times and had numerous allergy tests and the doctor told me that it is not allergy related and to see another doctor. Could it be some kind of toxic exposure ?
Answered by Dr. Rajkishori Godhi 34 minutes later
Brief Answer: can be irrtant exposure. Detailed Answer: Hi again, If allergy has been completely ruled out then it could be exposure to irritants. Irritants from tooth brush, tootpaste, Lip balms, face creams, Tea cups, Nickle or chromium from steel cups, anything that comes in contact with your lips. Since you felt better during a holiday , it points to irritants at your work place. Try to make a list of irritants in your work place that can come in contact with your lips. Do not touch your lips at all because irritants from your hands can get deposited on your lips. For example after you have opened the door the nickel from the steel knob will be on your hands and when you touch your lips with your hands it gets deposited on them. Its just an example for you to impress upon you how almost any irritant you touch can come in contact with your lips. You now have the task of identifying the irritant and staying away from it. Do not touch your lips at all , that should help to a great extent. regards, Dr Rajkishori.
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