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8 Causes of Tingling Lips

An individual can have Tingling Lips due to a variety of causes ranging from certain benign conditions like a trauma to the lips to something as serious as a stroke. In some cases, damage to the nerves can also lead to Tingling Lips. A nerve tends to get damaged if the body is exposed to severe heat or cold conditions or there is excessive influx of toxins in the body. Chronic medical condition like multiple sclerosis also has tingling lips as one of its presenting features. Depending on what is the underlying cause, the affected individual may not only experience tingling lips but also may have tingling in other parts of the body.[1]

At times, the tingling sensation is accompanied by numbness and pain around the lip region. The duration of the tingling depends on the underlying cause and varies significantly. Tingling Lips due to an injury or an allergic reaction is sudden in onset while tingling caused by medical condition like neuropathy is has more of a gradual onset but persists for prolonged periods of time and even worsens as the condition progresses.[1]

It is recommended to go to the emergency room immediately if Tingling Lips is accompanied by weakness and numbness on one side of the body as it more often than not indicates a stroke. Additionally, an individual with a stroke will have alteration in the level of consciousness and pounding headache. Prompt treatment is also recommended if an individual finds Tingling Lips bothersome to find out the underlying cause and start treatment for it. This article highlights 8 possible causes of Tingling Lips.[1]

8 Causes of Tingling Lips

To better understand Tingling Lips, it is important to know the how the sensory system in the body works. It is the nervous system that plays a key role in the various sensations that an individual feels. The nervous system is divided into central and peripheral nervous system. The brain and the spinal cord form the central nervous system while the other parts of the body form the peripheral nervous system.[2]

Sometimes, there is damage done to the nerves comprising of the peripheral nervous system. This is what causes tingling and numbness in various parts of the body, including the lips. This damage to the peripheral nervous system is termed as peripheral neuropathy. However, this is not the only cause of Tingling Lips. There are also certain other medical conditions that often cause Tingling Lips.[2]

The duration and severity of the Tingling Lips in majority of the cases give a clue as to its underlying cause along with any other associated symptoms that the individual may be experiencing. Some of the causes of Tingling Lips include:[2]

  1. Allergies:

    This is quite a common cause for Tingling Lips. Along with this sensation, the individual will have swelling around the lip region. It is medically termed as angioedema. A food or a medication allergy is the most common culprit for Tingling Lips due to allergies. A consultation with an allergist is recommended to identify the specific trigger and ways to manage the condition.[2]

    In case along with Tingling Lips if the individual experiences severe breathing difficulties as well as loss of consciousness then it may be an anaphylactic reaction. It is a medical emergency and the individual should be taken to the emergency room immediately for treatment.[2]

  2. Cracked Lips:

    This is yet another common cause for Tingling Lips. This usually occurs during winters when the lips become dry. This may lead to the skin surface cracking. It may also happen at times during the summer months as well but it is less common. An individual with eczema also tends to have dry skin and cracked lips causing Tingling Lips. Using moisturizer regularly on the lips or Vaseline can effectively treat cracked lips and also prevent tingling sensation.[2]

  3. Cold Sores:

    Tingling Lips is the first symptom that an individual experiences just before the onset of a cole sore around the mouth. This is followed by development of fluid filled blisters. Cold Sores are a result of a herpes simplex infection. It is a highly contagious disease and can spread easily through direct contact with the infected person.[2]

    The virus stays dormant for most time but when it gets active cold sores develop. This condition resolves spontaneously in a week and the tingling also resolves. There are various creams and lotions available that can hasten the healing process.[2]

  4. Nerve Damage:

    If the lips are subjected to any injury or if they are exposed to extreme heat or cold then it may lead to nerve damage. Damage to the nerves can also be caused after coming in contact with a toxin. This damage to the nerves causes Tingling Lips along with pain and numbness.[2]

  5. Stroke:

    This is one of the more serious causes of Tingling Lips. An individual is said to have a stroke when there is insufficient supply of blood in the brain. Stroke is an emergent medical situation and calls for immediate treatment. Apart from Tingling Lips, an individual with stroke will also have numbness and weakness on one side of the body. There can also be an alteration of mental state and the individual will look confused. There will also be speech problems observed.[2]

  6. Cranial Nerve Injury:

    Any damage or injury to the cranial nerve can also cause Tingling Lips. The function of the cranial nerves is to control sensation and movement in the facial and neck region. Any injury to the brain such as a traumatic brain injury or just plain concussion can cause damage to the cranial nerves. The specific cranial nerve which functions by controlling the sensation of the face is the trigeminal nerve.[2]

    A damage to this nerve results in Tingling Lips along with alteration of sensation in other areas of the face. Any injury to the head needs to be checked and monitored closely by a physician.[2]

  7. Lupus:

    This is an immune system disorder which can affect any part of the body. If lupus causes the tissues around the nerves to swell it may put excess pressure on the nerves resulting in them not being able to function normally. This in turn may cause sensory changes including Tingling Lips.[2]

    Some of the other symptoms that may indicate lupus include vision disturbances, dizziness, ptosis, and facial pain. Lupus is a condition which is difficult to diagnose to due to the marked similarity in the symptoms to various other medical conditions. However, once diagnosed treatment is essential to control the symptoms and prevent complications.[2]

  8. Raynaud Phenomenon:

    This is a medical condition in which the blood flow gets affected to the extremities. However, in some cases it also affects the tongue and the lips causing Tingling Lips. If the body is subjected to stress or extreme weather conditions then the blood vessels tend to shrink.[2]

    This results in the individual feeling numbness or tingling. There may also be skin discoloration in the affected area. It is essential for an individual with Raynaud Phenomenon to keep warm and cope with stress to control the symptoms and get rid of Tingling Lips.[2]

    An emergency room visit is essential for people who display symptoms of stroke or an anaphylactic reaction as these are life threatening conditions that require immediate treatment. If an individual is susceptible to allergies then a visit to an allergist is recommended to identify the triggers and ways to manage the triggers.[2]

    Additionally, people with lupus or Raynaud phenomenon should also visit their physicians on confirming the diagnosis and discuss the different treatment options available for treating the condition. An accurate diagnosis is essential for timely treatment of Tingling Lips.[2]

    In conclusion, the primary reasons for an individual having Tingling Lips is a damage or injury to the lips or when the skin is exposed to extreme weather conditions causing cracking of the skin. Allergic reactions or viral infections may also cause Tingling Lips. Certain serious medical conditions like stroke or nerve damage also may result in Tingling Lips.[2]

    However, these conditions are always associated with other symptoms along with Tingling Lips. Having knowledge of the symptoms of serious medical conditions would help in preventing complications that arise from such serious medical conditions of which Tingling Lips is ine of the symptoms.[2]


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 3, 2022

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