How to Treat a Swollen Infant Lip

An infant’s lip may swell for various reasons, from teething to an infection. Determining the cause can help determine the best way to treat the swelling. If your infant seems to be having difficulty breathing and his lips are swollen, he may be having an allergic reaction, and you should seek immediate emergency care.

Determine a reason for the lip swelling. Write down any possible causes of the swelling of the infant’s lip in a journal to refer to later if needed.

Apply a cool washcloth to the swollen lip for half an hour and every few hours afterward as needed.

Take the infant’s temperature. If she has a temperature, check her body for other swelling or red bumps. When an infant has a temperature along with blisters or sores on her lips and body, she may have chicken pox and will need to visit the doctor.

Look at in the infant’s mouth. If he has sores on his lips, he may have a cold sore, which is caused by the herpes virus. Cold sores usually clear on their own, but try to get the child to avoid scratching or picking at the sores.

The swelling may also be due to a canker sore--sores in and around the lips that are often white. Canker sores are caused by a viral infection and will heal on their own in time.

Check the infant’s palms and the bottoms of her feet. If she has a rash on these areas along with a swollen lip, she may have hand-foot-and-mouth disease or herpangina, which is a viral infection. A doctor can properly diagnose hand-foot-and-mouth and determine proper treatment.

List of all food items the infant has ingested in the last 24 hours. He may be having an allergic reaction. If the child is experiencing a swollen lip along with having difficulty breathing, they may be suffering a severe allergic reaction. Seek medical attention, making sure to bring the list of food items with to help doctors determine the cause of the reaction.


Keep infant's lips moisturized by applying a small amount of petroleum jelly.