Causes of swelling in the upper lip include infection, such as herpes simplex, as well as allergies or trauma, according to Healthgrades. Other causes of upper lip swelling include medical conditions such as lip cancer and Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome.
Herpes simplex is a viral infection that appears in various parts of the body, including the lips, notes Healthline. The infection is contagious and is passed through direct contact with an infected person. Symptoms of herpes simplex include blistering sores and itching.
Lip cancer is a type of skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States, explains the Skin Cancer Foundation. The lower lip is more likely to be affected, but upper lip cancer can also occur. Researchers have found that males are more at risk of developing lip cancer, likely due to sun exposure and tobacco and alcohol use. If detected early, lip cancer is easily treatable through surgery, radiation and cryotherapy.
Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a neurological condition that causes long lasting swelling in the face, facial muscle weakness and a fissured tongue, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. Doctors believe that Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is caused by genetic factors, or is a symptom of Crohn's disease or sarcoidosis. The first episode of the disorder typically resolves in hours or days, but subsequent episodes becomes more severe and last longer. Other symptoms of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome include cracked and discolored lips, fever, headache and visual disturbances.