Getting a tingling sensation or a numb feeling in your lips can be quite irritating. If it is intense, it might also interrupt your day. But what causes tingling lips, and is there an underlying medical condition associated? First, let us look at the cause of tingling lips and when you should see a doctor.
Why my lips tingle?
Tingling lips aren’t generally something to worry about. However, many things that aren’t related to any underlying health conditions can also cause lips to tingle. Let us look at some of these.
Tingling Lips: 8 Possible Causes
#1. Oral allergy syndrome or other allergies
Oral allergy syndrome or OAS is a very common cause of tingling lips. OAS is an allergy that is caused due to plant-based foods. For example, someone with a nose allergy to pollen is more likely to get OAS.
- Other symptoms include
- swelling or itching in the throat, tongue, or roof of your mouth.
- Tightening of your throat
Allergies can be broadly divided into three parts, food allergies, drug allergies, and chemical allergies. The allergic reaction from all of these can cause a tingling sensation in your lips. It is best to avoid food that you know you are allergic to. Before getting any new medicines, talk to your doctor about your allergies.
If your allergy gets serious and you spot symptoms like difficulty in breathing, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the mouth, throat, or face, seek medical help. Severe allergies can be life-threatening.
#2. Deficiency of vitamins or minerals
The lack of some vitamins and minerals can cause conditions where your body cannot produce sufficient red blood cells. Since RBCs help oxygen to travel in your body, this can also cause your lips to tingle.
Deficiency of vitamin C, vitamin B-12, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, or potassium. Other symptoms that can point towards a lack of vitamins and minerals could be dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, and irregular heartbeat. It would help if you ate a healthy balanced diet to avoid these deficiencies.
#3. Cold sores
Cold sores are caused by an infectious virus called herpes simplex. The first signs of a cold sore are tingling lips. A couple of days after this, a small sore filled with liquids develops on the lip. Cold sores are infectious, and you can get them if you kiss someone with a cold sore or share food and cutleries with that person.
Cold sores aren’t a cause of concern, and in most cases, they heal on their own with the help of anti-viral creams in a week or two. However, keep in mind that if you have got a cold sore once, you might get other outbreaks of it in the future.
#4. Chapped lips
If your lips are chapped, this might also cause sore lips or lips that tingle. If you live in a cold and dry place, it is important to moisturize your lips often.
Avoid licking your lips as it causes the skin on your lips to dry even faster.
Also Read: Different Types Of Lip Shapes
If your lips feel dry or chapped, use a lip moisturizer. Petroleum jellies without any added chemicals are the best alternative. Also, drink a lot of water and stay hydrated to keep your lips healthy.
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar in your body can also cause tingling in your lips. If you have diabetes, then this might be the reason why your lips are tingling. You should talk to your doctor if this is the case. However, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can happen even in people without diabetes.
Other symptoms of low blood sugar are blurred vision, dizziness, shaking, accelerated heartbeat, sweating, and discoloring. The nearest thing you should do is eat or drink something sweet like candy or a sweet beverage.
#6. Hyperventilation and Panic attack
If a person is anxious, then they might breathe too heavily and rapidly. This is called hyperventilation. Living in so much oxygen constantly can reduce the carbon dioxide present in the blood. This can also cause tingling lips.
So if you are nervous or if you have a panic attack, you might also feel a tingling sensation in your lips. It is best to talk to your therapist and inform them about the tingling, especially if it happens often.
Shingles aren’t as common, but they can also be a reason why your lips tingle. The virus that causes chickenpox remains inactive in the body after a person gets it. This might re-emerge later in a person’s life. The symptoms of this can be tingling, burning, and itching feeling in the skin.
Shingles can affect any part of the body, including your lips. It is best to see a doctor in the case of Shingles. Your doctor might give you antiviral medicines or cream to soothe the symptoms.
#8. Food Poisoning
Tingling of lips doesn’t affect everyone who gets food poisoning. But some people can develop tingling in their lips, mouth, throat, and tongue. For example, food poisoning can happen if you eat food that has been left outside a refrigerator for too long. Other causes of food poisoning can be the consumption of fish and shellfish.
A few other symptoms of food poisoning are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and stomach aches. Food poising can last anywhere between a few hours to a few days. In case of severe food poisoning, you should seek medical help immediately.
If your lips have started tingling suddenly, wait for a few days before seeking medical health. Observe to see if you develop more symptoms. If you are already allergic, your lips are most likely to tingle due to an allergic reaction.
Tingling lips aren’t a cause of concern in most cases, but if it gets too severe, you observe other symptoms, or the tingling doesn’t go away after a few days, you should see a doctor. If the tingling is recurring, you should get diagnosed to check if there are any underlying health conditions. Eat healthy food, hydrate, and moisturize your lips regularly.