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Numbness in the lips, particularly over an extended period of time, is a cause for concern and should be shown to a medical professional at the earliest. There are a number of reasons why such a condition could develop. Here are the possible causes:

1. Physical Trauma

A severe physical blow to the face, particularly in the region of the upper lip and bridge of the nose, can cause the nerves in the area to go into shock and stop functioning properly. The symptoms in such a case will range from numbness to a slight tingling sensation. This sensation of shock to the nerves can last for a couple of hours to a few months. Our nerves are notoriously slow to heal and recover and the only thing you can do at this point is to wait.

In a large majority of cases, the sensation will come back. However, the recovery may or may not be complete.

2. Allergies

An allergic reaction to food or chemicals in the cosmetics being applied to the face can cause numbness. The appearance of this numbness may be immediate or delayed and can last for several minutes to hours. It is extremely rare that an allergy will cause long term numbness of the lips. An allergic reaction will also be associated with other symptoms like redness, swelling and an itching sensation and is thus easy to diagnose.

Care should be taken to identify the allergen and then try and avoid it.

3. Herpes Virus Infection

It is almost impossible to not be exposed to the herpes virus infection, in fact, it is estimated that 99 percent of the world's population has had a herpes virus outbreak or is a carrier. This virus remains latent hiding in the ganglion of the trigeminal nerve and waits for an opportunity to get re-exposed. This secondary infection is called a Herpes Zoster infection. It affects the areas supplied by the Trigeminal nerve and can cause tingling and numbness.

4. Bell's Palsy

A partial paralysis of the face is seen in Bell's palsy. It affects the facial nerve on one side and causes paralysis, numbness, and loss of motor function on one entire half of the face. While the exact cause for this condition is debated, it has been associated with a viral infection. It is common in people older than fifty.

5. Mineral deficiencies

A decrease in the amount of calcium, magnesium and phosphates in the body can send the nerve function haywire. The patient experiences a tingling sensation, numbness and cramps in various parts of the body. This is a potentially life threatening situation and requires immediate medical attention.

6. Hypoglycemia

A drastic drop in the blood sugar level of the body can cause a sensation of numbness in the body. Usually, this will be seen in diabetic patients on insulin who have missed a meal or after severe fasting. This numbness will correct itself as the blood sugar levels come back to normal and does not require any additional treatment.

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