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Hi,

After beginning to learn to dive in April this year, 3 days after my initial exposure by bottom lip began to swell. I went to my GP, was prescribed antihistamines, didn't work. The swelling reduced but never settled fully.

In July I went to South Africa, after the plane journey over my lip swelled up to its largest yet (about 2-3 times its usual size). After time the swelling did not reduce like before. My lips are generally dry, with flaking skin.

I went to see a dermatologist who expected it was a simple allergy, so I had patch tests which came back clear. He was stumped and felt the only option was to have a lip biopsy. A consultant gastroenterologist/general practitioner advised against this.

So, does anybody have any idea of what can cause lip swelling for such an extended period of time? Is there anything I can get to help? Any further action I should take? After 8 months of daily questions ("what's wrong with your lip") I am getting desperate.

Thank you.

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Your condition is called chronic macrocheilia. I suspect your condition may have been triggered by some as yet unknown elements in the sea water as you mentioned that this happened right after your diving expedition. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology (2003) reported 28 patients with this condition. Thirteen patients had granulomatous cheilitis, 6 had tuberculosis of the lip, 3 had leprous macrocheilia, 2 had multiple endocrine neoplasia type IIb, and one each had Ascher's syndrome and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Two patients were diagnosed as 'non-specific cheilitis'.
I tend to side with your dermatologist in favor of a biopsy, as this will help in the diagnosis of your condition.
ACE inhibitors such as captopril and lisinopril can cause temporary swelling of the lips and tongue. But I am not sure if this is the case here.
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Experiencing the sameproblem, been to doctors and an alergist, no tteatment seems to help. It has come and gone for years, normally lasts for weeks or months. I am currently experiencing the worst episode ever. I think I have a condition referred to as CHEILITIS GRANULOMATOSA. You may as well, I could not attribute the onset of my lip swelling to anything. Best of luck and wishes to you.
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