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A 40-year-old member asked:

My friend's lips swelled on spicy food. is that the hot spices or a real allergy?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael P Vaughn
Allergy and Immunology 35 years experience
Lip swelling: These symptoms would be uncommon as a side effectof the capsacins (that make foods "hot"). Capsacins cause burning but not typically swelling. The possibility of a food allergy should be considered. Avoid repeated exposure until testing is done by rast to cayenne, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, tomato, onion, cumin or other other salsa ingredients identified (any physician can order these tests).
Dr. Martin Ostro
Allergy and Immunology 50 years experience
Allergy or neither.: Spicy foods usually don't cause lip swelling. Food allergies can cause lip swelling, but usually with itchy lips, mouth, throat and other allergy symptoms (hives). If the swelling occured within 4 hr of eating spicy food, it could be a food allergy to the protein in the food. If swelling occured over 4 hours after eating food then it wasn't an allergy to that food. Consult an allergy specialist.
Last updated Oct 9, 2020
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