Head and Neck Pathology

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 209–213 | Cite as

Cheilitis Granulomatosa: A Review

  • William Austin CritchlowEmail author
  • David Chang
Case Report


Cheilitis granulomatosa (CG) is a cosmetically disturbing and persistent idiopathic lip swelling. It is one manifestation of orofacial granulomatosis (OFG), which is a clinical entity describing facial and oral swelling in the setting of non-caseating granulomatous inflammation and in the absence of systemic disease such as Crohn’s disease and sarcoidosis. CG can occur by itself or as part of the Melkersson–Rosenthal syndrome, which includes facial palsy and a plicated tongue. Other proposed causes of OFG include dietary allergens such as cinnamon and benzoates. Similar orofacial swelling may be an early manifestation of Crohn’s disease or sarcoidosis, and so clinical history is important in diagnosis. The cause of CG has not been wholly elucidated, but a current hypothesis holds that a random influx of inflammatory cells is responsible. Other granulomatous and edematous causes of lip swelling must be investigated prior to diagnosis. Options for treatment include dietary modifications, antibiotics, systemic or intralesional corticosteroids, and surgery, although treatment is not always necessary. CG should be considered in the differential of persistent lip swelling.


Cheilitis granulomatosa Granulomatous cheilitis Melkersson–Rosenthal syndrome Lip swelling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Missouri School of MedicineColumbiaUSA

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