Angioedema is a temporary, recurring subcutaneous or submucosal swelling. It typically affects the:

  • skin
  • Stomach.
  • The upper airways are used.

There are several possible underlying causes of the swelling, but the main cause is leaking blood vessels in the surrounding tissues.

Swelling and the appearance of hives can occur in some cases. Angioedema is sometimes referred to as a giant hive.

Hives are itchy and raised welts that develop on the skin’s surface, involving the top two skin layers.

Angioedema and hives can be caused by a number of things.

  • An allergic reaction to food.
  • There are side effects to a medication.
  • An allerginated environment includes pollen, pet dander, and venom from insect bites..

In some cases, a doctor may not know the cause.

The eyelids, lips, and tongue are more prone to angioedema than other parts of the body.

When angioedema is passed from a parent to a child through genetic transmission, it is known as hereditary angioedema.

Hereditary angioedema has different causes than acquired angioedema, but the symptoms and treatment approaches are similar.

how angioedema may present on darker skin
Design by Diego Sabogal

The most common symptom of angioedema is swelling. It often occurs around the eyes, lips, and tongue, but it may also occur in the feet, hands, or genitals.

“urticaria is the skin’s surface and can be accompanied by angioedema. Allergic angioedema can cause itching.”

Other angioedema symptoms may include:

  • It was faint.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • dizziness
  • The breath was very thin.

In more severe cases, people with angioedema may experience swelling of the airways, making it difficult to breathe, and an unsafe drop in blood pressure.

If you are having trouble breathing, call the emergency room. This may be a sign of a medical condition that requires prompt treatment.

There are several possible causes of angioedema.

Allergic angioedema

Allergic angioedema is the most common form of angioedema. It may occur due to reactions to food, medication, or other allergies.

Potential causes include:

  • It is latex.
  • There are peanuts.
  • insect sting
  • Antibiotics.
  • Shellfish.
  • insect bites.

Nonallergic drug-induced angioedema

Drug-induced angioedema occurs when a person has a nonallergic reaction to medication. You can distinguish it from allergic reactions due to the lack of hives or itchiness.

Drug-induced angioedema is the second most common type of angioedema.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors is a common cause.

Hereditary angioedema (HAE)

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is less common than either allergic or drug-induced angioedema. It occurs when you inherit a deficiency or defect in an enzyme in the complement pathway, which makes up part of the immune system.

Idiopathic angioedema

Idiopathic angioedema occurs when a doctor cannot find a cause for the angioedema. Idiopathic cases of angioedema may occur in up to 40% of cases. Experts do not know much about how idiopathic angioedema starts or its nature.

Acquired angioedema

Acquired angioedema may also develop after an infection or illness, such as lupus (SLE). In rare cases, it may be the result of leukemia or lymphoma. Autoimmune diseases can also cause this type of angioedema.

Certain factors may increase your risk of angioedema.

Risk factors can vary based on the severity or cause. Some potential risk factors associated with recurrent and severe angioedema include:

  • Being over 65 years old.
  • Being of Hispanic descent.
  • Having angioedema.
  • Having cardiopulmonary disease is not uncommon.
  • smoking

Another study from 2020 noted that people who take ACE inhibitors might have a higher chance of developing angioedema due to:

  • Being born female.
  • Being of African American descent.
  • Taking a drug.
  • living in the upper Midwest

If you have allergies, try to avoid certain things. Other risk factors may include:

  • A previous occurrence of angioedema or hives.
  • A previous allergic reaction.
  • A family history of angioedema or hives.
  • sudden temperature change
  • Stress or anxiety can be a problem.
  • There are certain medical conditions.

A doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms during a physical exam. If there are any swelling or redness, your doctor will look at it during the exam. They can listen to your breathing to see if it has been affected.

If you have recently been exposed to something that causes an allergic reaction, you should tell your doctor. They may be able to determine the cause of your reaction.

Your doctor will perform blood tests if hereditary or acquired angioedema is suspected. These may include:

The levels of certain genes in the blood are measured. Abnormal results can be associated with a health problem. They can help determine the best course of treatment.

People with mild symptoms of angioedema may not need treatment. But those with moderate or severe symptoms may require medications to relieve intense swelling. These medications can include:

  • If you have an allergic reaction, you should get EpiPen.
  • If there is angioedema or an allergic reaction to loratadine, it is advisable to use cetirizine.
  • If you have an allergic reaction to glucocorticosteroids, such as prednisone or Solu-Medrol.

Hereditary angioedema can require surgical intervention. They may treat a person with that.

  • C1 inhibitor concentrate
  • ecallantide is aKallikrein inhibitor.
  • Icatibant is a bradykinin-receptor antagonist.

If possible, avoid contact with substances that can cause swelling. Home remedies can help in less severe cases of angioedema.

  • To soothe the skin, apply wet compress.
  • It is advisable to wear loose cotton clothing to avoid skin irritation.

If you have angioedema, your doctor may want you to switch to a different medication.

Before starting any medication or treatment, you should talk with your doctor.

Long-term treatment for recurrent angioedema may involve using C1 inhibitors.

In many cases, angioedema is a harmless condition that will disappear within 1 to 2 days.

Angioedema can be dangerous if it occurs near the throat. A swollen throat can make breathing difficult.

Severe angioedema may be due to anaphylaxis, a life threatening, severe acute allergic reaction. In such severe cases, you should seek emergency medical help immediately.

The best way to prevent angioedema is to avoid known and suspected allergens.

Taking preventive measures can help you avoid another episode.

Angioedema is swelling that occurs deep within the skin. It is often due to an allergy or reaction to a medication. If you have trouble breathing, you may need emergency medical care.

Doctors will often recommend medication to help the swelling go down. Mild cases can be treated and cleared within a few days.