Angioedema is a condition characterized by swelling in the deeper layers of the skin, often involving the face, lips, tongue, throat, and/or other areas of the body. It is caused by a similar mechanism as hives (urticaria), which is the swelling of the superficial layers of the skin. However, in angioedema, the swelling
The symptoms of angioedema include:
- Swelling: Angioedema is characterized by sudden and pronounced swelling in the deeper layers of the skin and underlying tissues. The swelling commonly affects areas such as the face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, or genitals. The swelling can be asymmetrical and may be painful or cause a tingling or burning sensation.
- Facial involvement: Angioedema often affects the face, resulting in swelling of the lips, cheeks, or eyelids. The swelling can give the face a puffy appearance and may distort facial features.
- Oral symptoms: Swelling in the tongue and throat can occur in angioedema. This can lead to difficulty speaking, swallowing, or breathing. It is important to note that swelling in the throat can be a medical emergency and may require immediate medical attention.
- Skin changes: The affected skin may appear red or pale, and it may feel warm to the touch. Unlike hives (urticaria), angioedema does not typically cause itching or a raised rash.
- Pain and discomfort: The swelling associated with angioedema can be painful or cause discomfort, often described as a tingling or burning sensation.
- Systemic symptoms: In some cases, angioedema may involve internal organs, such as the gastrointestinal tract or respiratory system. This can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or difficulty breathing.
The duration of angioedema episodes can vary, lasting from a few hours to several days. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience angioedema, particularly if it affects the throat or causes difficulty breathing. A healthcare professional can assess the underlying cause, provide appropriate treatment, and guide you on managing future episodes of angioedema.