What Should We Know about Angioedema?

Q:
What should we know about angioedema?

A:
Angioedema is a swelling of the area beneath the skin, similar to urticaria, or hives. This is why angioedema is sometimes referred to as “giant hives“.

Generally, angioedema isn’t a serious medical condition and doesn’t leave any lasting marks. It usually goes away on its own, even without treatment.

The followings are three aspects of angioedema which we should know: the causes, the symptoms and the treatments.

  • Causes:

Angioedema is typically the result of an allergic reaction. Histamine produced in allergic reaction can make your blood vessels swell.

Several allergens can trigger angioedema, they include insect bites, pollen, animal dander, certain medications such as penicillin or aspirin, poison oak or ivy, poison oak or ivy, certain foods, contraceptive pills, pregnancy, etc.

  • Symptoms:

The swelling deep inside the skin may affect patient’s hands, face, genitals, feet, eyes, lips and so on.

Different affected parts have different symptoms, but the common symptoms are bronchospasm, anaphylactic shock, stomach cramping, itchy rashes on the hands, arms, and feet, swollen throat, etc.

  • Treatments:

People with mild symptoms of angioedema may recover from it without any treatments. However, in some severe cases, certain medications are of great necessity. These medications can include epinephrine, ranitidine, terbutaline, anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone or solumedrol, and antihistamines.

Besides the medications above, there are also some home remedies you can do in daily lives. In order to avoid further skin irritation, you can wear loose cotton clothing; You can also apply cool and wet compresses to help soothe the skin and prevent scratching.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.