Angioedema is a common condition that involves swelling beneath the surface of the skin with or without redness. Angioedema can occur around the eyelids and lips, or on the face, hands, feet, or genitalia. Since this condition can cause swelling of the airways, it is important that you seek medical care if you think you have angioedema.
Angioedema is often associated with hives. It can be caused by:
This condition is more common in women and people who are 30-60 years of age.
Factors that may increase your chances of developing angioedema include:
Symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your abdomen. This can be done with an abdominal ultrasound.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Minor episodes of angioedema may not need treatment. However, it is important to make sure the swelling does not spread to the airway, which can be life-threatening. Treatment options include the following:
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Canadian Dermatology Association
Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Beltrani VS. Angioedema: some "new" thoughts regarding idiopathic angioedema. In: Greaves MW, Kaplan AP, eds. Marcel Dekker. New York, NY; 2004: 421.
Lin RY, Cannon AG, et al. Pattern of hospitalizations for angioedema in New York between 1990 and 2003. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005;95:159
Urticaria. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115276/Urticaria. Updated July 1, 2015. Accessed September 27, 2016.
Angioedema. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T566511/Angioedema. Updated May 3, 2016. Accessed September 27, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.