Angioedema is a related skin condition that can cause swelling around the lips and eyes. In severe cases, angioedema can become a medical emergency if the swelling affects the tongue and throat and blocks the airway. Both urticaria and angioedema typically resolve without treatment or with antihistamine medications and cause no lasting effects. It is possible for hives and angioedema to occur simultaneously.
Symptoms of Angioedema
Angioedema causes swelling and redness, typically around the mouth and eyes. The area may become painful and feel warm to the touch. When angioedema occurs in conjunction with hives, the affected area may also be covered in large, firm welts.
Angioedema appears as swelling as the result of built up fluid in the skin’s deeper layers. It is noted by deep swelling around the lips, eyes, hands, feet and at times genitals. The swelling typically dissipates within 2 to 3 days. One out of five people struggle with angioedema in their lifetime. At times, individuals who suffer from angioedema may notice hives or uticaria displayed by a raised itchy and red rash on the skin. A rare genetic form of angioedema is caused by an abnormality affecting blood proteins that regulate immune system function.
Causes of Angioedema
Angioedema can have various causes. It can be due to an allergic reaction or drug-induced as a side-effect of a medication like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. There is also the potential cause of idiopathic angioedema (cause unknown) and hereditary angioedema due to ‘faulty’ genes. A rare genetic form of angioedema is caused by an abnormality affecting blood proteins that regulate immune system function.
Treatment options include various medications and prescription drugs that are anti-inflammatory and anti-itching.