Facial angioedema affects the face of the patient, usually the eyes and lips. Urticaria Angioedema, though quite similar in nature, is a different skin problem. The major difference between these two is that urticaria occurs in the upper-dermis whereas angioedema occurs in the dermis and subcutaneous tissues.
To understand facial angioedema, you need to understand what angioedema is, which is explained in the next section.
Angioedema is the rapid swelling of the human skin, resulting in the swelling of dermis, subcutaneous tissue, mucosa, and submucosal tissues. Usually, the swelling lasts a few hours and does not threaten the life of the patient. However, if the swelling progresses rapidly, it can block the airway and cause suffocation, in which case it should be treated as a medical emergency. Epinephrine is a life saving drug in case of acquired angioedema, but it is not very effective in familial angioedema.
The most common and obvious symptom is swelling, which can develop abruptly on the eyes, lips, tongue, and throat. However, it is not limited to these areas only, and any other part of the body can also be affected, such as the hands and feet. The swelling may result in itching, burning sensation, and pain. Urticaria (hives) may also develop along with it. Sometimes, the patient may also have difficulty breathing.
Angioedema can be caused by many factors: allergies (e.g. pollen or food allergy), drugs (e.g. NSAIDS, aspirin, blood pressure medicines, ibuprofen, and other antibiotics), insect bites, hair dyes, and any other underling diseases (e.g. Hodgkin, leukemia, lupus), or it can be a hereditary disease.
There are two main types of angioedema: acquired angioedema and familial or hereditary angioedema. Unlike hereditary angioedema, acquired angioedema is caused by factors other than family history of this disease.
Hives is the common name of urticaria. Hives angioedema, though quite similar in nature, is a different skin problem. The major difference between these two is that hives occur in the upper-dermis whereas angioedema occurs in the dermis and subcutaneous tissues.
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Angioedema swelling is the common and obvious symptom of this skin problem. It is usually accompanied by itching and pain.