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
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
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.
Emedicine is an
online clinical knowledgebase, searchable by keywords, such as
swelling is the common and obvious symptom of this skin problem. It is
usually accompanied by itching and pain.