Definition of Angioedema:
Angioedema is a swelling, similar to hives, but the swelling is beneath the skin rather than on the surface. The hives are called welts. It is also possible to have angioedema without hives
What are Canker Sores?
Canker sores are small ulcer craters in the lining of the mouth that are frequently painful and sensitive. Canker sores are very common. About 20% of the population (one out of five people) have canker sores at any one time. Canker sores are also medically known as aphthous ulcers or aphthous stomatitis.
Women are slightly more likely than men to have recurrent canker sores. It can occur at any age, but it is more commonly seen in teenagers. Genetic studies show that susceptibility to recurrent outbreaks of the sores is inherited in some patients. This partially explains why family members often share the condition.
Canker sores are generally classified into three groups based on size.
- Minor sores have a diameter of 1millimeter (mm) to 10mm. They are the most common (80% of all canker sores) and usually last about 7-10 days.
- Major sores (10% of all canker sores) have a diameter of greater than 10mm and they may take anywhere between 10-30 days to heal. They may leave a scar after they heal.
- Herpetiform ulcers (10% of all canker sores) are formed by a cluster of multiple small individual sores (less than 3mm). They also usually heal within 7-10 days.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
Angioedema may be caused by an allergic reaction. During the reaction, histamine and other chemicals are released into the bloodstream. The body releases histamine when the immune system detects a foreign substance called an allergen.
Often the cause of angioedema is never found.
The following items may cause angioedema.
- Animal dander (scales of shed skin)
- Medications (drug allergy), such as antibiotics (penicillin and sulfa drugs) and blood pressure medicines (ACE inhibitors)
- Exposure to water, sunlight, cold or heat
- Foods (such as berries, shellfish, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, and others)
- Insect bites
Exams and Tests
Your health care provider will examine you and ask questions about how the hives or angioedema started. Tell him or her about the following:
- Any medicines (prescription and nonprescription) you have been taking even if you stopped them in the past few days
- Any dietary supplement or herbs you take, even if only sometimes, and the last time you took them
- Any new or unusual foods, soaps, detergents, and cosmetics
- Any allergies that you know about
- Any recent illnesses you have had such as sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Any chronic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, or kidney disease
- If there is the possibility you are pregnant
If your health care provider cannot tell what triggered your hives or angioedema, he or she may recommend that you see an allergy specialist (allergist). Even using special skin tests, however, it may not be possible to identify the trigger.
Hives and Angioedema Treatment
Self-Care at Home
- Stop any food or medicine identified as the cause of the hives or angioedema.
- In very mild cases, no treatment at all may be required.
- If symptoms are making you uncomfortable, take a nonprescription antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine(Benadryl), by mouth, per the package instructions or as directed by your health care provider, until symptoms subside. These can be effective for mild episodes. CAUTION: Antihistamines may make you too drowsy to drive or operate machinery safely.
- Cool compresses or baths may help with the discomfort.
- Avoid hot baths or showers.
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