Urticaria and Angioedema

  • Dennis K. Ledford
Part of the Current Clinical Practice book series (CCP)


Urticaria and angioedema are the same pathophysiologic process with the variation of clinical presentation between the two resulting from the cutaneous tissue level involved. Urticaria is a well-demarcated skin reaction occurring in the superficial epidermis. The lesions are characterized as erythematous, blanchable, raised lesions that occur and resolve within hours. Occasionally, single lesions will last up to 24 h. Typically the involved skin itches intensely. The raised lesions may vary from 1–2 mm to many centimeters in diameter and usually have serpiginous borders (Fig. 1). Angioedema is a swelling of the deeper cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue with a predilection for the periorbital, perioral, and oral tissues (Fig. 2A, B).The swelling does not itch and resolves over 24–48 h. Individuals experience both conditions in approx 50% of cases, urticaria alone in 40%, and angioedema alone in 10%.


Food Allergy Chronic Urticaria Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria Hereditary Angioedema Urticarial Vasculitis 
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Suggested Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis K. Ledford

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