Swelling related to an allergy can feel uncomfortable, look unpleasant, and signal a serious medical condition. The Allergy Clinic, with locations in Houston, Pasadena, and Pearland, Texas, can evaluate any swelling to determine potential causes and offer treatment. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online to have your swelling addressed today.
Swelling may appear as hives that can show up anywhere on your body and range in size from very small to large swaths of skin. Angioedema is another type of swelling that occurs under the skin and is what usually causes the swelling around your eyes and lips. Angioedema can also affect your hands, feet, and genitals.
Swelling can occur at the site of contact with an allergen, such as with a bee sting or makeup application.
A reaction to any number of items can cause swelling that ranges from mild to severe. You might swell in reaction to:
You can get an idea of what’s causing your allergic reaction and swelling by where it’s occurring on your body.
The doctors at The Allergy Clinic do a thorough physical exam and medical history to help them reach their diagnosis. They may also ask if you have recently made changes to your diet, taken new medications, or come into contact with new products, such as lotions or laundry detergent.
In some cases, we find that patients are suffering from hereditary angioedema (HAE), which is a rare genetic condition. With HAE, patients will experience painfull swelling in their face, feet, hands, or genitals. In extreme circumstances, swelling can move to the lungs or intestinal walls. On occasion, symptoms can move around the body to different parts in the same episode.
Sometimes, the cause of your swelling is relatively easy to determine. For example, if you’re stung by a wasp and begin to experience swelling, the sting is the likely culprit.
The best way to avoid swelling as an allergic reaction is to avoid the cause. Sometimes, however, that’s not possible, and the doctors at The Allergy Clinic prescribe antihistamines and steroids.
In severe cases, where swelling threatens your breathing and interferes with your daily activity, you may need an injection of epinephrine or a steroid. For hives that go on longer than 6 weeks in spite of treatment with antihistamines, an injection called Xolair is very effective.
At home, you can care for mild swelling by using only lukewarm water and gentle soap to wash the area. Cool compresses can ease the swelling, and light, loose-fitting clothes can ease your discomfort until the swelling subsides.
If you’re experiencing swelling due to a suspected allergic reaction, call The Allergy Clinic immediately or book an appointment online.