This is yet another long overdue post. I announced on my Facebook wall some time the other week that I had an emergency trip to a dermatologist because of severe and spreading rashes on my jaw area, eyes and some parts of my thighs and arms. The doctor right away ruled that it is angioedema upon physical examination. She explained a few things about this certain allergic reaction and prescribed me with Citirizine (Virlix) and Betamethasone cream to alleviate the discomfort and itchiness. I was supposed to be given a stronger one, Claricort, but the dermatologist was hesitant because I’m still breastfeeding and although there are no scientific studies showing that it could pass through my milk, she opted not to give it to me.
My chemotic eye linings.
Being the inquisitive as I am, I scoured the web upon reaching for more information about angio-edema and this is what I got further:
Angioedema is defined as “an allergic reaction characterized by facial swelling with edema of the lips, eyelids and certain mucosa or other parts of the body. It can prove to be dangerous when it affects the pharyngeal or laryngeal mucosa. Swelling then impedes breathing and can cause true asphyxia.” - source.
Often the cause of angioedema is never found just like in my case because I did not undergo allergy testing. I was just told to be conscious of the possible allergens that might have caused it.
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
The main symptom is the sudden development of swelling. You may also develop welts.
The welts usually occur around the eyes and lips. They may also be found on the hands, feet, and throat. They may form a line or be more spread out.
The welts are painful and may be itchy. They turn pale and swell if irritated.
Other symptoms may include:
* Abdominal cramping
* Breathing difficulty
* Swollen eyes and mouth
* Swollen lining of the eyes (chemosis)
The doctor reiterated to watch out for breathing problems and if that occurs, I need to run to the ER.
Closely looking at the possible causes, one or all could be the culprits that triggered my allergy. As I’ve blogged, we’ve been staying here in my in-laws’ place since August 1st and the allergen could really be just somewhere here with a new environment to adjust to.
1. Animal dander - we have here 2 dogs, a cat and FIL’s chickens.
2. Medications - didn’t take any medication recently.
3. Exposure to water, sunlight, cold or heat - too broad.
4. Foods (such as berries, shellfish, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, and others) - Could be the egg that we frequently ate for that week.
5. Insect bites - mosquitoes and moths abound
6. Pollen - don’t have much flowering plants in the garden
I also jokingly thought that I could have developed an allergy to credit card and other utility bills because I just settled them the day I got it. Or could be the insurance quotes I was generously handed by an agent.
My angio-edema on the face got better already however I still have some on the legs and arms. I think I need to have this tested further so I can already get through the discomfort that it brings me, more over, that my allergy may be controlled.