Signs and Symptoms of Angioedema

The main symptom of angioedema is swelling that develops below the skin’s surface.

Swollen skin

Swelling caused by angioedema can develop suddenly or come on gradually over a few hours. It normally lasts a few days.

The swelling most often affects the:

  • hands
  • feet
  • area around the eyes
  • lips and tongue
  • genitals

In severe cases, the inside of the throat or bowel can be affected.


Often, the swelling occurs with a raised, itchy rash called urticaria (hives). The rash will usually settle in a few days. Otherwise, the skin over the swelling may feel tight and painful but look normal.

Other symptoms

Less common symptoms of angioedema include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • red, irritated eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • tummy (abdominal) pain
  • feeling sick
  • diarrhoea
  • dizziness
  • fainting

If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.