Many people are familiar with the symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, itching, and swelling. However, did you know that allergic reactions can also cause pitting edema? Allergic reactions occur when your body encounters a substance that it views as harmful. The immune system will release histamines into the bloodstream to protect the body from this perceived threat. Unfortunately, these histamines will cause blood vessels to dilate and leak fluid into the tissue. This increase in the fluid can cause swelling and lead to pitting edema.
There are a few things allergic individuals can do at home to help lessen the symptoms of pitting edema caused by allergies. For one, try to avoid whatever is triggering the allergies. In cases when the allergen is unknown, an allergist can conduct tests to determine what a person is allergic to. Once the triggers are identified, avoid them as much as possible. If avoiding the triggres isn’t possible or doesn’t provide enough relief, over-the-counter antihistamines may also help reduce swelling and itching. However, check with a doctor before taking any medication, as some antihistamines can cause drowsiness and should not be taken while operating heavy machinery or driving.