One of the most common signs of hereditary angioedema (HAE) is severe swelling. This inflammation typically affects the extremities, face, airway, and abdomen. Many people compare the swelling to hives, but the swelling is under the surface of the skin rather than on it. There’s also no rash formation.

If left untreated, severe swelling can be life-threatening. It can cause airway blockages or swelling of the internal organs and intestines. Take a look at this slideshow to see examples of HAE swelling cases.