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I'm trying to look for a word(verb) that means to worsen especially suddenly to describe an injury/swelling.

I have chronic swelling in my lips and whenever I become too active, the swelling worsens and becomes painful and I'm trying to look for a verb to describe that without being too wordy. It's like similar to the word attack? but in verb form.

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The swelling intensifies? – Mari-Lou A Jul 27 '13 at 22:05
up vote 3 down vote accepted

A medical condition can be spoken of as deteriorating, or a person described as suffering a sudden relapse, but the worsening of a particular, non-life threatening condition such as you describe, could just be called a sudden flare-up of that condition.

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+1 for flare-up, which can stand on its own without "sudden". merriam-webster.com/medical/flare-up – Canis Lupus Jul 28 '13 at 5:30


Medical researchers define Angioedema as a condition that leads to rapid inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue, submucosal tissues, dermis and mucosa. It is also known by the name Quincke’s Edema and Welts.

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You could use inflammation/inflamed if you want something different, although that doesn't necessarily convey rapidity. For that, I would say acute inflammation, although really acute swelling would be fine as well.

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I have chronic swelling so the swelling is always there and it worsens whet I'm active. So my swelling inflames acutely when I become too active? – Theo Jul 27 '13 at 15:55
You still have acute inflammation, but in that construction I might say exacerbate or aggravate. So, "I have acute swelling/inflammation when I run" or "I have chronic swelling that is aggravated/exacerbated by running." – Amory Jul 27 '13 at 16:07
It’s not clear to me from the question that there actually is any inflammation here. Body parts can swell for other reasons than just inflammation. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 27 '13 at 18:33
Maybe not in the strictly medical sense of the term - although there is swelling and pain - but in colloquial usage, sure. – Amory Jul 27 '13 at 18:50

You could say simply that it swells up, or that it puffs up (or out), bulges, or even balloons (out), depending on how severe the swelling gets.

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For pain, you could say:

The pain crests.

The pain climaxes.

But maybe these verbs do not go well with swelling as a subject.

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