Urticaria - Dream Health

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Monday, 29 September 2014

Urticaria


Urticaria
Urticaria – Hives/Welts/Nettle Rash 

Urticaria also known as hives, welts or nettle rash is a kind of a rash which is itchy, raised rash that appears on the skin. Urticaria is a common ailment and it is estimated that 1 in 6 people could have it sometime in their lives.

Children often tend to get affected by urticaria and women between 30 and 60 years as well as people with a history of allergies may get affected by this ailment. These may cause a stinging or burning sensation and are frequently caused by allergic reactions and there are some which can be non-allergic.

The rash may be on just one area of the body or could spread across to other areas wherein the affected area may change in skin appearance within twenty four hours but it usually disappears within a few days. If the rash tends to clear within a period of six weeks it is known as acute urticarial.Chronic urticarial is when the rash persist or comes and goes for more than six weeks,often over several years, but this case is very rare.

Major cases of chronic urticarial have unknown or idiopathic cause wherein 30 to 40% cases of chronic idiopathic urticarial is caused by an autoimmune reaction. Acute viral infection is another type of common cause of acute urticarial or viral exanthema while the lesser common causes of hives are friction, pressure, exercise, temperature extremes and sunlight.

High Level of Histamine Release

Urticaria takes place when some substance causes high levels of histamine and other chemical messengers to be released in the skin and these substances could cause the blood vessels of the skin to open up in the affected area which appears to be red or pink and becomes leaky.

Histamine is a chemical which is released from specialized cells which are along the skin’s blood vessels. The extra moisture in the tissues results in itchiness and swelling. Histamine released could be due to variety of reasons such as cold or heat exposure, an allergic reaction to substance like latex, infection, or the effect of some chemicals which could be found in certain food or medicines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs.

Urticaria is diagnosed on examining the rash on the skin and also checking on what could have triggered the symptoms to avoid the occurrence of it in future. If the person is suspected of allergic reaction, then the individual could be referred to an allergy clinic for an allergy test.

Identify Causes for Future Precautions

In most cases treatment is not necessary since the rash tends to get better within a few days and if the itchiness is uncomfortable, medication can be helpful. In case of severe cases of urticarial, a short course of steroid tables could be of some relief to the patient.

If urticarial persists, a skin specialist or a dermatologist should be consulted where the same could be treated with medication while identifying its cause for future precautions.

Some of the people with acute urticarial and chronic urticarial tend to develop swelling in the deeper layer of skin which is known as angioedema that can cause severe swelling in different areas of the body like the lip, eyes and genitals. In some severe cases of angioedema, steroid injection may be given which are usually given in hospitals or at clinic by an allergy or a specialist of immune system.

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