Urticaria is a rash with swollen, pale red rashes or plaques (wheals) on the skin that appear suddenly, either as a result of the body's reaction to certain allergens, or for unknown reasons.
Urticaria usually causes itching, burning sensation.
It can appear anywhere on the body, even on the face, lips, tongue, throat, ears.
Urticarial rashes vary in size and may coalesce to form larger areas known as plaques.
Urticaria presents with remissions and exacerbations that can last for hours or months or years.
Causes of urticaria
Certain foods, especially peanuts, eggs, nuts, and shellfish
Medicines such as antibiotics (penicillin and especially sulfonamides), aspirin and ibuprofen
Physical stimuli such as stress, cold, heat, exercise, or sun exposure
Bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections and streptococcal pharyngitis
Viral infections, including the common cold, infectious mononucleosis, and hepatitis
Some plants, such as oak and ivy
Symptoms can last from minutes to months - or even years.
Urticaria can occur on any area of the body, can change shape, change location, subside and reappear within a short period of time. Rashes are red or have the color of skin with clear edges, usually both appearing and subsiding suddenly, while, when pressing the center of a red rash, it turns white.
Individual damage does not last more than 24 hours
There are two types of urticaria:
It is not a life-threatening type, but if there is swelling in the throat or any other symptom and it restricts breathing, it requires immediate urgent care. (Airway angioedema)
Chronic urticaria occurs almost daily for more than six weeks and usually causes itching. Each rash lasts less than 24 hours. It leaves no bruises, no marks.
The rash lasts for more than six weeks and can last for months or years. This condition is known as chronic urticaria.
If the cause is not determined, even after a thorough examination and after having reported the full medical history, the condition is called chronic idiopathic urticaria,
About half of these cases are related to certain immune findings.
Chronic urticaria may be related to thyroid disease, other hormonal problems or, in rare cases, cancer.
Treatment of urticaria
For mild to moderate urticaria, the most common treatment is a non-sedative (not drowsy) antihistamine. Antihistamines relieve symptoms such as itching.
If you suffer from chronic urticaria, your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine.
There are many antihistamines on the market.
Some cause drowsiness while others don’t.
There is no antihistamine that is effective for everyone.
Your dermatologist may combine an antihistamine with other medications to control urticaria.
Other medications to treat urticaria include:
Cortisone, only for short-term use due to side effects related with long-term use.
Antibacterials as a causal treatment
Other medicines that fight inflammation (redness and swelling).
Montelukast (Singulair) as a leukotriene antagonist.
Monoclonal anti-Ig E antibody (Omalizumab)