Urticaria is an itchy, red rash that can occur anywhere on the body. It is common and affects at least 20% of people. It might be accompanied with angioedema symptoms, which include swelling in the deeper layers of the skin.
Causes of urticaria
Urticaria occurs when our bodies produce high amounts of histamine. This occurs when we have an allergic reaction to a single chemical in the case of acute urticaria, while chronic urticaria can last for more than six weeks and is rarely caused by a specific sensitivity.
- Many episodes in childhood are caused by a viral infection and often get better on their own
- There is often no reason for the recurrence and chronicity, as skin cells release histamine without any external stimulus.
- Some medications such as ibuprofen or some blood pressure medications.
- Sometimes associated with abnormal thyroid function or celiac disease. So, if the condition is persistent, your doctor may recommend a blood test.
- We cannot identify a single cause for most people with chronic urticaria.
Preventing urticaria could be difficult, but knowing and avoiding the triggers that induce the release of high amounts of histamine and cause your rash can help prevent a new attack. Triggers might include the following:
- Eating certain foods.
- Contact with some plants, animals and chemicals.
- Coldness, such as cold water or cold weather and wind.
- Sweating and overheating that may occur as a result of a variety of factors such as exercise, emotional stress, or eating spicy foods.
- A reaction to a certain medicine or an insect bite.
- Scratching your skin, such as wearing tight or itchy clothes.
- Getting an infection.
- A problem with your immune system.
The rash usually clears up within a few days, and you can often treat it with antihistamines, soothing creams, or cooling the skin with a cool bath, but if it doesn’t improve with treatment, you’ll need to see a dermatologist.
When do you consult a doctor?
You should visit your doctor if
- Your symptoms do not improve within two days
- The rash was spreading
- The urticaria keeps coming back, you may be allergic to something
- You have a high temperature or feel sick or unwell
- Suffering from swelling under the skin