Urticaria (urticaria)

The text is presented for informational purposes only. We urge you not to self-medicate. When the first symptoms appear, consult a doctor. Recommended reading: " Why not self-medicate?". Urticaria, urticaria, urticaria - a skin disease, mainly of allergic origin. The disease got its name from the fact that blisters that appear on the skin are very similar to burns from nettles.

Urticaria can be attributed to fairly common diseases: according to statistics, every fifth person has personally encountered such an ailment. Most of all, female representatives aged 23-65 are prone to the disease. In another way, urticaria is called urticaria, since in most cases it manifests itself in the form of urticarial dermatitis, when flat blisters of white and red color spread as quickly as possible over the skin.

Forms of the disease

Urticaria has two forms of flow - acute and chronic. In 80% of cases, patients are diagnosed with an acute form of the pathological process, and only in 20% - chronic.

Chronic

Chronic urticaria is often diagnosed in patients with various chronic infectious diseases, thyroid and gastrointestinal diseases, but doctors do not can always determine its true cause. In this case, the pathological process is idiopathic or spontaneous. In 70% of cases, the cause of chronic urticaria is difficult to determine. Compared with the acute form, it lasts more than six months, and sometimes doctors cannot save the patient from this disease for several years. Relapses are very common (symptoms have disappeared and the rash from the skin has disappeared, but literally after a few weeks everything returns).

In turn, the chronic form can be permanent or persistent (each day the rash changes its size, color and shape), recurrent (during the course of the pathological process, doctors observe long periods of remission).

Very rarely chronic urticaria is caused by allergic agents, in most cases bacterial, viral and autoimmune processes are the cause. The main feature of this disease is the sharp and unprovoked appearance of red, flat, itchy blisters on the skin. In order to avoid complications, it is better to start treatment immediately after the first symptoms appear.

Acute

The acute form is considered the most common in medical practice: in this case, the pathological process can take up to six months.

This form of the disease is caused by various external and internal factors. The most common cause is an allergic reaction to a certain group of drugs. This mainly occurs while taking medications containing penicillins, hormones, sulfonamides and B vitamins.

Many foods can cause acute urticaria: nuts, eggs, chocolate, fruits, processed foods, seafood or fish, beef, poultry, dairy products, cereals. Allergic acute urticaria can also begin due to serious food poisoning, dysbacteriosis, hepatitis B, anaphylaxis, hypothermia or overheating of the body.

This form of the disease is easy to treat, the main thing is to start it on time. If you use medical treatment in the early stages, then you can get rid of unpleasant symptoms in a few days. They pass quickly and painlessly, while leaving no scars on the skin.

If you miss the first symptoms and do not start therapy on time, then the pathological process can end in serious complications. In this case, the treatment will already be carried out in a medical institution. There are cases when urticaria leads to death with swelling of the larynx and the development of acute respiratory failure. Therefore, if you see the first symptoms, then do not delay and remember that timely diagnosis will allow you to get rid of the disease without complications at home.

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Anyone can develop acute urticaria, but people who are prone to atopic dermatitis are most at risk.

Classification by type of origin

In order to quickly find a way to treat, experts have divided urticaria by type of origin, so doctors can more easily work with the patient. The pathological process by origin can be dermographic, cold and sunny. Now let's look at each type individually.

Dermographic

The etiology of this process is still unclear. Often manifested by redness and the appearance of blisters at a time when the skin is amenable to mechanical irritation. Dermographic urticaria does not have separate symptoms, and therefore sometimes it can be confused with any other type, only a doctor can recognize it. The first thing that appears on the human body is erythema, that is, severe redness. Afterwards, the body begins to be covered with rashes accompanied by intense itching. All this can begin due to contact (rubbing) of the skin with clothes, a bag or any other object. To diagnose a dermographic pathological process, specialists prescribe special skin tests, and by evaluating their results, a diagnosis is established. If the treatment is easy, then doctors do not prescribe special treatment. Even with more serious manifestations, it is worth starting drug therapy. In simple words, this type of urticaria can be called an abnormal reaction of the skin to mechanical stimuli.

Cold

This type of urticaria occurs as a result of skin cooling, when due to cold air or cold water red spots appear on the human body, which are very similar to urticaria. Many doctors call this phenomenon an allergy to cold, but studies have shown that this does not apply to an allergic reaction.

Frosty air, dampness and cold are physical factors that provoke the appearance of sensitization, that is, at these moments the skin becomes more sensitive.

Cold urticaria occurs within a few minutes after the skin has succumbed to the effects of low temperature. Often in this case, redness is localized on the skin of the face, hands or lips. Outwardly, the rashes are pink or whitish in color, the blisters are dense in structure and are accompanied by severe itching.

Solar

Doctors refer to solar urticaria as one of the varieties of photodermatosis: in this case, the rash appears suddenly and rapidly spreads throughout the body immediately after the skin begins to hit by ultraviolet rays of the sun. But as soon as a person moves into the shade or hides from ultraviolet rays, the spots immediately begin to disappear. The main feature of this type of pathological process is that many small reddish blisters with liquid contents begin to merge into one large red spot after some time. Doctors diagnose this disease very quickly, for this you do not need to take additional tests.

Solar urticaria is treated with medication, with neglected forms, the patient may be referred for inpatient treatment.

Causes of the disease

The human body is constantly under the influence of negative factors from the external environment. These factors are scientifically called antigens - any substance is perceived by the human body as a foreign element that must be fought. Consequently, the body begins to produce its own antibodies. After some time, they all accumulate, which leads to the formation of an immune response to stimuli. If the immune response starts too quickly, then this is called an allergic reaction.

Urticaria can be called a reaction in which histamine is produced in excess, and because of it, in turn, capillaries begin to expand and vascular permeability increases. A large amount of histamine in the human body can provoke swelling of the dermis, that is, the appearance of small blisters that cover the skin.

Some foodstuffs, insect stings, toxic substances and many other things can become the reasons for the development of such a pathological process as urticaria in a person. In addition, urticaria can be provoked by an excess production of the mediator of the autonomic nervous system acetylcholine. This substance in the human body acts on tissues like histamine.

The main causes of urticaria can be internal and external.

External provoking factors include:

  • allergies to certain food groups;
  • insect bites (occurs in 75% of cases);
  • attack of the immune system on its own cells (this process in medical practice is called an autoimmune reaction);
  • formation of antigen-antibody complexes in the human body;
  • certain medications.

Internal causes include:

  • disorders of the digestive system;
  • chronic infectious pathologies;
  • hyperthyroidism;
  • autoimmune thyroiditis;
  • oncopathology.

Symptoms

The first symptom of any type of urticaria is a rash on the skin. Urticaria differs from a simple rash by the presence of blisters (they can be different in size and shape). From untimely treatment, the blisters begin to increase in size and connect with each other, forming a solid red spot. With the appearance of the first blisters, the person begins to experience severe itching and burning.

In addition to skin symptoms, patients experience low energy levels, sudden dizziness, and palpitations and high blood pressure.

In rare cases, patients develop a fever of the body, pain in the joints and headaches.

Seek medical attention at the first sign of symptoms to prevent serious complications. Early diagnosis of urticaria will allow you to get rid of it quickly and painlessly.

Localization of rashes

During urticaria, a person may have localized rashes on different parts of the body, it all depends on the type of the pathological process itself.

  1. As a result of acute urticaria, wheals can be localized absolutely everywhere, in this case the human body is covered with dense pale spots that rise on the surface of the skin.
  2. Acute localized angioedema presents as a single large edema that can occur anywhere on the skin or mucous membrane.
  3. Chronic urticaria is manifested by separate red spots: the predominant localization is the neck, back, abdomen.
  4. Persistent papular urticaria can be found in areas where joints flex and extend.
  5. As a result of solar urticaria, a skin rash is localized in the face and hands.

The course of urticaria

In each case, urticaria proceeds differently: it all depends on the form of the disease, the age of the patient and other individual characteristics. Let's look at how urticaria develops in individual cases.

Beginning

The course of this pathological process in adults and children is practically the same. As a rule, people begin to suspect that they have hives when they see blisters on their body that occur for unknown reasons. The onset is sudden and acute.

Reddish vesicles rise above the skin, have a dense structure, and sometimes with liquid contents.

The edges of the blisters have clear boundaries, they disappear as quickly as they appear. But this is not the case for everyone: in the case of the first symptoms, it is better to seek qualified help.

In pregnant women

During pregnancy, almost all processes of the female body are rebuilt. If before pregnancy the female body could cope with some external and internal stimuli, then during this period everything happens a little differently.

During pregnancy, hives in a woman can be localized in absolutely all parts of the body, but most of all blisters can be seen on the stomach. Urticaria during pregnancy alarms women, so they can become irritable and nervous. Urticaria absolutely does not affect the development of the fetus, but do not forget that the blisters caused by urticaria can be similar to infectious diseases that are very dangerous for the unborn child. Therefore, at the first sign, it is better to consult a doctor.

During lactation

During this period, it is very important to know what form of urticaria a woman has. If it is chronic, then both mother and child should be under the supervision of a specialist. If this is an acute form, then most likely it will pass soon, and during breastfeeding it will not affect the baby in any way. The only thing is that urticaria can cause nervous disorders in a woman, which leads to the loss of breast milk, so you should not panic, the most important thing at this moment is the health of the baby.

If a woman is prescribed medication during lactation, then you should carefully read their instructions, because among them there are those that are strictly prohibited during breastfeeding.

In infants

Unfortunately, many infants have urticaria, often caused by various allergic reactions. When an allergen enters the baby's body, the body begins to actively produce histamine, it is at this moment that the baby's body becomes covered with various spots and blisters. It is easy to distinguish urticaria from another pathological process - these are reddish blisters of a dense structure with localization on absolutely all parts of the body.

The duration of the disease

The duration of the pathological process depends entirely on the form of the disease itself. If the doctor diagnosed an acute form of urticaria, then it will last less than a month and a half, but often the symptoms disappear after two days. If a chronic form occurs in the human body, then everything is already more complicated: in this case, the disease can proceed for more than two months. At the same time, doctors may not name the true cause of the appearance of urticaria.

Methods of diagnosis

It is very important to pay attention to the diagnosis, and immediately begin quality treatment, otherwise serious complications may begin.

What tests should I take?

As we said above, urticaria is a kind of allergic reaction, therefore, specific studies are not carried out when diagnosing in the acute period. An allergy test is done after the symptoms of the disease subside. It is necessary in order to find out what exactly provoked the disease.

Differential diagnosis with other skin processes

This type of diagnosis is intended for patients with a chronic form of the disease. In this case, doctors cannot accurately determine the cause of the pathological process, so they first need to exclude all other skin pathologies.

Treatment

Before prescribing drug therapy, doctors must determine the exact cause of a skin disease. Acute urticaria is treatedwith antihistamines, including glucocorticosteroids. Cleansing enemas are carried out, it is necessary to follow a hypoallergenic diet, the exclusion of the substance that led to the development of an allergic reaction.

Doctors prescribe antihistamines to treat the chronic form of urticaria, or rather to eliminate unpleasant symptoms.

There are no contraindications for treatment of urticaria. The only thing you need is to carefully read the description of the instructions for the prescribed drugs, the patient may have an individual sensitivity to any component. Treatment of urticaria is possible even in infants, but only the attending physician should deal with it.

Consequences of urticaria

If we talk about the disease in the early stages, then with timely treatment there will be no consequences. But already at the advanced stages, you need to listen to your body. Otherwise, simple urticaria will result in severe Quincke's edema, which can be fatal.

It is possible to avoid attacks of urticaria, for this you need to follow the simplest rules:

  • monitor hand and body hygiene;
  • do not take cold showers (water should be at room temperature);
  • use creams and balms that do not dry out the skin;
  • stay out of direct sunlight for a long time and avoid stressful situations.

Do they take urticaria into the army?

There is no specific answer here, everything depends on the stage and form of the disease in an individual case.

Sources
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