Urticaria characteristics and information

The urticaria consists in reddish areas of the skin which produce an intense itching, these lesions also known as hives suddenly emerge and they can disappear very fast in one hour or two hours, but they can also last for twenty four hours. These lesions frequently emerge in groups and as the old welts disappear, new ones emerge. About twenty percent of the population has been affected by hives at any stage of life.

Frequently the urticaria hives are triggered as a secondary effect produced by the ingestion of certain foods or medicines. The foods that can be causatives agents for urticaria hives include tomatoes, nuts, berries and shellfish. Medicines that are frequently responsible of the emergence of urticaria hives are: aspirin, Phenobarbital, penicillin, anticonvulsants, and sulfa drugs.

A common type of urticaria is the Dermographism which is present on about five percent of the population. The urticaria hives are produced by a constant friction or rubbing over the skin, and they occur frequently after scratching or when the person uses tight clothes.

The cholinergic urticaria is the medical term for the urticaria hives that can be developed after having activities that increase body temperature. The activities that can cause the emergence of urticaria hives are: shower, tub baths, whirlpool, fiver, exercises and emotional tension. It has been estimated that about five to seven percent of the patients that are affected by urticaria can be affected by cholinergic urticaria.

The urticaria induced by cold appears after the exposition to the wind or water at a very low temperature. The urticaria can affect extremities and in general to any area that is exposed. Cold water or liquids con produce symptoms on lips and mouth. Solar urticaria is usually caused by exposition of skin to sunlight or to sun lamps generating a reaction in about three minutes after the exposure.

Exercise is another cause for urticaria; some individuals affected by this condition can also develop lung obstruction or loss of consciousness. This serious disease is known as exercise induced anaphylaxis. Sometimes the urticaria is present in some individuals in a recurring way without an apparent cause, this condition is known as chronic urticaria. Although this condition is mostly an annoyance and it is not particularly linked to an internal severe disease, the exact mechanism for this condition is not known and the urticaria generally disappears by itself.

What is an angioedema?

While urticaria is developed on the surface of the skin, the angioedema is an inflammation developed on deepest layers of skin. It happens more frequently on hands, feet and face. If the angioedema emerges on the throat normal breathing can be blocked and also the capacity of swallowing, in which case it should be medically attended immediately. This situation takes place very rarely since the angioedema produces lesions or inflammations on lips and eyes with no lasting effects. The urticaria and angioedema can emerge simultaneously or by separate. It can generally last for one or two days.