“Urticaria” is also known as “Hives”. Up to 23% of people may have experienced Urticaria at one time or another. For some 25% of those patients it is a chronic condition. In the majority of cases the acute Urticaria reaction may last for a few hours or more, however in chronic Urticaria patients, the wheals may last for days or even weeks.
Acute Urticaria is caused by the release of certain chemical mediators within the body, the most important being histamine. Histamine is contained in the granules of mast cells. These are the large cells in the connective tissue of the skin. As histamine is released into the surrounding tissue and the blood stream, degranulation of the mast cells occurs. Contraction of the cells lining the blood vessels, allows leakage of the intravascular fluid into the surrounding tissues causing swelling and wheal formation.
The cause of Chronic Urticaria is unknown but in up to 80% of cases, an intolerance to salicylates and benzoates is a common trigger. This type of Urticaria affects mainly adults and occurs in twice as many women as men. In cases where the patient has had Urticaria for up to six months, then as many as 40% of these patients can suffer this condition for ten years or more.
- Urticaria can occur on any part of the body.
- The condition can affect people of all ages.
- Skin lesions usually appear and disappear rapidly, lasting between a few hours to less than a day. No marks or scarring is usually apparent upon the disappearance of the wheals.
- Skin lesions can present as bright red, pink or whitish wheals in a variety of sizes, configurations and shapes.
- The wheals may appear as separate entities or as overlapping plaques.
There are several different types of Urticaria:-
- Physical – about 4% of the population has this type of Urticaria condition. Upon scratching the skin, linear lesions appear. The lesions are itchy but fade after about 30 minutes.
- Cold – Often found in children or young adults. The lesions are confined to the areas of skin directly exposed to the cold.
- Solar – The lesions appear after exposure to sunlight.
- Cholinergic – Sweating (usually associated with exercise, hot showers or heavy activity) causes small, prolific,extremely itchy lesions to appear.
- Contact – Usually as a consequence of intolerance to salicylates, benzoates, dyes or plants. NOTE:- in extreme cases Angioedema and Anaphylaxis can occur. These conditions require IMMEDIATE medical attention.
- Allergic – Usually associated with the intake of medicines, insect bites or foods. NOTE:- in extreme cases Angioedema and Anaphylaxis can occur. These conditions require IMMEDIATE medical attention.
- Delayed Pressure – this is a rare form of Urticaria, taking longer to appear than other presentations. Deep swelling of the buttocks and thighs (after being seated for long periods), hands (after sport or using hand tools) and feet (after walking, running etc.) can occur. It may take up to six hours to fully develop. Although swelling is the normal presentation, in some cases, wheals may also develop.
Is Urticaria incurable?
Our protocols for the treatment of Urticaria are based on clearing up symptoms using dietary advice and through the use of naturally-based topical and oral medicines such as ointments, creams, gels, lotions etc as well as targetted oral medicines, under the brand names of Dr Michaels and Seloderma, as well as some other brands, which assist in breaking the cycle from within.
Address the internal causative factors with respect to nutrients lacking in your diet, or metabolically blocked by your body, by seeing a Skin Professional who can assess which nutrients are lacking in your diet and which ones your body is blocking.