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Urticaria in adults: photo, symptoms, treatment


Urticaria is a disease of an allergic nature, characterized by the prevalence of dermatological symptoms. It received its name due to the fact that the rash that appeared on the body in appearance resembles a nettle burn.

According to statistics, urticaria occurs at least once in every life in every fifth person and is considered one of the most multifaceted diseases of the immune nature.

Urticaria classification

Urticaria in adults Depending on the criterion, there are several classifications of this disease.

Traditionally, doctors distinguish the acute form - the symptoms occur for the first time and last no more than 6 weeks - and chronic, in which there is a periodic exacerbation of allergic symptoms and remission. In order for the specialists to diagnose chronic urticaria, exacerbations should occur more than 6 weeks after the first case.

In terms of immunology, the following types of urticaria are distinguished:

  • Urticarial vasculitis is characterized by inflammation of the walls of small vessels and capillaries, which is manifested by the formation of specific blisters. In contrast to the classic urticaria, they hold for quite a long time - up to several days.
  • Allergic urticaria - usually occurs acutely as an immune response to foods, medicines, cosmetics or synthetic materials (for example, latex). Patients with this type of urticaria most often have unsuccessful allergic heredity and more than one episode of hypersensitivity in history. As a rule, allergy tests in such cases are positive, and classical elimination measures give a good therapeutic effect.
  • Complement-dependent urticaria is a rather rare pathology. May be hereditary or acquired. The latter is often associated with certain cancers.
  • Autoimmune urticaria - flows through the idiopathic mechanism and is characterized by asthenic and dyspeptic symptoms. Often associated with diseases of the thyroid gland of an autoimmune nature, which may be hereditary. It is characterized by positive allergy tests and the presence of appropriate immunoglobulins in the blood.

Urticaria in adults photos Depending on the factor that causes allergies, urticaria can be:

  • Mechanical - manifested due to the direct effect on the skin of an irritating factor.
  • Vibration - may be both hereditary and acquired, and is due to the disintegration of mast cells. Appears several hours after exposure to vibration and remains on the skin during the day.
  • Dermographic - occurs after mechanical action on the skin. First, the patient complains of itching, and then edema occurs immediately at the point of contact.
  • Heat - occurs after prolonged exposure to heat on the skin. The effects usually become visible after 4-5 hours. Often, general malaise, nausea, headache and dizziness are associated with skin symptoms.
  • Cold urticaria - manifests itself quickly, almost 15-20 minutes after exposure to low temperatures. Characterized by the development of rash, redness and itching. After warming the patient quickly passes. Often occurs associated with viral diseases, and its severity is highly dependent on the patient's immunity.

Also in the literature there are the following types of urticaria, which are classified depending on the mechanism of flow:

  • Aqua - is a rather rare kind of allergies, which occurs as a reaction to water. In fact, antigens are minerals dissolved in running water. The resulting reaction usually proceeds easily in the form of small bubbles and is not dangerous for the patient's life.
  • Contact - is a complex of reactions that occur during direct tactile contact with the allergen.
  • Adrenergic urticaria - occurs under the influence of stress and adrenaline released during it. Characterized by the appearance of specific papules, however, it is very rare.
  • Holenergic - is also a reaction to the release of a neurotransmitter. Characterized by the appearance of pink blisters over the entire surface of the body. May occur after heavy physical exertion, stress or hot bath. Simultaneously with the rash, patients complain of shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and general weakness.
  • Idiopathic urticaria is a skin allergic reaction that occurs under the influence of unknown causes.

Symptoms of urticaria in adults

Urticaria in adults photo symptoms The main element of the disease is the appearance of blisters, which can vary in size, and also tend to merge, covering all large areas of the body (see photo). Visually, a rash can appear in just a few minutes. Often, the rapid development of urticaria in adults is accompanied by angioedema and other threatening symptoms. It is especially dangerous for the patient's life if the swelling extends to the mucous membranes of the organs, which makes breathing difficult, and also provokes severe nausea and even vomiting.

Dermatological symptoms are often accompanied by intolerable itching.

The symptomatology of each individual type of urticaria is very specific, however, in some cases it is difficult to leave an accurate diagnosis. This requires specific diagnostic methods.

Diagnosis of urticaria

The variety of forms of urticaria in adults makes diagnosis much more difficult, therefore the list of required laboratory tests is very wide. Be sure to conduct the following studies:

  • General clinical analyzes of urine and blood help determine how seriously the immunological reaction proceeds.
  • Biochemical analysis of blood shows how other organs and systems are involved in the process of immune response.
  • Definition of specific immunoglobulins E to type allergens or directly to those with which the patient has been in contact. Also determined by the index of total immunoglobulin.

Depending on the particular type of urticaria, the doctor may prescribe additional tests:

  • Skin allergy tests for a group of allergens.
  • Revmaproby to determine the overall immune status of the body.
  • Thyroid hormone tests.
  • Analysis of feces for dysbiosis and the presence of parasites.
  • Seeding detachable from the throat and nose.
  • Ultrasound of various organs - most often the thyroid gland and joints.
  • Blood tests for infections.

Treatment of urticaria in adults

Treatment of urticaria, as well as any allergic disease, begins with the most complete exclusion of contact with the allergen. For this, it is necessary not only to eliminate physical contact, but also to take certain measures aimed at eliminating the antigen from the body. Such activities include washing the nose and stomach, cool shower, instillation into the eyes with saline, and so on.

If food allergies develop, the patient must adhere to a special diet, which excludes not only the ingestion of the allergen product, but also a whole group of substances that provoke the development of cross-reactions.

For the direct treatment of urticaria, the method of ASIT therapy is used, which consists in “training” the body to the allergen. Gradually, the patient is administered small amounts of the drug, which contains the desired allergen. Over time, the organism ceases to react to it as a foreign agent and, accordingly, the intensity of immunological reactions decreases, gradually fading away completely. Such treatment is advisable to start some time before contact with the allergen, for example, two months before the flowering of plants in case the urticaria is associated with pollen.

In addition to etiotropic therapy, specialists apply a wide list of symptomatic remedies aimed at eliminating the unpleasant, and sometimes even dangerous, condition of the patient:

  • Antihistamines, both with a sedative effect — when it is necessary to relieve the itch and calm the patient — and the new generation that do not affect the central nervous system.
  • Immunosuppressants that reduce the intensity of the body's immune response.
  • Glukokortikoida - hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs, which, despite the large number of contraindications, remain the most effective in combating the symptoms of allergies, in particular urticaria.
  • Immunoglobulins and other drugs.

Often in the treatment of urticaria plasmapheresis is used to quickly cleanse the blood of antigens and antibodies formed to them.

Urticaria prevention

The only effective measure for the prevention of allergic diseases is the complete elimination of contact with a substance that can cause a pathological reaction. Depending on what causes the urticaria, doctors recommend:

  • Limit the use of certain foods. It is possible that the development of cross-allergic reactions, in which whole groups are involved, such as cereal, seafood, berries and others.
  • Promptly treat the organs of the gastrointestinal tract. Pathologies in the digestive system, especially those associated with the pancreas or liver, significantly increase the risk of developing urticaria or another allergic reaction. It is also important to monitor the regular work of the intestine, preventing the development of prolonged constipation or relaxation of the chair for a long time.
  • Reasonable restrictions on medication, especially antibiotics.
  • It is necessary to avoid overheating of the body and, on the contrary, overcooling. It is recommended to carry out measures for hardening, if in the history, including family history, there are cases of the development of cold urticaria.
  • Early detection and treatment of endocrine diseases.
  • Reasonable attitude to sunbathing, wearing a hat and consuming large amounts of liquid in the hot season.
  • It is also recommended to avoid stress and overly emotional states. If necessary, it is worth consulting with a specialist.

Is urticaria in pregnant women?

During pregnancy, the likelihood of urticaria increases, especially if the expectant mother had a hereditary predisposition or allergic reactions were recorded in history. Urticaria does not harm the baby in the womb, however, pregnant gives a lot of inconvenience.

Most often, urticaria develops in response to food, cosmetics or household chemicals. Due to elevated estrogen levels, allergic reactions are more aggressive, so a woman needs to be prepared for this. It is not recommended to take any medications without consulting a doctor, since almost all of them are contraindicated during pregnancy.

Experts recommend eating only proven products that belong to the group of hypoallergenic, as well as minimize contact with irritating cosmetics and household chemicals.

In case of unfavorable development of circumstances, the urticaria can develop from an episodic manifestation into a chronic form and it is rather difficult to conquer it up to delivery.

Sometimes allergic reactions are exacerbated only after delivery, and the mother is faced with the problem of urticaria already during breastfeeding. It must be remembered that almost all known anti-allergy drugs penetrate into breast milk, so for the time of drug therapy it is necessary to refuse breastfeeding. It is also recommended to wean the baby for a while in case of severe symptoms in case of urticaria. During lactation, preventive measures and compliance with the diet, as well as avoiding contact with toxic substances and potential allergens come to the fore.

| 26 April 2015 | | 2 357 | Allergology , Skin diseases
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