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Urticaria: photo, symptoms, treatment


Urticaria - the name of a group of diseases characterized by the appearance of acutely irritating, inflamed skin lesions, mucous membranes. According to the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development of the Russian Federation, almost 25% of the country's population at least once in their lives faces symptoms of urticaria.

Causes of urticaria

Hives There are two categories of factors that cause urticaria:

  • external - physical, mechanical, chemical;
  • internal - disorders of the nervous system, pathology of internal organs.

A variety of circumstances can provoke an attack of urticaria:

  • Food,
  • medications,
  • plant pollen,
  • UV,
  • a bite of an insect,
  • rapid cooling or overheating,
  • diseases of the liver, kidneys and other organs,
  • infections,
  • heredity,
  • toxicosis of pregnant women,
  • stress, etc.

Sometimes it is difficult or even impossible to identify the cause of the urticaria.

Urticaria classification

The generally accepted classification of urticaria does not yet exist - an attempt to classify the phenomenon leads to the proposal of cumbersome, complex schemes that are difficult to use in practical health care. Therefore, in clinical practice, it is customary to distinguish urticaria by the course:

  • sharp
  • subacute
  • chronic
  • chronic recurrent.

Acute urticaria. The disease begins suddenly - severe itching of individual parts of the body, or of its entire surface. It is characterized by a monomorphic rash - multiple blisters of the same type. Acute urticaria may be accompanied by headache, elevated body temperature to 39 0 . The blister turns pale as edema increases, in the center detachment of the epidermis is possible. Elements can be placed separately or merge into three-dimensional shapes with fancy outlines. The duration of acute urticaria is from several hours to several days.

Subacute urticaria is the next acute stage. It can last up to 5-6 weeks.

Chronic urticaria - subacute urticaria, the total duration of which exceeds 5 weeks.

Chronic recurrent urticaria - may occur for several decades with periods of partial or complete remission (weakening). It is often accompanied by angioedema. Severe itching causes patients to comb their skin to the blood. In 70% of cases, the causes of chronic urticaria remain unclear.

Also used classification according to the pathogenetic principle:

  1. Immune (allergic) - disorders of the immune system:

- food;

- instektnaya - arising from the bite of insects or contact with the products of their vital activity;

- due to transfusion reactions - the reaction to the introduction of immunoglobulins or platelets, leukocytes, erythrocytes;

- medicinal.

It can be combined with pathologies of the digestive system.

  1. Non-immune (pseudo-allergic) - the immune system is not involved. It may be the result of previously suffered severe intoxication, parasite infection, increased sensitivity to drugs.
  2. Physical - due to various physical effects on the skin:

- cold

- cholinergic,

- vibration,

- solar,

- mechanical irritation - pressure, friction,

- aqua, etc.

  1. Hereditary.

The complexity of the classification of urticaria is caused by the variety of causes of its occurrence.

Common symptoms of urticaria

Urticaria photo symptoms Numerous eruptions appear on the skin and mucous membranes within a few minutes - bright red, sometimes with white spots, dense blisters with clearly defined boundaries as from nettle burn. They can be small - a few millimeters or form a continuous layer on the skin, mucous membranes (see photo).

In addition to severe itching, burning, depending on the vastness of the lesion, a person may experience:

  • headache,
  • nausea
  • drowsiness,
  • weakness.

Temperature increase is possible - nettle fever. Blisters and symptoms may disappear without a trace in a few hours, or the condition is characterized by a stable or undulating course over several days or even months. Usually, after the disappearance of the skin does not leave any traces. In some cases, blisters of the urticaria can take a hemorrhagic nature - after the disappearance of pigment spots remain.

Diagnosis of urticaria

In most cases, diagnosis is generally not difficult. But to determine the form of the urticaria and to clarify its causes, anamnesis is collected and a deep examination is carried out.


In addition to the duration of this episode, it turns out that there are possible incentives for its exacerbation. When interviewing a patient, the doctor finds out:

  • the cyclical appearance of elements and the duration of their "life";
  • the presence of itching;
  • description of possible stimulants of the phenomenon - stress, drug intake, disease, etc .;
  • a history of allergic diseases;
  • the presence of traces after the disappearance of blisters - pigment, scaly spots, vascular pattern;
  • antihistamine efficacy;
  • family history of urticaria.

Sometimes urticaria is only a single episode in human life.

Physical examination

It allows you to make a plan for subsequent laboratory and instrumental studies. As a rule, physical examination includes:

  • body temperature measurement;
  • measurement of blood pressure, heart rate;
  • palpation of the abdominal cavity - determination of the size of the spleen, liver;
  • auscultation of the heart, lungs;
  • determination of lymph node size.

Additional laboratory, instrumental studies, tests allow us to determine the nature of the urticaria, find out its causes and exclude diseases with a similar diagnosis:

  • urticarial and hypereosinophilic vasculitis ;
  • prurigo;
  • erythema multiforme and fixed, erythema nodosum;
  • parasitic invasion;
  • anaphylactic reactions;
  • the prodromal period of bullous pemphigoid or nebulous pemphigoid;
  • contact urticaria.

In addition, urticaria papules that appear in women in the third semester of pregnancy, itchy spots disappear after giving birth.

Laboratory and instrumental studies

Laboratory tests are not used for single episodes of acute urticaria.

Recommended laboratory and instrumental research methods:

  • blood tests - clinical, biochemical;
  • general urine analysis;
  • colonoscopy;
  • bicycle ergometry;
  • X-ray of PPN and OGK;
  • Ultrasound - according to indications;
  • ECG and EGDS;
  • parasitological examination;
  • bacteriological cultures from the pharyngeal mucosa on the flora;
  • bacteriological studies of feces, duodenal contents;
  • X-ray examinations of the paranasal sinuses and organs of the chest cavity.

Diagnosis of physical types of urticaria is carried out using provocative tests - hot baths, water compresses, mechanical skin irritation, bicycle ergometry, etc. Also, tests with autologous serum are used to identify the causes of urticaria.

According to the results of research by a dermatologist, consultations of other specialists can be recommended:

  • allergist,
  • rheumatologist,
  • oncologist,
  • endocrinologist,
  • parasitologist,
  • gynecologist, etc.

Specialists together determine the schemes and methods of treatment.

What is dangerous urticaria?

Urticaria is not contagious and by itself will not lead to the defeat or dysfunction of any systems or organs.

The consequences of urticaria are quite dangerous - insomnia, neurotic disorders. Life-threatening anaphylactic shock, angioedema . If during the attack there is swelling of the oral mucous membranes, difficulty breathing, you must call an ambulance.

Urticaria treatment

Any radical remedy against urticaria simply does not exist. Chronic form is forever. But treatment will help reduce the frequency and duration of attacks, reduce the risk of death due to complications such as angioedema, anaphylactic shock.

The method of treatment is chosen by the doctor individually, depending on the causes of the urticaria, its course, the patient's condition, the presence of concomitant diseases. Modern medicine offers drugs of various actions:

  • antihistamines,
  • immunomodulators,
  • antidepressants.

Self-medication can cause anaphylactic shock or angioedema and cause death. Home treatment is possible only with the approval of his scheme with a doctor.

You can relieve itching and reduce inflammation by wetting the blisters with weak solutions of salt, soda, herbal, alcoholic infusions, 2% salicylic alcohol, and lemon juice. But only after consulting a doctor!

Urticaria prevention

Predict the appearance of the acute form is impossible, but you can try to avoid recurrence of chronic. Under the prevention of urticaria mean:

  • timely diagnosis and treatment of diseases that are or may cause urticaria;
  • regular examination and treatment of inflammatory and other diseases;
  • HLS - non-smoking, taking alcohol, drugs, compliance with sanitary rules and personal hygiene;
  • avoid hypothermia, overheating, exposure to UV, stress, tight clothing;
  • accurate handling of household chemicals and cosmetics;
  • medication only under the supervision of a physician.

Before planning a trip to the sea, to the mountains, you should also consult with your doctor.

Doctors do not have a common opinion about the need for a diet for chronic urticaria, primarily because of the variety of causes of the disease. Usually a diet is recommended during an exacerbation. In the future, the diet is determined individually. For example, in allergic forms of urticaria, the doctor may recommend completely abandoning the allergen product or, on the contrary, taking it for food, but only in microscopic amounts - so that the body “remembers” that this product is not dangerous.

A patient with a diagnosis of chronic urticaria is recommended to have with you:

  • first-aid kit;
  • an extract from the clinic or a note with an indication of the possible causes that may trigger an attack of the disease.

These measures help, if not completely get rid of the rash, then at least to control the itch, allowing the person to maintain social activity, work and live relatively comfortably.

Urticaria in children

Symptoms, diagnosis, classification, prevention and treatment of pediatric urticaria are similar to “adult” species. The only difference is that during the examination the questions of the doctor regarding the alleged cause of the disease should be answered by the parents. Therefore, if blisters appear bright red on the baby’s skin, adults should try to remember:

  • that the child has eaten during the last hours;
  • what the kid did - playing with pets, digging in country beds, taking a long walk, and so on;
  • the presence of chronic disease in the immediate family by both parents.

The appearance of a new type of household chemical product or new perfume at mom, playing with stray animals or letting ships in a cold puddle matters.

A pediatrician may recommend a consultation with an otolaryngologist, an allergist, etc.

To prevent the urticaria from becoming chronic, strict parental control is required.

Pregnant urticaria

In addition to the above reasons, provoke the appearance of red itchy wheals in pregnant women can toxicosis. Urticaria does not have a direct negative impact on the baby, it causes inconvenience only to the woman herself. But the sensation of itch, discomfort does not improve the mood of the future mother and her condition in general, which can not but affect the condition of the child.

Most drugs for the treatment of urticaria are contraindicated for pregnant women, so treatment usually comes down to various measures to reduce itching and sedation of the lungs.

Urticaria, caused by toxicosis, completely disappears after childbirth.

| December 3, 2014 | | 16 004 | Uncategorized