Urticaria is a skin disorder caused by the inflammation of the skin. It is otherwise called hives. It can be an allergic reaction and can be chronic, acute or recurrent. The hives formed by this disorder can be flat topped or rounded and is always raised above the skin. The sizes of the rashes may vary from few millimeters to some inches. These rashes become red lesions with red color at the borders. These hives may occur on any part of the body like arms, legs, trunk etc.
Causes of Urticaria
The hives on the skin are caused by a compound called histamine that gets released from cells called mast cells. Histamine causes the blood vessels to leak fluid and thus leads to swelling in particular parts of the skin. This can be a reaction towards an allergy like food, insect stings, medications etc. Medications like aspirin, morphine, codeine, ibuprofen etc may trigger the body to make histamines.
Irritations in digestive tract, toxemia etc may also cause urticaria. Changing the diet, detergents, soaps, deodorants etc may also cause hives. Other major causes of urticaria are the bites of certain insects like wasps, bedbug, mosquitoes, bees, caterpillars, flies etc. Emotional excitement too plays a role in creating this disorder.
Symptoms of Utricaria
There may be rashes on the skin that appears suddenly with out having any reason. These raised hives may appear on different parts of the body or on the whole body. There can be white or red patches around the raised inflated skin. These eruptions on the body may vary in size as well as shape. There may be itching, burning sensation and swelling on the affected parts and these flares may goes off on its own with in minutes or hours and may reappear at some other parts of the body. In most of the cases these hives may last up to six weeks and is called acute urticaria. If it lasts more than six weeks then it is called chronic urticaria. Sometimes the urticaria is accompanied with digestive disturbance, fever, prostration etc.
Urticaria can affect any person devoid of his race, sex or age however chronic urticaria is more common in ladies.