Urticaria is characterized by a sharp allergic reaction, which leads to the formation of characteristic rashes on the skin in the form of blisters, accompanied by unpleasant itching. External or internal allergens lead to an increase in the concentration of active substances in the human body that cause pathological changes on the skin.
Urticaria can occur equally often in both children and adults. As a rule, women suffer from this skin change twice as often as men. Often, the appearance of itchy skin rashes is promoted by a high genetic predisposition.
Urticaria is considered far from the rarest disease. Allergists put it in second place after bronchial asthma. According to statistics, the pathological process is noted in every third person at least once during his life. Elderly people suffer from such skin manifestations much less often.
The effect of inflammatory reaction mediators leads to an increase in the permeability of small vessels, and the reactive development of the edematous process in urticaria is considered to be the main mechanism for the occurrence of a pathological reaction.
Exposure to various external negative factors, such as medications, various products, low temperatures, solar energy, with urticaria triggers a reaction without the participation of the immune system. In this case, a pseudoallergic type of skin reaction develops. Functional insufficiency of the liver and bile ducts is considered to be a frequent causal factor in the development of this form of the disease.
Varieties of urticaria
Depending on the nature of the course, the presence of one or another causal factor triggering the formation of skin rashes, there are several varieties of urticaria. The nature of the course of the disease can be both acute and chronic. In the first case, skin manifestations bother the patient for less than a month and a half, and if the period of the presence of signs of pathological changes is delayed, then the disease transforms into a chronic form.
When exposed to a negative physical stimulus, a physical form of the disease may occur. This often happens under the influence of low temperatures, solar energy. It is interesting to develop a cholinergic type of disease with these rashes, which can appear after a significant and sharp physical exertion.
The contact variety of pathological skin changes in the form of blisters, as a rule, develops after direct contact with an allergen, the role of which can be performed by a variety of synthetic products, skin medicines with antibiotics, irritating objects of plant or animal origin.
Often, the appearance of urticary rashes in a person with urticaria is provoked by a variety of products. They can be different types of nuts, varieties of cheeses, alcoholic beverages.
Symptoms of urticaria
The symptoms of urticaria differ in their brightness and specificity. They manifest themselves fairly quickly after exposure to the causal factor. Skin rashes can manifest first in the form of papules, and then transform into blisters, which can then unite, open up and undergo suppuration. The size and localization of skin changes can be different, they usually stand out clearly against the background of healthy skin.
With the acute nature of the course of the disease, the symptoms of urticaria have their own characteristics. The leading signs include the presence of severe unpleasant itching, severe malaise, fever, headache. Blisters in their development can rise above the surface of the skin and change color from red to pale. As the edematous phenomenon increases, there may be a detachment of the upper layers of the epidermis and the appearance of pathological fluid with blood impurities. Skin changes often merge, forming elements of various shapes and sizes. In the future, the blisters are transformed into ring-shaped elements.
In the symptoms of urticaria of the chronic variant of the course, the waviness of the manifestation is recorded. Unbearable itching and rashes can bother patients for a long time, usually more than six weeks. Due to frequent scratching, there is often an attachment of an infectious agent that causes the formation of numerous ulcers on the surface.
Diagnosis and treatment of urticaria
In typical cases of the disease, in the presence of a characteristic skin rash in the form of blisters, diagnosis is not difficult. Treatment of urticaria should begin after accurately determining the form of the pathological reaction and the nature of the allergen.
Treatment of urticaria includes several main points that should act systematically. It is important to influence the cause of the rash, neutralize the effect of the allergen, eliminate the symptoms and remove negative manifestations in the form of swelling and itching. It is also important to prevent the appearance of bacterial complications during combing and to reduce the number of relapses in the chronic course.
Diagnostic measures for urticaria include several studies that allow you to detect an allergen and eliminate its harmful effects. A clinical blood test is often prescribed, which shows an increased content of eosinophils. With the help of special allergological tests, a causal allergen is detected. Serological diagnostics helps to establish an increase in the level of a special immunoglobulin, which reacts to the pathological effects of substances that lead to the disease.
Blocking the stages of the development of an allergic reaction in the treatment of urticaria is carried out with the help of a variety of antihistamines. With a recurrent variant of the course of a chronic type of disease, the use of a special histaglobulin is justified. Symptoms of edema and itching are relieved by special medications prescribed by the attending physician. There is often an improvement after exposure to the affected areas of the skin with solutions of diluted table vinegar or fresh lemon juice.
Measures for the prevention of urticaria
Prevention of urticaria includes adherence to a dairy-plant diet, prevention of repeated contact with allergens. If it is impossible to eliminate the effect of the causal factor, it is recommended to take antihistamines prophylactically for early relief of rash symptoms. If all recommendations and preventive measures are followed, the prognosis of urticaria is favorable.