Urticaria (also known as nettle rash) is a very common disorder in which red, itching bumps appear on the skin. The center of urticaria is sometimes bright and often combine to form large, irregular elevated stains. Urticaria can occur anywhere in the body.
Urticaria is sometimes triggered by an allergic reaction to food – these are usually shells, strawberries, nuts or nutritional supplements – or medicines, e.g. penicillin. It can also occur after infection or appear at the site of the insect bite. In some people, however, urticaria appear as soon as they scratch their skin (this form of urticaria is known as dermographism urticaria) or, very rarely, when exposed to heat, cold or sunlight. However, in many cases, it is difficult to find out what activates that condition.
Whatever the cause, tension and stress usually exacerbate urticaria. Urticaria usually disappear in a few hours, but sometimes they reappear at certain intervals that last for days or months.
Some people suffer from a very severe form of the disorder known as angioneurotic edema. In this case there is a sharp swelling of the tissue, especially the lips and the skin around the eyes. If the swelling extends to the throat, choking is also possible. However, in most cases, urticaria is an irritating but harmless condition.
What to do?
If urticaria is a consequence of food allergy, you will probably be able to determine which type of food caused it because urticaria appears several minutes after the meal. However, it can easily happen that you can not determine the activating factor and thus prevent seizures of the urticaria.
In this case, contact your doctor. You can get rid of itch by putting a liquid powder on urticaria. Avoid aspirin, as this may aggravate urticaria and sometimes cause seizures. Contact your doctor if the rash has not disappeared after four hours.
If your lips and skin around your eyes start to swell, and the swelling is spreading to your throat, immediately go to your doctor.
To counteract unpleasant urticaria, your doctor will prescribe antihistamine tablets. If you have a severe angioneurotic edema, your doctor may give you an injection of a corticosteroid or adrenaline (hormone) to reduce swelling and thus prevent the risk of suffocation.