Allergic urticaria is one of the variants of an allergic reaction, a disease manifested by rashes on the skin, in appearance resembling the reaction of the skin to a nettle burn.
Allergic urticaria is so common a disease that during the life of every fifth person at least once developed symptoms of this disease.
Contact with some allergens leads to the development of allergic urticaria.
The most common allergens that cause symptoms of allergic urticaria:
- food products – fish, eggs, nuts, fruits;
- food additives – all sorts of components that are used to impart color to food products, to replace natural components, to increase the shelf life of perishable products;
- medications – antibiotics, vitamins, contraceptive drugs;
- inhalation allergens – pollen of trees and grasses;
- viral infection (with Epstein-Barr viruses, hepatitis B).
Also, allergic urticaria can be caused by physical factors (heat, cold, solar, vibration).
Symptoms of allergic urticaria
When urticaria rash occurs in the form of well-defined blisters of a pale pink or red hue that are raised above the skin surface and disappear when pressed. The rash that occurs with urticaria is accompanied by intense itching.
The dimensions of the rash elements at urticaria can vary from a few millimeters to ten centimeters. The number of elements can be from several to hundreds. Sometimes urticaria can have a draining, massive character when the elements combine and cover almost the entire surface of the skin.
Diagnosing allergic urticaria is incredibly difficult and has many pitfalls. In many cases, it is impossible to establish what exactly provokes the development of urticaria, despite numerous surveys.
Sometimes (but very rarely) it is possible to determine the causative factor of urticaria development by the appearance of the rash. For example, a rash on open areas of the body, after contact with cold or sun, may indicate the presence of cold or sun allergy.
Types of disease
With acute urticaria, the reaction to stimuli appears instantly and disappears just as quickly (within a few hours or up to a day). It appears as a rounded or shapeless pink-red blister on the skin. Chronic allergy is expressed by the persistence of symptoms (itching, redness on the skin, blisters) that can last up to several months. Over time, an allergic reaction can flow into a more complex stage, accompanied by an increase in the size of the blisters.
It is possible to treat allergic urticaria by eliminating certain foods from your diet, in other words, the patient needs a strict diet. Hypoallergenic diet is always selected individually.
Treatment of allergic urticaria
Treatment of allergic urticaria is carried out according to the principles of treatment of any allergic disease.
The ideal option in the treatment of urticaria – to eliminate contact with the factors causing the development of urticaria. The easiest way to do this is with a medical urticaria or with an allergy to food. Then you can avoid the use of significant allergen.
If the urticaria causes many factors or contact with a significant factor cannot be excluded, then it is necessary to take antihistamines (loratadine, cetrin, claritin, diphenhydramine, etc.). For especially severe forms of urticaria, glucocorticoid drugs are used briefly.
The prognosis for life is usually favorable. Perhaps the development of angioedema, which occurs with the development of edema of the upper respiratory tract. This condition already carries a threat to life.
In addition, urticaria can be a manifestation of internal pathology, including cancer, which, of course, weights the prognosis for the patient. In 30% of cases, chronic forms of the disease occur.
Prevention of allergic urticaria
Primary prevention consists in following a hypoallergenic diet of a pregnant and nursing woman in order to further reduce the risk of an allergic reaction in the baby. Prolonged breastfeeding also reduces the risk of developing allergic diseases in the future.
The later the baby gets acquainted with the potential allergens, the less likely the allergy will be in the future. And this applies to almost everything: food, hygiene products, water, soft toys. That is why it is necessary to carefully monitor what the child is in contact with, inquiring about what is included in the composition of food products, detergents with which the child is in contact.
Secondary prevention is to prevent recurrent episodes of the development of allergic urticaria. This can be achieved with the exception of a significant allergen, as well as timely and competent administration of antiallergic drugs.