PHYSICAL ALLERGY URTICARIA - Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms - Watsons Health


Physical allergy urticaria is a condition where there are red (erythematous) allergic skin rashes and itching that may be caused by too much exposure to heat, cold or exposure to chemicals or plants. The medical term for this is “wheal”, which may expand in size from a couple of millimeters to a few centimeters. The center of the rash can be white or red and is typically surrounded by red skin. This abnormality usually happens in children.


Dermatographia, dermographism, or autographism are defined as rashes made by scratching and continues to affect the skin. Dermographism is said to be the most frequent form of physical urticaria. The rashes may appear in areas exposed to heat, or after a hot shower or bath. Sometimes, this may be the first sign of an urticarial drug reaction. The physical urticaria can happen when continuous vibration in the skin occurs after exposing to water (aquagenic urticaria).


Very common symptoms of physical urticaria are itching and hives along with the appearance of red rings with white ridges. Usually, sensitivity to cold beings about skin rashes, swelling and itching. These symptoms may appear after exposure to cold or after swimming or bathing. Asthma and histamine-mediated shock may happen in severe conditions.


To diagnose physical allergy urticaria, the doctor will first know the health background of the patient and conduct a physical examination. The diagnosis may then be confirmed by certain laboratory tests.


Prevention of physical urticaria can be done by avoiding triggers. Symptoms such as swelling and itching can usually be treated by an oral antihistamine. Systematic corticosteroids given as injections should be avoided except when they are needed.

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