When urticaria, as a rule, itching occurs, but it can also cause burning and sharp pain. These sensations can occur in any part of the body: on the face, lips, tongue, throat or ears. The rash can be the size of a small coin and larger, up to the size of a plate, can also cover large areas of the body. The rash can not go out from a few hours to several days.
Giant urticaria is similar to the usual fever, the difference is that when the first edema appears under the skin and not on the surface of the skin. Giant urticaria causes swelling around the eyes and lips, sometimes swelling of the genitals, hands and feet. As a rule, it lasts longer than nettle fever – edema disappears in less than a day.
Urticaria, or urticaria, is characterized by the sudden appearance of swollen, pale red blisters or spots on the skin due to an organism’s response to an allergen or for another reason.
Sometimes, severe and long-lasting tissue swelling can leave scars. Rarely, a giant urticaria of the throat, tongue, or lungs blocks the airways and makes breathing difficult, which can threaten a person’s life.
Causes of urticaria and giant urticaria
Histamine is a chemical excreted by certain cells that are located along the blood vessels of the skin.
Allergic reactions, chemicals in food, insect bites, exposure to sunlight, medications – all this can cause the release of histamines. Sometimes it is impossible to determine the cause of the urticaria.
There are several types of urticaria and giant urticaria:
- Acute nettle fever and / or giant urticaria: a rash or edema lasts up to six weeks. The most common causes are food, drugs, latex, or infection. Also caused by insect bites and internal diseases.
Among the foods most often caused by hives are nuts, chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries, soybeans, wheat and milk. Fresh foods are more likely to cause hives than cooked food. Certain nutritional supplements and preservatives can also cause urticaria.
Among the drugs that can cause a rash, aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen), drugs for high blood pressure (ACE inhibitors), pain killers (codeine).
- Chronic nettle fever and / or giant urticaria: Rash or edema lasts more than six weeks. The causes of this type of urticaria is difficult to determine. They may include the above reasons, as well as an autoimmune reaction, chronic infections, hormonal disorders, and malignant neoplasms.
- Physical nettle fever: This is nettle fever, which is caused by a direct effect on the skin – for example, cold, heat, sunlight, pressure, sweating, sports. In this case, the rash appears directly in the place in which there was an impact on the skin, and rarely spreads to other areas. A rash appears within an hour after exposure.
- Dermographism : a rash that occurs after mechanical damage to the skin (shock, scarring). This form of urticaria can occur simultaneously with another form.
- Hereditary giant urticaria : painful swelling of tissues. The disease is genetically transmitted.
Diagnosis of nettle fever and giant urticaria
The doctor will need to ask you a lot of questions to find out the possible cause of the urticaria, since there are no special tests for urticaria or the giant urticaria.
Everything will depend on your medical history and on the results of a thorough examination by your doctor, allergist, immunologist and dermatologist.
It is also possible to conduct skin tests to determine which substances cause you an allergic reaction. A blood test will help determine if there are more serious diseases.
Treatment of urticaria and giant urticaria
The most effective treatment is to identify and remove the allergen, but this task is not simple. As a rule, the doctor prescribes antihistamines in order to alleviate the symptoms. Antihistamines can also be taken regularly to prevent urticaria and giant urticaria.
Chronic urticaria is treated with antihistamines or several drugs at the same time. If antihistamines do not help, corticosteroids are prescribed to the patient.
For acute manifestations of urticaria or giant urticaria, epinephrine or a steroid is injected into the body.
A few tips to alleviate the condition:
- avoid hot water; use warm water;
- use a mild soap;
- apply cold compresses or wet tissue to damaged areas;
- try to be in a well-ventilated room, where the air is cool;
- wear loose, lightweight clothing.
When should I call a doctor?
If any of these symptoms show up during a nettle fever or a giant urticaria, you should immediately call a doctor: dizziness, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling of the tongue, lips or face.