A lot of patients will ask their doctor “What is urticaria disease?” Someone may have told them they have it and honestly the name is rather scary sounding. Most people are surprised to learn that the skin disease urticaria is just the medical term for the more common name – hives.
About 1 in 5 people will experience hives at least once so it is one of the more common of the skin disorders.
What does urticaria skin disease look like?
Urticaria, or hives, appears suddenly on the skin in splotchy areas called wheals. They are red, raised areas with sometimes pale centers that are elevated slightly but smooth, itchy, and irregularly shaped. They can range in size from a few millimeters to a few inches and can show up in any body area.
What is urticaria disease when it moves around?
When the urticaria moves around from one body area to another, it is still hives. In fact, one of the common symptoms of hives is that they do tend to move around suddenly from one area of the body to another. They can be on your stomach at the start, disappear in a couple hours, and reappear somewhere else just as suddenly. In most cases of hives that are not chronic, any one area of urticaria seldom stays in the same place for longer than 24 hours. It may be surprisingly large, even frightening, in the morning in one area and then disappear completely by lunchtime, only to reappear in another area just as intensely by dinner and be gone by the time you go to bed.
What is urticaria disease caused by?
It is known that hives are caused by the release of histamine from cells called mast cells, which are normal cells found in the skin. The histamine makes fluid leak from the blood cells in the area of the release, which leads to the slight swelling and the red color. And while urticaria is common, it is also idiopathic, which is a medical term used when there is no known cause. You and your doctor can take an educated guess as to the cause but you will usually not figure it out. It may be helpful to take a photo of your outbreak if you plan to try to figure it out because by the time you get to the doctor’s office, the outbreak may have disappeared.
What is urticaria disease described as ordinary?
Ordinary urticaria is the term used to describe sudden flare ups that happen for no apparent reason and disappear for no apparent reason. If this happens on and off for less than six weeks, the urticaria is described as ordinary.
What is urticaria disease described as chronic?
Chronic idiopathic (there’s that word again!) urticaria disease, or CIU, is hives that reappear for longer than six weeks or last for longer than six weeks. This is the type of hives most people seek treatment for. It is bothersome, and there may be an urticaria autoimmune disease component associated with it. There are many treatments for CIU that are natural and provide great relief. If you have CIU, you should investigate these possible treatments. Help is out there and CIU is not something you want to just live with.