Stress Urticaria

Urticaria is a medical term for hives, which usually result from an allergic process; however, it can also be non-allergic, which is the case with stress urticaria, also called stress induced urticaria. Emotional stress can trigger immunological changes in the mast cells, which may lead to urticaria. However, extreme stress may be responsible for chronic urticaria.

Patients with stress urticaria experience bumpy rashes on their skin, which may last for a few minutes to a few hours. Other symptoms include itch, pain, and difficulty in breathing if the lips and larynx are affected. In  rare cases, it can remain much longer, and if the rash remains over six weeks, it is called chronic urticaria.

Stress urticaria is usually caused by constant emotional stress and tension. If this occurs, and you develop a red, itchy rash, it is time to find ways to relax and relieve tension, or your skin problems are likely to worsen. However, you should also consider certain medical treatments.

Sometimes, people who suffer from stress can develop stress urticaria even when they are calm and relaxed. The reason is that emotional stress can provoke certain long lasting immunological changes, which may continue even when you are not stressed. When this occurs, you may get urticaria even when you are not currently under stress.

One of the most commonly opted for treatments is antihistamines. As the name suggests, antihistamines nullify the effect of histamine, which is released by the mast cells as a result of stress or the allergic process. Unfortunately, antihistamine medication does not control the underlying causes of histamine release. Therefore, you feel better only when you take antihistamines and the condition may reappear.



P.S. (from Dr. Gary M. Levin, M.D. & Surgeon)
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