What is urticaria pigmentosa?
Urticaria pigmentosa is a condition that makes your skin itch and causes discolored lesions (salmon-brown patches). You may develop a hive after stroking the affected area. It might happen due to an allergic reaction. This condition is more common in infants and children but may also happen in adults.
It is one of the signs that doctors look for when diagnosing a disorder known as mastocytosis. This disorder is characterized by mast cell accumulation, mostly in the skin, bone marrow, digestive system, spleen, liver, and lymphatic tissues.
It causes a rash made up of reddish-brown spots that are flat or slightly raised. They may form hives when they are rubbed or scratched. Sometimes the spots will blister. There may be a few spots or many spots. The lesions usually are most prominent on the trunk but can occur on the scalp, face, and extremities.
Signs and symptoms of urticaria pigmentosa
In children, urticaria pigmentosa may have the following common signs:
- Itchy, pink, or red swollen patches on the skin
- Hives that may appear alone, in a group, or on a large area of the body
- The hives that appear as a result of urticaria pigmentosa may go away in 24 hours in one area but may come back in a different area
When urticaria pigmentosa occurs to you as an adult for the first time, lesions may appear. They might be few or may appear in large numbers. The lesions may also be itchy and unsightly. This condition affects adults differently. This is because urticaria pigmentosa in adults appears long-term. You might experience other symptoms such as:
- Flushing: A redness on the skin caused by an uncontrollable response of the nervous system leading to the widening of blood capillaries of the involved skin.
- Low blood pressure: This is blood pressure that is so low that you get symptoms or signs because of the low flow of blood through the blood vessels.
- Anaphylactic Shock: A widespread and very serious allergic reaction that requires emergency treatment.
- Diarrhea: Passing loose stool.
- Bleeding from the digestive system: You may notice this by seeing some blood on your stool.
If these systemic symptoms appear, they could be a sign of the presence of systemic mastocytosis. This is a form of mastocytosis that infiltrates mast cells in the skin.
Causes of urticaria pigmentosa
Urticaria pigmentosa occurs where there are too many inflammatory cells (mast cells) in the skin. Mast cells are immune cells that help the skin fight off infections. They are responsible for making and releasing histamine, which makes nearby tissues to get swollen and inflamed.
There are a few things that can trigger the production of histamine and in turn cause skin symptoms. They include:
Diagnosis of urticaria pigmentosa
When you get to your doctor, they should begin the examination and order the right tests for the diagnosis of your condition. Your doctor may suspect you have urticaria pigmentosa when the skin patches are rubbed and they develop bumps (hives). This is called the darier sign.
Tests to check for this condition include:
- Skin biopsy: Here, a part of the skin is taken and examined for a higher number of mast cells.
- Urine histamine: Using this test, your doctor will determine whether you have an increased urinary histamine level.
- Blood test: A blood test will help your doctor to check the blood count and levels of blood tryptase (an enzyme found in mast cell.
Latest Skin News
Daily Health News
Treatment of urticaria pigmentosa
Your doctor will advise on the best form of treatment for you or your child. If there are no associated signs and symptoms, your doctor may not prescribe any medication.
However, if the condition shows symptoms, your doctor may recommend the following treatments:
- Adrenaline: If you are an adult, you will be given at least an adrenaline auto-injector. This is because anaphylaxis may happen at any time. Children with Urticaria Pigmentosa don't need the auto-injector unless they have allergies or extensive skin lesions.
- Oral sodium cromoglycate: This might be helpful in reducing bowel signs but it is not useful in other places.
- Steroid creams: Your doctor may recommend potent steroid creams to reduce itching and improve the appearance of your skin.
- Non-sedating antihistamines: This type of histamine works well for histamine-induced symptoms like flushing, itching, reddening, diarrhea, and wheezing.
- Ultraviolet treatment: This treatment helps reduce the itching and improve skin appearance.
- Laser therapy: This method of treatment is used to improve certain areas with Urticaria pigmentosa.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Skin Support: "Urticaria Pigmentosa."
StatPearls: "Urticaria Pigmentosa."
University of Rochester Medical Centre: "Urticaria (Hives)."
University of Florida Health: "Urticaria Pigmentosa."
U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Urticaria Pigmentosa."
Top What Causes Urticaria Pigmentosa Related Articles
Are Hives (Urticaria) Contagious?Hives are not contagious are triggered by an allergic response to a substance. Symptoms and signs of hives include a raised, itchy red rash on the skin. An individual should seek medical care for hives if he or she develops dysphagia, wheezing, shortness of breath, or throat tightening.
Are Hives and Rash the Same Thing?Learn how to tell the difference between a rash and hives and how to treat both.
Hives (Urticaria)Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin that is usually a sign of an allergic reaction. The allergy may be to food or medications, but usually the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown.
How Do You Get Rid of Hives Fast?Learn what medical treatments can help ease your hives and speed up your recovery.
How to Get Rid of Hives: 20 WaysHives or urticarias are red, itchy skin rashes triggered by food, medicine, or other irritants. They can vary from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameters.
Retinitis PigmentosaRetinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic condition that causes retinal degeneration and eventual vision loss. Symptoms include night blindness and tunnel vision. Visual field testing and electrophysiological testing are essential in diagnosing RP. Though there is no cure for RP, vitamin A therapy and an omega-3-rich diet may be recommended for patients to slow disease progression.
The Skin (Human Anatomy): Picture, Definition, Function and Skin ConditionsThe skin is the largest organ in the body that covers the entire external surface. It protects the internal organs from germs and thus helps prevent infections. The skin is made up of three main layers.
Skin Problems as You AgeAging skin can cause wrinkles, liver spots, and leg sores. Learn the cause of spider and varicose veins. See pictures of skin tags, actinic keratosis, and seborrheic keratosis. Learn how to care for skin to prevent aging conditions like solar elastosis and cherry angiomas.
Skin Problems: Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 RashesLearn to spot and treat skin conditions commonly found in adults such as acne, Covid-19 rashes, eczema, shingles, psoriasis, rosacea, hives, cold sores, razor bumps, athlete's foot, and more dermatology details.
Surprising Reasons You're ItchyFind out some unexpected causes of your itchiness, such as thyroid problems, cancer treatments, pregnancy, diabetes, and more.
Skin Conditions Below the WaistSkin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and allergies may produce redness and other symptoms. See your dermatologist right away if you develop itchy skin, rashes, pimples, or other skin conditions. Dermatology experts are best if you suspect skin cancer or other serious skin disease.
Urticaria PictureThis is a close-up view of wheals with white-to-light-pink color centrally and peripheral erythema. See a picture of Urticaria and learn more about the health topic.
What Are the Main Causes of Urticaria (Hives)?Hives are mostly an allergic reaction, appearing quickly and disappearing as fast. Learn what causes them, when to see a doctor and how to avoid them.
What Is Causing My Hives?Hives, medically known as urticaria, are common rashes that anyone can get at any point in their lives. They can happen only once in your life, keep happening often, or stay longer (chronic) for more than 6 weeks.