A skin condition, also known as hives or nettle rash, marked by the development of itchy weals, often on the trunk and limbs. Large weals can merge to create irregular raised patches.
Uritcaria is often harmless and lasts only a few hours, but occasionally a recurrent or persistent form develops. The condition is sometimes accompanied by angioedema (an allergic condition in which swelling occurs in various parts of the body). Dermographism is a less frequent form of urticarial in which weals form after the skin is stroked. The symptoms of uritcaria can be aggravated by stress.
The cause is usually unknown. The most frequent known cause is an allergic reaction, often to drug or food. Urticarial can also follow exposure to cold, heat, or sunlight. Less frequently, it can be associated with another disorder, such as systemic lupus erthyematosus, vasculitis, or cancer.
Itching can be elevated by the application of calamine lotion or by taking antihistamine drugs. Extreme cases of uritcaria can need corticosteroid drugs. Avoiding and identifying trigger factors can help stop future reactions. A tendency to uritcaria usually goes away in time without the need for treatment.