Urticaria Pigmentosa

A rather uncommon disease that affects the skin is urticaria pigmentosa. Lesions, intense itching and hives if the lesions are rubbed show on the affected areas. The lesions are formed when infected skin cells known as mast cells rise to the surface and irritate the skin. Intense itching is caused by these cells. Hives will most likely form and continue to spread if the individual scratches or rubs the infected areas.

What to Expect

Brownish lesions appear on the skin in the early stages of urticaria pigmentosa. The patients will often not see their doctor and dismiss it as a simple rash. Welts and hives will begin to appear as the lesions are scratched and rubbed. This is the beginning point during which the disease starts to spread to other parts of the body and shows signs of progressing. Most people will visit their doctor during this time.

Other symptoms are found with severe cases. In many of the severe cases diarrhea is the most common symptoms and if it is allowed to progress it can become dangerous. Fast heart rate, headache and fainting are other symptoms found in severe cases. Of the severe cases that are diagnosed less than one percent have fainting and it is typically only found in those who have untreated urticaria pigmentosa.

Age Group

Children under the age of five are most likely to get urticaria pigmentosa. It can be cured quickly at this stage since it is fairly easy to treat. After the age of five the disease becomes difficult to treat and presents chronic symptoms. More invasive procedures may be required if urticaria pigmentosa in severe cases spreads to the internal organs.

While it is not unheard of, urticaria pigmentosa is rarely seen in adults. Generally adults with this condition are harder to treat and have more severe cases than children.

Diagnosis and Testing

To diagnose urticaria pigmentosa there are two commonly used tests. A urine test is the first kind which is used to looks for elevated histamine levels in the system. The root cause of urticaria pigmentosa is elevated histamine levels.

To confirm the presence of mast cells the second test is a skin biopsy. Patient who suffer from urticaria pigmentosa have an increase of mast cells.

Treatments of Urticaria Pigmento

Physicians are forced to treat the symptoms while hoping the disease will work itself out since there is no actual cure for urticaria pigmentosa.

The use of antihistamines is the most common treatment. To keep the disease from spreading these will help fight off the itching and flushing. This course of treatment has several side effects with the least be extreme drowsiness. For young children this side effect can become problematic. Before starting your child on a regimen of antihistamines your doctor will discuss all the risk factors involved.

For doctors adults who have severe cases of urticaria pigmentosa present a more difficult task. Relieve the dangerous symptoms such as diarrhea is the first step in treatment. The doctor will decide which medications are the best for the disease one the dangerous symptoms are under control.


Most children who have urticaria pigmentosa will have it go away once they reach puberty. For children who get the disease before age five this is common. The symptoms may decrease over time and possibly be completely gone by adulthood in children who develop the disease later in life.

A cure can be progressed to for adults with urticaria pigmentosa as easily as children. However, the disease will often worsen before being relieved in adults.


Children as well as adults may sometimes present with complications from urticaria pigmentosa although they are not common. Discomfort from the itching is the most common complication. In most cases medication can control this complication. The lesions on their bodies from the disease can make people feel overly self-conscious. Some therapy or the relief of the lesions can help this problem.

Flare ups of the disease can be produced by certain medications on the market. You should consult your doctor about medications you are taking if you notice your urticaria pigmentosa is acting up.

At all costs those with urticaria pigmentosa should avoid bee stings. Patients suffering from urticaria pigmentosa can have severe allergic reactions to bee stings in many cases. To counteract any allergic reaction that you have you may be required to carry an Epi Pen with you.

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