Urticaria is a skin disorder: a rash that is characterized by red or white pomps, in various sizes, which generally cause itching, discomfort or pain. It is often confused with erythema or eczema and can have different causes: allergic, contact, systemic (i.e. linked to other diseases), psychophysical stress or drugs. Prof. Enrico Brunetta, immunologist and specialist in Allergology at Humanitas, talked about it in an interview.

The different forms of urticaria

Acute urticaria is characterized by a short duration of symptoms, which do not persist beyond 6 weeks – explained Brunetta -. Chronic spontaneous urticaria, however, occurs with pomps with or without angioma, which remain for more than six weeks but unlike the acute are not triggered by a particular cause.

“The unspeakable urticaria is sudden and due to factors such as heat, or cold, contact with water or even too much physical activity. Finally – concluded the professor – there are other systemic urticaria, thus arising from other diseases such as vasculitis or other syndrome and rare diseases.

Subjects most at risk

Chronic urticaria, the urticaria on which the most up-to-date and constant data are available, affects between 0.5 and 1 per cent of Italians, mostly women.

The diagnosis

In addition to the visual examination of the dermatologist, other studies such as “CBC and PCR, an analysis that allows to detect the dosage in the blood of the C reactive protein to identify any presence of inflammation,” explained Brunetta, could also be useful for the diagnosis.