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Info on Urticaria Pigmentosa

Urticaria pigmentosa is a rather uncommon disease that affects the skin. Affected areas show lesions, hives (if the lesions are rubbed) and intense itching. Infected skin cells, also known as mast cells, rise to the surface and irritate the skin forming the lesions. These cells can cause intense itching. If the patient scratches or rubs the infected areas then hives will most likely form and continue to spread.


In the early stages of urticaria pigmentosa, brownish lesions appear on the skin. Most often these are dismissed as aUrticaria Pigmentosa simple rash and patients will not see their doctor. As the lesions are scratched and rubbed, welts and hives will begin to appear. At this point the disease is beginning to spread to other areas of the body and showing signs of progression. This is the time when most people will visit their doctor.

Severe cases have other symptoms. Diarrhea is common in many of the severe cases and can become dangerous if let to progress. Other severe case symptoms include fast heart rate, headache and fainting. Fainting presents in less than one percent of the severe cases that are diagnosed and is normally found in untreated urticaria pigmentosa.


More often than not urticaria pigmentosa presents in children under the age of five. At this stage, urticaria pigmentosa is fairly easy to treat and can be cured quickly. When the disease presents after the age of five it is more difficult to treat and may become chronic. In the most severe of cases urticaria pigmentosa can spread to the internal organs and require more invasive procedures.

Urticaria pigmentosa is rarely seen in adults but it is not unheard of. Adults are at higher risk for the severe symptoms than children and are generally harder to treat.


There are two commonly used tests to diagnose urticaria pigmentosa. The first being a urine test that looks for elevated levels of histamine in the system. Elevated histamine is the root cause for urticaria pigmentosa.

Secondly, a skin biopsy may be performed to confirm the presence of mast cells which are increased in patients suffering from urticaria pigmentosa.


Because there is no actual cure for urticaria pigmentosa physicians are forced to treat the symptoms in hopes that the disease will work itself out.

The most common treatment is the use of antihistamines. This is to fight off the itching and flushing that will keep the disease from spreading. There are several side effects with this course of treatment the least of which is extreme drowsiness. This can become problematic for young children. Your doctor will discuss all of the risk factors with you before starting your child on a regimen of antihistamines.

Adults with the severe symptoms of urticaria pigmentosa present a much more difficult task for doctors. The first order of treatment is to relieve dangerous symptoms like diarrhea. Once those symptoms are under control the doctor will decide which medications are best to treat the disease itself.


In most cases where children are affected by urticaria pigmentosa the disease will go away by puberty. This is common for children who present the disease before the age of five. In those other cases where the disease is presented later in the child’s life, the symptoms may decrease over time and may be completely gone by adulthood.

Adults with urticaria pigmentosa may not progress to a cure as easily as children. More often adults will see the disease worsen before it relieves.


Complications from urticaria pigmentosa are not common but they do sometimes present in children as well as adults. The most common complication is discomfort from the itching. This can be controlled with medication in most cases. Some patients feel overly self-conscious about the lesions on their bodies from this disease. This can be taken care of with some therapy or the relief of the lesions.

There are medications on the market that can produce flare ups of the disease. If you find that your urticaria pigmentosa is acting up then you should consult your physician about the medications you are taking.

Patients that have urticaria pigmentosa should avoid bee stings at all costs. In many cases, bee stings bring about severe allergic reactions with patients suffering from urticaria pigmentosa. You may be required to carry an Epi Pen to counteract any allergic reaction that you have.

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