Urticaria consists of raised, erythematous skin lesions which are extremely itchy and generally gets worsened by scratching.

Angioedema is a reaction similar to urticaria except that massive edema involves the subcutaneous tissue.

Urticaria can occur due to drugs, food additives, infection, or infestations. Chronic urticaria can be caused due to endocrine abnormalities, collagen vascular diseases, malignancy.

Urticaria can be induced due to sun exposure, pressure, exercise and stress too.

Clinical features

Urticaria manifests as red transient, well defined, superficial swelling associated with itching. Wheals may vary in size and shape. No marks are usually left behind when wheals resolve. Urticaria can affect any part of the body.


Anti histamines are first line of therapy. Systemic corticosteroids and monoclonal antibodies are second line of therapy. In few selected cases of autoimmune chronic urticaria where anti histamines fail, intravenous immunoglobulins or cyclosporine can be given.

Frequently Asked Questions

 No,it is not contagious.

Urticaria looks like red,raised skin lesions, which are transient, well defined superficial erythematous swelling.

Urticaria can be caused due to drugs, infections, dust mites like inhalants, food additives and foods like fish, nut,eggs, milk,cheese.

 1 Ordinary urticaria

 2 Pressure urticaria

 3 Aquagenic urticaria

 4 Solar urticaria

 5 Contact urticaria

 6 Mechanical urticaria

Urticaria or hives can be manged by anti histamines, oral corticosteroids, monoclonal antibodies and immunosuppressants.

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