Urticaria? A skin problem that could cause death

San José, Costa Rica. March, 2015.

UricariaA generalize allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, or an inflammation of the throat that obstructs the airways, can be two reactions of urticaria that could cause death.

Urticaria or hives, is characterized by itching and inflammation with welts of a color similar to the skin or reddish, with clearly defined borders, accompanied with symptoms of nausea, vomit, epigastric pain, and diarrhea, respiratory or cardiovascular problems (tachycardia, hypotension and dizziness).

According to Dr. Andres Roman, general physician of the Clinica Biblica Hospital, “urticaria is a skin reaction before different immunological and inflammatory processes, triggered by various etiological factors, which is characterized by the appearance anywhere of welts that itch and classically disappear spontaneously in the course of a few hours”.

The causes that can trigger the urticaria episode are very varied and can be divided into two groups: immunological: usually provoked by the reaction to some specific food, medication or ingredient; and non-immunological: associated with anomalies of the metabolism of the arachidonic acid, provoked by cold, sweat, physical exercise, or the rubbing or contact with the skin.

It is estimated that between 15 and 25% of the world population has suffered an acute urticaria case at some time. It can appear at any age, although the most affected group is between 20 and 40 years-old, and it affects two women for each man approximately.

Urticaria can be very uncomfortable, but is generally harmless and disappears by itself.
In most cases, it is not possible to identify the exact cause of this disease.

Seek medical help is you present:

  • Fainting
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Tightness in throat
  • Inflammation of the tongue or face
  • Wheezing

In addition, consult with your physician if the urticaria is severe, bothersome and does not respond to personal care.

For further information or for requesting medical attention, please call the number 2522-1000, or write to the email citas@clinicabiblica.com or contact us via chat at the website: www.clinicabiblica.com.



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