Urticaria (nettlerash)

Itchy skin condition consisting of pink raised patches (urticae), which can occur suddenly; they disappear within a few days. Some people get nettlerash after eating certain foods, notoriously strawberries and chocolate, and some medicines can cause it. The condition can also accompany certain infections, both bacterial and viral, or worm infestation. There are also numerous other causes, some of them unknown. Treatment in the first place is by avoiding contact with the substance that causes the condition. Because this is not always possible, and because the cause is sometimes unknown, the doctor often has to resort to treating the symptoms with antihistamine tablets, to block the effect of histamine, which causes the symptoms. Soothing ointments may also be prescribed. Urticaria is also used to describe the condition for which scrofula is the usual medical term. This is also an itchy skin condition, occurring predominantly in children. The skin of arms and legs is covered with tiny pimples, often with a little blister on top. The cause is usually an allergic reaction to insect bites, particularly those of dog or cat fleas. The condition occurs above all in the late summer and autumn. The child tends to scratch the itchy spots, and the wounds thus caused are prone to bacterial infection and thus also to impetigo.

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