Urticaria, eczema: recognize, treat

“The clinical presentations of thehives are completely different from those of theeczemaas well as its evolution and its treatment”, specifies Pr Manuelle Viguier, Head of the Dermatology-Venerology Department at the Robert Debré Hospital in Reims.

Three types of hives

A distinction is made between acute urticaria, chronic spontaneous urticaria and physical urticaria.

  • Acute urticaria : it starts suddenly, at night, and disappears just as quickly.

    “Most acute urticaria are of viral and non-allergic origin,” specifies Pr Viguier.

  • Spontaneous chronic urticaria evolves through regular outbreaks for more than six weeks, due to a dysfunction of certain cells of the skin: the mast cells.
  • physical urticaria is triggered by various elements such as: sweatthe heatthe Sunthe coldthe Busy

The features of urticaria

There are different types of urticaria: acute urticaria, chronic spontaneous urticaria and physical urticaria. Regardless of the type of urticaria, the characteristics of the rash are the same, says the dermatologist.

Urticaria is manifested by:

  • By tests that all appear at once and that look like sting nettle : they form red bumpsswollen, white in the middle
  • They may be accompanied by a in 10 to 30% of cases angioedema (swelling) of the mouth or eyelids.
  • Tests scratch Very.
  • They disappear during the day, in less than 24 hours.

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” In case of acute urticaria attacka treatment is prescribed antihistamine to be taken at the rate of one tablet over a few days,” recommends Pr Manuelle Viguier.

Chronic spontaneous urticariait requires a background treatment

“The latter is based on antihistamines that should be taken daily up to four tablets per day, according to international recommendations,” specifies the specialist.

Usually thechronic spontaneous urticaria disappears in two years, hypersensitivity may be transient. But what to do if she resists antihistamines? “We then resort to the biotherapy such as omalizumab (Xolair) details Pr Viguier. The first prescription is hospital, but its renewal can be performed by a city dermatologist. Treatment should be reassessed regularly. †

As regards physical urticaria, the solution is to protect yourself from the trigger and to combine background treatment with antihistamines.

“If the first generation of antihistamines such as Polaramine or Atarax put you to sleep, that is no longer the case with new molecules,” the specialist reassures.

A handy address

• Association Française Syndrome Mastocytic Activation Spontaneous chronic urticaria: Résidence des Bruyères, 37 bis route du Pavillon, 38760 Varces. Website: http://www.afsam.fr/1338-nous-contacter.htm

Although eczema itches like hives, that has nothing to do with it! “There are two main types of eczema, explains Professor Manuelle Viguier, thecontact eczema and theatopic eczema† †

  • Contact eczema occurs after skin contact with a allergen as the nickel contained in the fantasy jewelry value buttons on some clothesa odor or a beauty producta medicinea plant
  • atopic eczema starts in childhood. It is linked to a genetic ground promotes the development of skin inflammations. It can be associated with a asthmaa conjunctivitis or a allergic rhinitis† †

    Localizations, in children, are at the level of the folds of the elbows, knees, buttocks, wrists, ankles, under the ears, in adults the head and neck are more often affected, informs La Pr Vigier. And if the eczema is left untreated, the lesions tend to persist, unlike acute urticaria lesions, which clear up within twenty-four hours. †

What do eczema pimples look like?

Eczematous lesions are different from those of urticaria. ” It is about small red blistersin poorly limited platesand physical appearance rough† They break by scrape with a slime and shape scabs the doctor explains.

Scratching can also lead to thickening of the skin or lichenification


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Whether atopic or contact, “The basic treatment of eczema is based on the application of a cream topical corticosteroids during crises and, the rest of the time, in the daily application of a soothing creamthe skin is dry and with the aim of limiting the use of topical corticosteroids,” said the dermatologist.

Thus, these two pathologies are very different. They do not have the same causes or the same characteristics. If you do not know how to distinguish them, it is best to quickly consult a doctor who will prescribe the appropriate treatment.

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