Its one of the most common skin condition encountered in our clinics. Its presentation ranges from mild skin itching to significant rashes with swelling of different parts of body including face, tongue and eyes.
Its presentation can be very sudden with significant impairment of breathing, swallowing and life threatening. However fortunately in majority of cases patients presents with rashes only with no impairment of breathing or swallowing.
What causes Urticaria? Its a question which is difficult to answer even after extensive investigation in majority of patients. However medications, food, and preceding infection are the three most common reasons for its causation. However there are rare causes as well.
How do we treat this condition? As a dermatologist steroids are only and only used in acute cases and there is no long term role for steroids in this condition as this does not help the patients in long term due to its significant side effects.
Initial treatment with high doses of antihistamines are the mainstay of treatment for this condition. After that we use a number of different medication including immunosuppressant treatment as well. Recently a new injectable treatment is available(Xolair, Omalizumab). It is extremely expensive, thus many patients cannot afford its use.
Many dermatologists are prescribing and advocating use of Xolair as one off injection and treatment for this condition which is a wrong practice and should be discouraged.
This condition needs a very specialist opinion due to its long term consequences and its effects on quality of life.
If you are worried please do no hesitate to contact best dermatologist/skin specialist in Islamabad. (Dr Ghazanfar Ali)