4 Things You Need To Know About Pressure Urticaria

Urticaria, also known as hives, can develop after exposure to allergens, but allergens aren't the only thing that can cause hives. Surprisingly, even pressure against your skin can cause hives. This type of urticaria is known as pressure urticaria; here are four things you need to know about it.

What causes pressure urticaria?

Pressure urticaria is caused by pressure against your skin. This pressure may include things like wearing tight clothes, sitting or standing on a hard surface, or carrying a bag of groceries. As anything that presses against your skin can lead to a reaction, daily life can be difficult for people with this condition.

The frustrating thing about pressure urticaria is that researchers still don't know what causes it. It's not known why pressure triggers hives in some people but not in others. It's theorized that inflammatory cells are somehow involved, but exactly what role they play is still not known. More research needs to be done to determine the exact cause of this distressing condition.

What are the signs of pressure urticaria?

If you have pressure urticaria, your skin will become painful and swollen in response to pressure. Itchy, red bumps will also develop in the area. Some people also have systemic symptoms like fever or joint pain. This response can take a few hours to develop.

How is it managed?

An important part of treatment for this condition is avoiding triggers. This can be very difficult as so many daily activities can put pressure on your skin. Your dermatologist may recommend coping mechanisms like wearing loose-fitting clothes, sitting on soft cushions, or having a friend or family member carry your groceries for you.

It can be hard for dermatologists to treat this condition with drugs because antihistamines, the main treatment for other types of urticaria, don't usually work for people with pressure urticaria. You may be given alternate medications like steroids or antidepressants.

How common is it?

Pressure urticaria is a fairly rare condition. One study followed 2,310 urticaria patients over a period of 32 years and found that only 2% had pressure urticaria.

Pressure urticaria can affect people of any age, but the peak age of onset occurs in the twenties and thirties. This condition is slightly more common among men than women.

If you break out in hives after wearing tight clothes, you may have pressure urticaria and should see a dermatologist right away. Contact a company like Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists for more info about this rare condition.