What is urticaria?

Urticaria is a skin condition caused by contact with something that irritates the skin or causes an allergic reaction. Contact urticaria is different from dermatitis. In particular, it usually occurs quickly following skin contact and disappears again within hours. Common causes of urticaria are:

  • latex protein in single-use latex gloves;
  • some foods (eg potatoes, fish, meat);
  • cold or heat.

What does it look like?

This picture shows skin which has contact urticaria.

You could typically see a wheal (swelling) and flare (red mark) reaction.

What does it feel like?

Someone who has urticaria may suffer itching, tingling or burning sensations at the site of the rash.

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Updated 2024-05-14