Symptoms and Treatment for Urticaria Pigmentosa or Mastocystosis

Urticaria Pigmentosa

  • This skin disease is a form of mastocystosis which is mainly observed in children. This disease can also be experienced by adults.

  • Some of the tests that are needed for a patient that has this disease include skin biopsies and urine histamine. The skin biopsy will help determine if there has been an increase in the production of mast cells or inflammatory cells which cause urticaria pigmentosa.

  • Symptoms of this disease in children will go away after reaching puberty or adulthood. For adults that have this disease, a more serious type can develop which is called systemic mastocystosis.

  • Patients should be careful in taking medications that have not been prescribed since there are those that can flare-up the lesions. A good example of this is morphine and eye drops that contain dextran.

  • Patients that have been stung by a bee can experience severe allergic reactions.

  • Other irritants that can worsen the symptoms of the disease include alcohol, bacterial toxins, venom, heat, excessive exercise, and friction.

Urticaria Pigmentosa Symptoms

  • During the first stages of the diseases, patients will develop brownish or reddish lesions on the skin which are usually very itchy.

    These lesions usually start appearing on the forehead and chest.

  • When the lesions are rubbed or scratched, welts and hives will start to appear. After this episode, the lesions will start to spread all over the skin of the body.

  • Flushing.

  • Bouts of diarrhea are a common symptom associated with the disease. This will usually indicate that the disease is getting severe.

  • Other symptoms that can be experienced by patients with severe cases of urticaria pigmentosa include palpitations, headaches, and fainting. Fainting usually is rare but is usually found in cases that have been left untreated. Fainting also signals that the disease can be harmful to a patient’s life.

Urticaria Pigmentosa Treatment

  • Prognosis of the disease usually indicates that it will go away when children having reached puberty.

  • Antihistamines can be used to reduce flushing and itching. These should be prescribed by the doctor to prevent further complications.

  • Nifedipine can also be used. This is usually given to patients that have high blood pressure. Nifedipine here is a calcium channel blocker that helps in the reduction of inflammatory cell degranulation.

  • Gastrocrom and Disodium. This is a cromoglicic acid that helps in stabilizing inflammatory cells or mast cells which in turn controls symptoms of urticaria pigmentosa.

  • Topical Steroids.

  • Photochemotherapy. This is considered as the most effective treatment of urticaria pigmentosa in adults. It takes two to three treatments per week for several months.

  • Interferon. Used for severe cases.

  • Imatinib. Ideally used for systemic mastocystosis in adults.

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