Raised red patches or weals, sometimes with paler areas in centre, which cause intense itching can be caused by Food Allergy (to shellfish, strawberries, nuts, etc.), food additives, certain drugs (notably aspirin), scratching, insect bites, and extreme Stress (grief at the death of a loved one, for example); in people with sensitive skin, heat, cold, or sunlight may raise weals. It has suggested that persistent urticaria may be a symptom of toxocariasis, carried by family pets. Therefore de-worm animals regularly, keep strays off your kitchen garden and be careful to wash your hands before meals.
Regardless of the cause stress and tension usually make condition worse. Conventional treatment is by antihistamines. In a few cases, eyes, lips, and throat may swell dramatically (see angioneurotic oedemao), leading to suffocation; this is an emergency situation, so contact Emergency Medical Services and give Apis 30c every minute until help arrives. If, after avoiding known causes, condition recurs constitutional homeopathic treatment would be worthwhile.
Specific remedies to be taken every hour for up to 10 doses during attack or while constitutional help is being sought
- Burning and swelling of lips and eyelids, made worse by warmth Apis 30c
- Rash caused by stinging nettles or some other plant, made worse by touching, scratching, or bathing with water Urtica 30c
- Chronic urticaria, made worse by exercise and stress Natrum mur. 30c
- Rash appears after becoming overheated in damp weather Dulcamara 30c
- Rash burns and itches, blisters develop, person very restless Rhus tox. 30c
- Skin red, itchy, and puffy, made worse by heat and bathing with water Sulphur 30c
- Rash made worse by fatty foods or stuffy rooms, person rather weepy Pulsatilla 30c
- Weals accompanied by stomach upset and white-coated tongue Antimonium 30c
- With restlessness and anxiety Arsenicum 30c
Self-help: Apply ice pack to affected area, or take a cold shower. Urtica ointment is also relieves itchiness.