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Home > Health & Disease in Naturopathy > Skin Disorders > Urticaria
UrticariaUrticaria is a common inflammatory affection, characterised by formation of wheals on the skin. The disease is also known as nettle-rash as the rash of Urticaria resembles the sting of a nettle. The disease may be acute, chronic or recurrent. It is considered to be an allergic reaction like hay fever and asthma.

Symptoms of Urticaria are:
Raised red and white patches appear on the skin. They are accompanied by burning, intense itching and stinging. Rubbing and scratching usually aggravates the hives. Scratching relieves itching, which results in new wheals. The outbreak of urticaria is sudden and the disease may affect either a part or whole of the body. The eruptions may be as small as pin heads or as large as a rupee. They are usually much elevated, rounded, irregular and often surrounded by a reddened zone.

Other symptoms, which accompany hives, are fever, digestive disturbances and prostration. The disorder lasts from a day or two to a week. Recovery is rapid and complete, though recurring attacks take place at varying intervals. If the rash also attacks the throat, there is danger of blockage of the larynx.

Causes of Urticaria:
There are several causes of urticaria. It may result from digestive disorders like mechanical irritation in the digestive tract or toxaemia. It may be caused by drugs like aspirin, penicillin, serum, quinine, ipecac, turpentine and morphine. Certain foods often cause urticaria in susceptible individuals. These include strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, oatmeal, wheat, nuts, fish, eggs, chocolate, cheese, butter and sausage. The bites of bed-bugs, wasps, bees, mosquitoes, fleas and certain kinds of caterpillars may produce the disease. Irritations of the uterus or associate structures can also cause the disease. It may also result from emotional excitement.

Treatment of Urticaria:
As urticaria has its origin in the gastro-intestinal tract, the best way to commence the treatment is to adopt an all-fruit diet for about five days. In this regimen, the patient should take three meals day of fresh juicy fruits such as orange, apple, pineapple, grapes, pear, peach and papaya. A warm-water enema should be used daily during this period to cleanse the bowels. The patient should also drink a liberal amount of hot water.

After the all-fruit diet, the patient may embark upon a well-balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables and fruits. The emphasis should be on fresh fruits and raw vegetable salad. The patient should avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, all flesh foods, refined foods and all foods which are difficult to digest. He should drink at least eight glasses of water daily between meals. A glass of water containing the juice of half a lemon may be taken one hour before each meals and also between meals.

The patient should spend two or three days on an all-fruit diet at regular intervals. This will further cleanse the system of morbid matters and help recovery.

Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of Urticaria. The use of salt is valuable in urticaria accompanied by digestive disorders. In such a condition, about 12 grams of salt should be dissolved in water and taken by the patient. The throat should be tickled to induce vomiting. This will give relief and help in curing eruptions.

Equal quantity of alum and red ochere are found beneficial in the treatment of urticaria. These two sub-stances should be ground together and the powder rubbed on the wheals.

The use of rosewater in vinegar is considered useful in case of severe itching on the eruption. About 35 ml. of rose water and 25 ml. of vinegar should be mixed and the mixture applied locally to the affected part. This will give immediate relief.

Mint has also been found useful in relieving itching in urticaria. About seven grams of this leafy vegetable and 25 grams of brown sugar should be boiled together in water and drunk. This will relieve the itching.

Turmeric is valuable in urticaria. The patient should take two teaspoons of turmeric powder mixed with water at regular intervals in treating this disease.

The patient should avoid exposure to cold and cold water. Fresh air and sunlight are also essential to the treatment and the patient should frequently expose his body to the sun and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
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