DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Acute urticaria affecting an arm. Also called hives or nettle rash, urticaria is a transient swelling and/or flushing of the skin. The underlying vasodilation & accumulation of tissue fluid in the dermis develops as an allergic reaction, which ranges in size from small spots to patches several inches across; it is intensely itchy & lasts anything from a few minutes to several days. There are a variety of types of urticaria. Contact urticaria, for example, is a weal & flare reaction that lasts for minutes following skin contact with a number of agents such as nettles.
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