Cholinergic urticaria is a form of skin rash that occurs when one sweats. The rash starts off as a small patch of tingling warm skin, followed by itchy red bumps appearing within the next half hour. Cholinergic urticaria can cause itchiness and aggravation, but typically poses no serious threat to one’s health.
Ingesting oral antihistamines, buying breathable clothing, and refraining from activities that cause excessive sweating can reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks.
Causes and Symptoms
Acute skin irritation caused by cholinergic urticaria is categorized as a hypersensitivity reaction, akin to that of an allergic response. When heat and sweat are present on the skin on an individual with cholinergic urticaria, the body’s immune system will produce histamines that cause inflammation.
Any situation or activity that causes one to sweat could potentially result in a rash on a sensitive person. Rigorous exercise, hot weather, hot baths, and constrictive clothing are common triggers. This skin condition is most commonly found in persons between the ages of 10 and 30, however it can still develop at any age.
Various factors influence the likelihood of developing skin rashes, such as living in a hot climate, being overweight, and having severe allergies and asthma. Furthermore, those who have cholinergic urticaria tend to have other skin conditions like eczema.
Fortunately, the condition tends to reduce in severity on its own and even completely disappears over the course of a few years without treatment. Most people who suffer from cholinergic urticaria develop rashes on their chests and arms.
They can form elsewhere on the body but it is rare. When sweating occurs, patches of skin that come into contact with the sweat turn red and warm. Next, itching, burning, or a tingling sensation occurs, and small hives make their appearance.
Those with a severe condition can experience headaches, chest pain, and difficulty breathing as their rashes worsen. In most cases, once the sweat has been cleaned off and the person cools down, then their symptoms will clear up.
Someone who suffers from frequent breakouts of rashes should see a dermatologist to determine treatment options. While there, a doctor will ask about symptoms and perform some allergy tests to ascertain whether treatment for asthma or nasal allergies is required.
Most patients will receive a prescription for antihistamines to take either daily as a preventative measure or during acute attacks. Additionally, to address the itching and burning of rashes, topical cream may be prescribed.
A dermatologist will also assist patients in identifying their specific allergic triggers and how to avoid them. Reducing or changing exercise routines might lower the chances of recurring skin issues. Breathable, light, non-constricting clothing can assist in keeping sweat off the skin.
There are some triggers that are difficult to avoid, however. For instance, individuals living in hot climates will find it difficult to avoid heat, however all possible precautions should be made against cholinergic urticaria so as to lower the chances of rash outbreaks.