Pressure urticaria is the outbreak of itchy red bumps on the skin in response to pressure. The outbreak may occur four to eight hours after the initial incident, and sometimes it is referred to as “delayed pressure urticaria” by doctors to explain this process.
This skin condition can be both acute and chronic, as well as difficult to treat. In the worst cases, pressure urticaria can even be disabling.
Though most people notice a brief appearance of soreness and redness after the pressure is released, as seen when one loosens tight pants after a long day and a red line is left around the waist, pressure urticaria is actually a spreading rash instead of a red mark solely where the skin was pressed on.
The rash is also bumpy and may be itchy or painful. On the other hand, red marks caused by tight band or straps are generally not sensitive, and they may be temporarily depressed with markings and divots left by the pattern of the band/strap.
Hives can remain for hours or even days. Patients who suffer from pressure urticaria tend to trigger it by wearing tight clothing, leaning on hard surfaces, and generally any situation where skin can be pressed down.
This condition is quite rare, but has a higher chance of appearing in people who have a history of skin sensitivities and hives. Patients can develop hives in response to pressure over the years, sometimes worsening their condition as a result of situational factors.
Medications like aspirin can sometimes worsen pressure urticaria. Patients typically use anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as antihistamines to decrease the severity of the inflammation and reduce swelling. Treatments can also involve the use of steroids if more conservative drugs fail to cure the problem, and ice is used to alleviate swelling.
One may also need to alter their lifestyle, such as by installing seat padding to reduce pressure on their buttocks to avoid hives appearing down their due to the pressure caused by sitting. If pressure urticaria appears in an individual for the first time, the patient should visit a dermatologist to be briefed on the situation and determine the best treatment options.
The dermatologist will run tests on the patient in an effort to learn more about how hives affects the specific patient and how might this condition best be addressed. This way, the skin care expert will reduce the chances of mistakes and increase his chances of success.
With that said, patients should keep in mind that pressure urticaria is difficult to treat, and several treatment approaches may be necessary before an effective treatment is discovered. Patients whose symptoms worsen after treatment should seek medical help immediately, as it may be a sign of complications with the current treatment.