Urticaria is a common skin condition characterised by well-circumscribed, intensely pruritic, oedema of the superficial skin, typically one or two cm in diameter, although they can vary in size and coalesce to form a large raised wheal.1 Urticaria can occur on any part of the skin1 and is more often acute than chronic.2
What causes urticaria in infants?
The most common causes of acute urticaria in infants include food allergens, such as cows' milk protein. Insect bites, medication or infection can also result in urticaria.1 The possible causes of urticaria can often be identified in infants with acute urticaria, although the specific trigger can only be found in 10–20% of chronic cases. 3
Urticaria as a symptom of Cows' Milk Allergy
Urticaria is one of the many cutaneous symptoms of Cows' Milk Allergy (CMA).4 Urticaria with angiodema been reported to occur as a symptom of CMA in almost 30% of infants and usually appears as early reaction to the ingestion of cows' milk protein.5,6
The majority of infants affected with CMA have at least two symptoms affecting at least two different organ systems.4,7 If you suspect non-IgE mediated CMA, you can use the CoMiSS® tool 11 to score the combination of their symptoms and assess the likelihood of CMA.
Other signs and symptoms related to CMA8,9,10
· Gastrointestinal/Digestive: Vomiting, reflux, regurgitation, anorexia, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, blood in stools
· Respiratory: Chronic cough, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny nose
· Skin: Rash, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, angioedema
· General: Failure to thrive, anaphylaxis, insomnia, inconsolable crying, pallor and tiredness