Many times, clinicians have reported stress to be a prominent, direct or indirect factor in various types of health conditions. In cases where the actual causative factor is clearly identified, the treatment protocol can take a specific course but in cases of ambiguity stress management should always be taken into account while planning the treatment.
Skin diseases have been linked to stress very often. Of the many related, clinical skin manifestations, urticaria is one of them. Urticaria involves severe itching and studies have shown that even depression could be a modulating factor in chronic idiopathic version.
The link between stress and onset of urticaria is even quantified as the fact that the onset of the disease is preceded by a substantial stressful period of about 4–6 months in many reported cases. The strong linkage can also be understood by few more findings like up to 50% urticaria patients have been shown to have psychological stress episodes. Women are known to be predominantly more affected by emotional disturbances and urticaria related studies prove that hence women are twice as likely as men to suffer from the disease.
The mechanism can be understood by the sequential increased vascular permeability due to triggered mast cells, thereby causing transient leakage of plasma from small blood vessels into the surrounding connective tissue, triggering swelling of the skin causing urticaria.
Realizing the involvement of stress in the onset of urticaria, clinicians can include investigation of recent life events prior to the disease episode, in order to generate a new patient identification and also to offer complete care solutions.