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Contact Urticaria

This is associated with an immediate response on the skin to direct contact with a particular substance. Also known as contact dermatitis that is characterised by epidermal oedema and in extreme cases vesicles poorly marginated.  The extreme form when scratched can evolve a secondary infection causing itching oozing, crusting, scaling and flaking of the skin.

Similar to eczema which can sometimes be defined as vesicular dermatitis - or chronic dermatitis as eczema

It comes in two forms allergic and non-allergic.

The non-allergic type is in response to a primary irritant that damages the skin like detergents that activate keratinocytes causing them to release inflammatory cytokines.  Usually there has been no prior exposure to the irritant when this occurs.

The allergic form can be a results of years of exposure to a substance that has come into contact with the skin multiple times. Langerhans cells within the epidermis capture the substance and present them to the T-cells.  Cytokines are released from keratinocytes as well as Langerhans cells contributing to increase sensitivity.  In some case 6-10 days of continuous exposure to a strong sensitiser e.g poison ivy, up to years for weaker sensitisers, can begin a reaction on the skin. Then with every re-exposure the condition worsens with increasing pruritus (itching). 

There are many substances that people are becoming more sensitive to especially if employed within an industry where contact with that substance is daily.  This includes the manufacture of clothing, shoes, metal compounds, dyes and cosmetics.  More people are becoming sensitised to latex products for health workers who wear latex gloves and latex condoms.

Usually this type of urticaria is limited to the site of contact with the substance and can be slightly red and itchy to severe swelling with bullae (blisters filled with fluid).

If the known substance can be avoided the condition will heal of it's own accord.

When food is the cause and is an IgE mediated response, it can be fairly immediate within an hour.

Commonly affects the hands with quite a range of severe symptoms that can evolve from slight redness to intense swelling and inflammation and pain with wheals.

The reaction usually resolves itself within twenty-four hours as long as exposure to the substance is stopped.  Where it involves a commitment through the working environment for people this can eventuate in chronic dermatitis that requires thought as to remaining in the position that requires exposure to the substance.  Withdrawal from the substance is usually the only way to limit the reaction.

When the substance is airborne this may cause a reaction in the respiratory tract that can become severe and result in anaphylactic shock.

There are some occupations that carry a higher risk for this disease as it  is related to a reoccurring substance that the person is exposed to.

There are specific known substances that cause problems more frequently than others.

 There are herbal remedies that can help this skin condition that have been shown to be very effective.


Contact us for treatment advice.




ABOUT US is a New Zealand wide online retail pharmacy supplying OTC (over-the-counter) Pharmacy-Only and General Sales Medicines, as well as other health-related products.  We also offer prescription medicines in accordance with a legal New Zealand prescription.  We are a registered pharmacy conveniently located in Waitakere City, Auckland and have been operating to the public as a licensed pharmacy since 1987.  
We strive to provide the most competitive prices for both prescription and non-prescription items in all of New Zealand.  We aim to simplify your shopping experience, and to minimise the time and cost of delivery for your convenience.  For us, it is about you as the customer, we do not believe in bombarding you or pushing unneccessary products, just getting you what you need promptly and at the best price.
In accordance with legal obligations, all medicines sold are under the supervision of a New Zealand Registered pharmacist, as well as this we have other relevant qualified staff working for us to deliver our promise of top service to you. We are located at:
Shop 1A/ 4343 Great North Road,
Glendene, 0602
If you have any queries, dont hesitate to contact us:
By email:

By mail:          PO Box 69 189,
                       Glendene, 0645
By phone:   09 222 3144
By fax:        09 838 3144 


Glendene Community Pharmacy Ltd
GST 123-002-296



Ph 09 222 3144
Fax 09 838 3144

SHOP 1A/ 4343 Great North Road,
PO BOX 69-189