Cholinergic urticaria - Definition

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Urticaria, commonly known as hives, is an inflammatory skin condition that is relatively common. It can be acute or chronic, progressing over six weeks or more, and can also be either superficial, with pink or red patches on the skin surface, or more deep-set. Urticaria can be caused by allergic reaction to food, insect sting, medication, contact with an irritating product or substance, or due to a physical reaction from contact with the cold, water, pressure on the skin, and so on. One form of urticaria is cholinergic urticaria, which is caused by the body liberating a substance called acetylcholine, particularly in specific situations, such as physical exertion, exposure to heat, sweating, or with high emotions. Small red lesions, of just a few millimeters in size, usually appear on the chest, then disappear in less than 30 minutes.