Wheals are skin lesions that are triggered by an allergic reaction of the body. They can occur virtually anywhere on the body. They are characterized by their typical, usually reddish color and sublime structure, which easily emerges from the skin level.
The formation of a wheal affects the uppermost skin layer. Occasionally wheals may also be accompanied by itching.


Wheal formation is usually due to an allergic reaction. The allergen either enters the body through food, breathing or through the skin and triggers an immune reaction there.
This leads to the deployment of inflammatory cells and the release of histamine.
Histamine is a messenger substance that dilates the blood vessels and promotes greater blood flow to the skin. The immune reaction results in a redness and swelling of the skin, which are represented as wheals and may be accompanied by itching.

Wheals on the face

Wheals are also very common in the face and have different causes. In all cases, facial wheals are based on so-called hypersensitivity of the skin.
In some people, skin painting, such as using a fingernail, causes wheals.
In general, however, it is mainly allergies that can lead to the formation of wheals on the face.
It is often pollen that occurs at certain seasons and cause an allergic reaction.
But even a sun allergy can cause the face suddenly reacts with the formation of urticaria. Urticaria is a skin area that is filled with many wheals. In many cases, the formation of urticaria is accompanied by itching, which results from the influx of certain messenger substances into the allergic skin area.
In addition to the allergic substances that can lead to the formation of wheals on the face, a special stimulus such as cold can lead to the formation of wheals on the face. Especially in winter, when a constant change in temperature from outside to inside, it can lead to the formation of wheals.
Temperature-induced wheals usually disappear as soon as the body is no longer exposed to the allergic substance. If the allergic reaction persists, sufferers should best have a skin allergy test performed by the doctor.

Wheals on the neck

Wheals on the neck are usually triggered by an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity of the skin. Rubbing, for example, can already result in the formation of a wheal.
Sometimes wheals on the neck can also induce a very strong allergic and systemic reaction. This dreaded reaction of the body can ultimately be created on all substances in the environment or in the food. Skin rash on the neck, accompanied by wheals, is then accompanied by other symptoms. This includes tachycardia, sweating, drop in blood pressure, tightness and shortness of breath. This body reaction is also called an anaphylactic reaction and is a medical emergency that needs to be treated quickly.

In many cases, a wheal on the neck but not life-threatening and the allergic reaction manifests itself only in the training of wheals. In order to find the cause, it is important to make sure that contact with a certain substance has taken place shortly before the skin reaction on the neck.

Wheals on the stomach

A wheal on the abdomen indicates that the body is allergic to some substance. The reaction may arise, for example, from contact with animal hair or even after eating nuts or other allergens. Even after taking a medication, it can lead to wheals in the area of ​​the abdomen. The best treatment is to avoid contact with the triggering substance. If this is not possible, a preventive drug therapy can be initiated, which should lead to the immune reaction is not so strong.


If it is an allergic reaction, it may come in addition to a wheal also further, sometimes even serious symptoms.
In the case of an allergy to a certain substance, the body may react with a reddening of the skin after ingestion. This is often followed by wheal formation at the same site, which may also be associated with itching.
Stronger allergies can also cause severe itching or scratching in the throat.
In very severe cases, wheals can also cause a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylactic reaction (anaphylactic shock). This is potentially life-threatening and must be treated as an emergency because it can be associated with blood pressure drops, palpitations, shortness of breath and cardiac arrest.

Wheals on the back

The back wheal is also due to an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity of the skin. The appearance of wheals on the back is rather rare compared to other parts of the body. However, if there is a skin reaction at this point, a local allergy is likely. This is usually triggered by a certain substance that is on the skin at this point.
Sometimes wheals are also triggered by certain washing lotions or shampoos.
It often comes after insect bites to form one or more wheals. As soon as the insecticide has broken down, which can take several hours, the wheals usually disappear again.
Especially on the back, it can also lead to wheals by sweat. In this area, you sweat usually a lot and resulting wheal makes clear a hypersensitivity of the skin. It can come to the expression of a so-called sweat allergy, which counts among the so-called pseudoallergies.


Frequently, a visual diagnosis is sufficient to detect wheals as such. This is mainly due to the typical shape and structure that characterize a wheal.
However, the cause of wheal formation can not be named hereby. Since it is mostly an allergic reaction, an allergy test can help locate the cause.
For this purpose, the so-called prick test has long been carried out. In this skin test, various possible allergic substances are applied to the skin by an adhesive strip. After a short time, the skin area that has come into contact with a substance and against which there is an allergy begins to react. If the spots remain unremarkable, so they show no redness or swelling, it can be assumed that there is no allergy to the applied substance.
As a rule, substances are tested with which humans frequently come into contact. These include pollen from various plants or animal hair allergens.


Wheals can be treated both symptomatically and causally. A combination of both is to be recommended but not always possible, as the cause of wheal formation is still unknown. It should then take a cause search, which includes, among other things, the conduct of an allergy test.
Symptoms can be wheals treated with ointments or gels, such as the Fenistil Gel available in the pharmacy.
If wheals affect large parts of the body, systemic treatment with tablets may also be used. By taking the effect of the drug runs systemically, ie throughout the body. Fenistil ® can be used as drops or tablets, for example.
Cetirizine, a so-called antihistamine, is also used in the treatment of wheals. Very strong wheals on the body can also be treated with cortisone. The use should be made only with accompanying systemic reaction in the sense of an incipient anaphylactic reaction.
Furthermore, a symptomatic treatment with cooling towels, which are placed on the affected skin, help.
Especially with inhaled substances, which lead to a Wheal, also an inhalation treatment can be successful. For this purpose, a pot of water should be heated and then inhaled slightly cooled inhaled.

How long does it take for the wheals to regress?

How long wheals last in the area of ​​the skin depends on the type and severity of the allergy and the exposure, ie the time that people are exposed to the allergy-causing substance.
Wheals can develop within a few minutes and can last for several hours to days.
If you persist longer, a doctor should be consulted. This would then prescribe an antiallergic drug and optionally perform an allergy test.
Wheals triggered by cat's hair can disappear after half an hour, ie when there is no contact with the allergen.
When treated with Fenistil ® or cortisone, the wheals usually form very fast, usually after just a few minutes. After an allergic reaction with hives the therapy should be continued for 2-3 days as otherwise they often regress. In the course of the dose can often be reduced.
Wheals are triggered by the so-called immediate reaction of the body. That is, if there is an allergy to a certain substance, the wheals actually appear immediately thereafter. A delayed reaction takes place practically never or only rarely. This makes the cause search a little easier, because you can find out what you came into contact with in the last few hours. In the case of food, medicines, etc., this is easy. For pollen that fly through the air or fungal spores, the search for a cause is more difficult despite the immediate reaction.


The so-called wheal therapy has primarily nothing to do with the treatment of allergic wheals.
It is a method of injecting a particular drug directly under the first layer of skin, which then swells like a wheal.
The resulting wheal is a small drug depot, which can then act in the body. Almost always pain-relieving medicines are injected directly under the upper layer of the skin, so that they can be given piece by piece to the aching place of the body.
Especially for back or joint pain, the wheal treatment with a painkiller is used. The side effects of this treatment technique are minor, but may sometimes manifest in a local irritation of the puncture site.
A disadvantage is the relatively rapid degradation of the drug, which is possibly also associated with a recurrence of pain. The wheal treatment is still performed by pain therapists and orthopedists for back pain. Even some family doctors still perform a wheal therapy.

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