Skin Challenge: Urticaria


Urticaria hepatitis affects the back right shoulder of a client.Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes inflammation in the liver.  Early signs of Hep C that present in the skin is jaundice, which involves a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.  Rashes are relatively common in people with hepatitis C.  A common skin rash related to hepatitis C is called urticaria.

Urticaria, or hives, often appears as red, raised, and itchy blotches of skin that might look like bug bites. It may also spread across the body, causing widespread redness, swelling, and itchiness and can last for a few hours at a time and then fade, only to come back again later.

Other rashes that occur in a person infected with Hep C are Lichen Planus and pruritis.


What is the cause of urticaria in your client?

Often lasting six months or less, acute Hepatitis C can cause red, itchy rash aka urticaria (hives) which often occurs when the body is trying to fight off the infection.  This rash can also be the result of an allergic reaction.

Determine any medications; contraindications and cautions before proceeding with any spa treatment.

Treatments that can be offered:

  • Offer the client products for a sensitive skin, preferably with no fragrance to use on the area
  • Services that generate ‘heat’ need to be avoided, or avoid the localised area where rash is present as heat can be a trigger
  • A cold compress can be applied to the rash to soothe it.  If you have essential oils and herbs that are soothing to the skin use them in the solution.  Just check with client that cold does not trigger urticaria.
  • Peppermint hydrosol and essential oil can help to reduce itching associated with urticaria.  The essential oil can be put into a vegelatum base.
  • Topical antihistamines and hydrocortisone creams can also help with this rash.

DISCLAIMER: Work within the scope of your license/certification.

Portrait of Mórag Currin. About the Author

Mórag Currin is a highly sought-after esthetic educator with more than 27 years of spa industry experience and more than twelve years of training and training management experience. She travels around the globe with her training and expertise, helping to raise the bar in the spa industry and to open the door to all people, regardless of skin type or health condition. To learn more about this topic and many other skin challenges, diseases, and symptoms, check out Mórag’s book, Health Challenged Skin: The Estheticians’ Desk Reference.

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