Papular urticaria

Papular urticaria is an allergic reaction to insect stings or bites. The condition results to itchy and reddened bumps on the skin. Some of these bumps can become blisters filled with fluid which are called as vesicles or bullae depending on the size.

The condition is prevalent among children between 2-10 years old. It can affect adults and children at any age though.

What are the indications?


Papular urticaria is characterized as a reddened, itchy bump or blister on top of the skin.

Papular urticaria is characterized as a reddened, itchy bump or blister on top of the skin. Some of these blisters might appear as clusters. Take note that they are symmetrically distributed and each bump is around 0.2-2 centimeters in size.

They can arise on any part of the body. The blisters and bumps can vanish and reappear on the skin. Once a blister vanishes, it oftentimes leaves a darkened mark on the skin.

The symptoms typically arise in later spring and summer. The lesions can last for days to weeks before vanishing. Since they can vanish and reappear, the symptoms can recur for weeks or months.

What are the usual causes?

Papular urticaria is not a contagious condition. It can arise due to an allergic reaction to insects. Some of the usual causes are bites from:

Management of papular urticaria

Various treatment options are available for papular urticaria. Most of these treatment options deal with the symptoms of the condition.

The medications that the doctor might prescribe include:

  • Oral anti-inflammatory corticosteroids
  • Topical steroids
  • Topical or oral antibiotics
  • Systemic antihistamines

The over-the-counter options include oral antihistamines and menthol or calamine creams and lotions. A doctor must be consulted first regarding treatments that are safe for children.

What is the outlook?

Papular urticaria has a high tendency to recur. This is due to continued exposure to the allergen. Children can oftentimes outgrow it by building up tolerance. After repeated exposure, the reactions might stop but this varies from one individual to another and can take weeks, months or even years to completely stop.