Mastocytosis is an uncommon ailment brought about by excessive amounts of mast cells in the body tissues.
What are the forms?
- Cutaneous – the mast cells buildup in the skin and common among children
- Systemic – the mast cells accumulate in the body tissues including the skin, bones and internal organs. This type mainly affects adults.
What are the signs?
The indications of mastocytosis might vary depending on the type.
- Cutaneous – the usual sign of this form is irregular growths on the skin such as spots and bumps that form on the body and oftentimes blister.
- Systemic – some individuals with this form might have episodes of serious symptoms lasting 15-30 minutes frequently with exact triggers such as stress or physical exertion.
Throughout an episode, the following might be present:
- Response of the skin such as flushing and itchiness
- Muscle and joint pain
- Digestive reactions such as diarrhea and vomiting
- Mood changes, headaches and fatigue
Is there a risk for a severe allergic reaction?
Individuals with mastocystosis face a higher risk for a severe and dangerous allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.
The high risk for anaphylaxis is due to an abnormally high amount of mast cells and their capability to generate large amounts of histamine into the blood.
In case the child or adult has mastocytosis, an auto-injector epinephrine must be on hand to manage the symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Management of mastocytosis
There is no available cure for the condition, thus the objective of therapy is to alleviate the symptoms.
The treatment is based on the form of mastocytosis and seriousness of the symptoms. For minor to moderate cases of the cutaneous form, it can be managed with a steroid cream. The medication lessens the amount of mast cells that release histamine and initiate inflammation in the skin.
Antihistamines can also be utilized to manage the symptoms of the cutaneous form such as itchiness and reddened skin. These drugs work by blocking the effects of histamine and often given to manage allergic conditions.