Definition. An inflammatory disease of the skin, usually present in the first six months of life, and characterized by persistent, yellowish-brown, wheel-like nodules.
Symptoms. The eruption prefers the trunk, but may spread up the neck into the scalp, or upon the extremities, and consists of yellowish-red or brown, split- pea-sized wheals or nodules surrounded by pinkish areolae. These lesions may persist for months or years and undergo a change of color from their original pink to brown and yellow and having undergone involution, brownish pigmentations may be noted which, though persistent, eventually. Itching may or may not be severe, or may be entirely absent.
Etiology and Pathology. There is a certain hereditary tendency or congenital predisposition, and, as has been mentioned, nearly all cases begin in fancy. Microscopically, this diseases differs from ordinary urticaria in that the papillary layer of the corium is filled with mast cells arranged in columns, which formation is characteristic of the process. In some instances these cells may extend through the cutis into the subcutaneous tissue.
Diagnosis. This is made on the following points: origin in infancy, persistent eruption and duration of the wheals or nodules, with pigmentation for many years, or until after puberty. Xanthoma tuberosum is about the only disease that might present a resemblance.
Prognosis and Treatment. Although a cure may take place at an early period, the disease is very obstinate to treatment, and usually does not disappear before the period of puberty. Physiological methods and antipruritic applications suggested in the treatment of urticaria may be employed here. The following remedies are suggested: antipyrin, ARs., Berberis, LAch., Nat. mur., and phos.