Mastocytosis

Mastocytosis, a disorder affecting both children and adults, is characterized by an excess of mast cells throughout the body. These mast cells, found in the skin, lymph nodes, and various internal organs, play a crucial role in bolstering your immune system's defense against diseases.

The presence of too many mast cells, or mastocytosis, can occur in two forms—cutaneous and systemic. Cutaneous mastocytosis, also known as urticaria pigmentosa, occurs when mast cells infiltrate the skin, representing the most common presentation. On the other hand, systemic mastocytosis arises from the accumulation of mast cells in various tissues, impacting organs such as the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and small intestine. The true number of cases of either type of mastocytosis remains unknown, but mastocytosis generally is considered to be an “orphan disease.” (Orphan diseases affect approximately 200,000 or fewer people in the United States.) 

Despite its rarity, mastocytosis can significantly impact your well-being. At Rencic Dermatology, our experts provide tailored treatment plans to alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life. 

Mastocytosis FAQs

Patients may inquire about typical symptoms such as skin lesions, flushing, itching, abdominal pain, and gastrointestinal issues associated with mastocytosis.

Mastocytosis often manifests with skin symptoms such as reddish-brown spots, itching, flushing, and hives. These symptoms can vary from person to person and may worsen upon exposure to triggers like heat, friction, or certain foods.

Yes, mastocytosis can lead to complications such as skin thickening, blistering, and increased susceptibility to infections. Dermatologists can address these issues through personalized treatment plans, which may include medications to manage symptoms and promote skin healing.

Gentle skincare routines involving mild cleansers and fragrance-free moisturizers can help soothe irritated skin. Additionally, dermatologists may recommend topical corticosteroids or antihistamines to reduce inflammation and itching.

Mastocytosis can sometimes be mistaken for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or allergic reactions. To ensure an accurate diagnosis, dermatologists may perform a skin biopsy, blood tests, or other diagnostic procedures to confirm the presence of mast cells.