Mast cells have a prominent, although not completely understood, participation in both immunity and disease. Well-known disorders in which mast cells play a prominent and undisputed role are mastocytosis and urticaria. Mastocytosis has been classified more clearly, based on international consensus meetings and reports of the European Network on Mastocytosis (Consensus Mastocytosis 2007) in the last 5 years. Urticaria is elicited by a great diversity of factors and entities. Treatment points at avoidance, elimination or treatment of the eliciting stimulus or cause, inhibition of mast cell mediator release or therapy of target tissues of mast cell mediators (Consensus Urticaria 2006). Chronic urticaria is believed to have an underlying autoimmune pathogenesis in almost 50% of cases. In a disease such as atopic dermatitis, the role of mast cells is probably underexposed, but is beyond the main scope of this review. In this review; we stress the important differences between children and adults with these disorders. Recent advances in mast cell-mediated skin diseases, such as mastocytosis and urticaria, and differences based on age are subject of discussion, with focus on the literature published in the last 5 years.

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Expert Review of Dermatology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Oranje, A., Heide, R., de Waard-van der Spek, F., van Gysel, D., & Tank, B. (2008). Recent advances in mast cell-related skin diseases: Particular focus on mastocytosis and urticaria. Expert Review of Dermatology (Vol. 3, pp. 65–72). doi:10.1586/17469872.3.1.65