Insect bite-induced hypersensitivity and the SCRATCH principles: a new approach to papular urticaria

Pediatrics. 2006 Jul;118(1):e189-96. doi: 10.1542/peds.2005-2550. Epub 2006 Jun 2.


Insect bites and the associated hypersensitivity reactions known as papular urticaria account for a significant number of all referrals from pediatricians and dermatologists to our pediatric dermatology clinic. Unfortunately, children affected by these eruptions are frequently misdiagnosed and often subject to expensive evaluations including invasive and unnecessary procedures. Here we review the course of 4 children with the typical physical findings and natural history of these reactions. On the basis of our clinical findings and experience with this patient population, we propose a set of principles (termed "SCRATCH") as clinical features to aid clinicians in making an early and accurate clinical diagnosis. We conclude that a more appropriate term for future study and diagnosis of this entity is insect bite-induced hypersensitivity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Insect Bites and Stings / complications
  • Insect Bites and Stings / diagnosis*
  • Insect Bites and Stings / metabolism
  • Insect Bites and Stings / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Urticaria / etiology*
  • Urticaria / metabolism
  • Urticaria / therapy