"Masto-" refers to mast cells. Mast cells are a part of your immune system Overview of the Immune System The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, including: Germs... read more involved in allergic reactions Overview of Allergic Reactions The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system usually reacts to and attacks bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. An allergy... read more .
Mastocytosis is a buildup of mast cells in your skin and sometimes other parts of your body.
Mastocytosis is rare
Symptoms include itchy spots and bumps, flushing, an upset stomach, and sometimes bone pain
Mastocytosis can affect just your skin or other parts of your body, such as your lungs and lining of your intestines
Mastocytosis of the skin alone isn't life-threatening and sometimes goes away without treatment
Mastocytosis that affects other parts of your body is more serious and can even be life-threatening—you should carry a dose of epinephrine for emergency treatment
Mastocytosis develops when your body makes too many mast cells. The mast cells can collect in your skin, bones, or other organs.
Mast cells produce a chemical called histamine. Too much histamine can cause:
Doctors don’t always know why your body makes too many mast cells, but some people have a genetic mutation that causes mastocytosis.
If mast cells build up in your tissues or organs, they can cause damage that can be life-threatening.
Doctors suspect mastocytosis from your symptoms, especially if you have itchy spots and get hives (red, itchy, raised patches on the skin) when you scratch. To know for sure, doctors will do tests, such as:
If you have mastocytosis only in your skin, doctors will treat itching and rashes with:
If mastocytosis affects other parts of your body, doctors will have you take medicine to help with your symptoms.
If your symptoms are severe, doctors may: