A raised, itchy (pruritic) area of skin that is almost always an overt sign of allergy. Not all wheals are alike. They may be redder or paler than the skin around them. They may vary in configuration and may be rounded or flat-topped. Wheals typically have a reddish hue. They characteristically change in size and shape and they come and go. But they are consistent at being smooth and elevated above the surrounding skin. As anyone who has had wheals knows, they can be intensely, infuriatingly itchy. Wheals reflect circumscribed dermal edema (fluid collection in the layer of skin below the surface). A wheal is a prima facie evidence for an allergic response of the skin. A wheal is also sometimes called a welt and often a hive.
* * *
A circumscribed, evanescent papule or irregular plaque of edema of the skin, appearing as an urticarial lesion, slightly reddened, often changing in size and shape and extending to adjacent areas, and usually accompanied by intense itching; produced by intradermal injection or test, or by exposure to allergenic substances in susceptible persons; also encountered in dermatitis herpetiformis (Darier sign). SYN: hives (2), welt. [A.S. hwele]

* * *

wheal 'hwē(ə)l, 'wē(ə)l n a suddenly formed elevation of the skin surface: as
b) the transient lump occurring at the site of injection of a solution before the solution is normally dispersed
c) a flat burning or itching eminence on the skin <urticarial \wheals>

* * *

(hwēl) (wēl) the typical lesion of urticaria, the dermal evidence of allergy; it is a smooth, slightly elevated, discolored area on the body surface, often accompanied by severe itching. In sensitive persons it may also be provoked by mechanical irritation of the skin. Called also hive and welt.


Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wheal — Wheal, n. [OE. whele, AS. hwele putrefaction, hwelian to putrefy.] A pustule; a whelk. Wiseman. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wheal — Wheal, n. [Cf. {Wale}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A more or less elongated mark raised by a stroke; also, a similar mark made by any cause; a weal; a wale. [1913 Webster] 2. Specifically (Med.), a flat, burning or itching eminence on the skin, such as is …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wheal — Wheal, n. [Cornish hwel.] (Mining) A mine. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wheal — mark made on the skin by a whip, 1808, perhaps an alteration of WALE (Cf. wale), possibly by confusion with weal welt, and obsolete wheal pimple, pustule (mid 15c.), from O.E. verb hwelian to form pus, bring to a head …   Etymology dictionary

  • wheal — wheal1 [hwēl, wēl] n. [ME whele, akin to OE hwelian, to suppurate] 1. Obs. a pustule; pimple 2. a small, itching elevation of the skin, as from the bite of an insect wheal2 [hwēl, wēl] n. [altered (based on WHEAL1) < …   English World dictionary

  • Wheal — Infobox Symptom Name = PAGENAME Background = Caption = A welt (wheal) formed on a person s skin after being struck on the neck with a credit card ICD10 = ICD10|L|50|9|l|50 ICD9 = ICD9|708 ICDO = OMIM = DiseasesDB = 13606 MedlinePlus = 000845… …   Wikipedia

  • Wheal — This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo Saxon origin, and originated either as a metonymic occupational name for a maker of wheels for carts, or for use in spinning and other manufacturing processes, or occasionally, as a… …   Surnames reference

  • wheal — /hweel, weel/, n. 1. a small, burning or itching swelling on the skin, as from a mosquito bite or from hives. 2. a wale or welt. Also, weal. [bef. 900; akin to WHELK2 and to obs. wheal (v.), OE hwelian to suppurate, develop wheals] * * * …   Universalium

  • wheal — I. /wil/ (say weel) noun a mine. {Cornish huel} II. /wil/ (say weel) noun → weal2. {Middle English whele, related to obsolete wheal (verb), Old English hwelian suppurate} …   Australian English dictionary

  • wheal — noun Etymology: alteration of 1wale Date: 1808 a suddenly formed elevation of the skin surface ; welt; especially a flat burning or itching eminence on the skin …   New Collegiate Dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.