Mastocytosis: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Lineagotica Editorial Board, 06/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. Use the menu to see other pages.

People with mastocytosis may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with mastocytosis do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not mastocytosis.

General symptoms of mastocytosis

  • Hives

  • Red, itchy rash

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Fainting

  • Facial flushing or reddening of the face

  • Shortness of breath

  • Wheezing or trouble breathing

  • Psychological changes, such as irritability or difficulty concentrating

Symptoms of urticaria pigmentosa

  • Tan or red-brown spots on the skin

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Headache

  • Increased heart rate

  • Flushed face

  • Psychological changes

Symptoms of solitary mastocytoma

  • Raised or flat reddish-brown spot on the skin

  • Hives

  • Itching

Symptoms of diffuse erythrodermic mastocytosis

  • Thickening of the skin

  • Blisters

Symptom of telangiectasia macularis eruptiva perstans

  • Small lesions that do not itch

Symptoms of systemic mastocytosis

  • Skin lesions

  • Urticaria pigmentosa

  • Flushed face

  • Itching

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Ulcers in the stomach and duodenum (small intestine)

  • Headache

  • Lightheadedness

  • Heart palpitations, an irregular or unusually rapid beating of the heart

  • Bone pain

  • Anemia, a low red blood cell count, which can cause fatigue

  • Psychological changes

The symptoms of systemic mastocytosis can sometimes occur as “attacks,” where more than 1 symptom appears at the same time. Following an attack, the person may feel tired and lethargic.

If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor or a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in skin conditions. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help figure out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If mastocytosis is diagnosed, relieving symptoms is an important part of your care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about the symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.