The University of Southampton

MEDI6079 Eczema, Urticaria and Anaphylaxis

Module Overview

Eczema, Urticaria and Anaphylaxis covers the aetiology and pathogenesis of allergic skin disease. In addition teaches the principles of systemic allergic reactions including anaphylaxis and its causes, a serious life threatening condition. This module will enable students to clinically recognise, investigate and manage these conditions.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To understand the aetiology and pathogenesis of allergic skin disease including an understanding of normal skin structure and function and how this is altered disease • To understand the principles and causes of systemic anaphylaxis • To understand the principles of diagnosis, investigation and management of these conditions

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Discuss normal skin structure and function and contrast this with changes seen in disease, particularly with reference to urticaria, contact dermatitis and atopic eczema
  • Differentiate between the different forms of hypersensitivity reactions (I to IV) and highlight these with specific examples
  • Evaluate the pathogenesis, diagnosis, investigation and management of systemic allergy.
  • Elaborate on the current areas of controversy and research in this discipline.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Solve complex clinical and scientific issues both systematically and creatively
  • Make informed judgements in a clinical and/or scientific setting and know when to refer for more specialist advice and communicate these effectively to other professionals, parents and patients
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Interpret diagnostic information from clinical scenarios.
  • Design a management plan for skin conditions (including urticaria, contact dermatitis and atopic eczema) and systemic anaphylaxis and differentiate from other similar conditions.
  • Distinguish the differential diagnoses of allergic skin disease.
  • Critically evaluate research evidence and relate this to a clinical or scientific scenario


• Structure and function of skin • Type I mechanisms and pseudo type I • Overview of Type I allergy including food, pollen, vespid drug and latex • How to recognise anaphylaxis • Investigations and management of anaphylaxis • Type II and III hypersensitivity mechanisms, overview, investigations and management • Type IV mechanisms of allergic disease • Overview of Type IV allergy • How to recognise systemic IV reactions e.g. drugs • How to recognise cutaneous type IV reactions e.g. allergic contact dermatitis, latex • Investigation and management of cutaneous and systemic allergy • Allergic skin disease differential diagnosis • Chronic urticaria and angioedema • Urticarial variants e.g. physical • Mastocytosis • Atopic dermatitis • Clinical cases for problem solving • Anaesthetic anaphylaxis • Latex allergy • Eczema • Drug rashes and relationship to allergic mechanisms • Anaphylaxis • Drug induced angioedema e.g. ACE inhibitors • Acute urticaria • Allergic contact dermatitis

Special Features

The module will be taught by a faculty at the forefront of their respective academic disciplines and professions of national and internationally recognised standing. Adult learning methods will be used throughout and an emphasis placed upon interactive learning, practical demonstration and the interpretation of clinical scenarios to reinforce learning

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of learning and teaching methods will be adopted to promote a wide range of skills and meet the differing learning styles of the group. The techniques will include seminars, group work, practical demonstrations and exercises surrounding interpretation of data and clinical scenarios. Specialist lecturers from a range of academic and health care professional backgrounds will be used to ensure a breadth and depth of perspective is offered, giving a good balance between background theories and principles and practical management advice.

Independent Study220
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Ardern-Jones, M.R., and P.S.F. Friedmann. (2008). Eczema. In Managing Allergy. A. Custovic, and T.A.E. Platts-Mills, editors.. 

Useful journals.  Allergy Clinical Experimental Allergy Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Holgate S, Church, M and Lichtenstein L (Eds) (2007). Allergy. Chapters 6-7 and 9-12. 

Friedmann, P.S.F., M.R. Ardern-Jones, and C.A. Holden (2010). Atopic Dermatitis. In Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology T. Burns, S. Breathnach, N. Cox, and C.E.M. Griffiths, editors. 


Assessment Strategy

The assessment for the module provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. There will be two assessed components, i) a written examination and ii) an individual assignment. The pass mark for the module and all assessed components is 50%. If you do not achieve the pass mark on this module by achieving 50% or more in all components, you may still pass by compensation. To do this, you must achieve a qualifying mark of 40% on each assessed component. Each of the component marks is then combined, using the appropriate weighting, to give an overall mark for the module. If this overall mark is greater than or equal to 50% you will have passed the module. If your overall mark is less than 50% when the weighting has been applied to the components, you will have failed the module. If you have not achieved 40% or more on all components, you cannot use compensation and have failed the module. If you have failed the module, you will have the opportunity to submit work at the next referral (re-sit) opportunity. You must achieve the pass mark in your referral. On passing your referral, your final module mark will be capped at 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 50%
Written exam 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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