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Mast Cell

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Updated April 21, 2009

Definition:

Mast cells are a part of the immune system and can be found throughout the body. Inside the mast cell are tiny granules containing different chemicals that cause inflammation. Probably the most important mast cell chemical affecting the skin is histamine. Various triggers will cause the mast cell to degranulate, or release its granules, causing inflammation in the surrounding tissue.

Related to skin diseases, mast cells play an important role in hives and facial flushing caused by mastocytosis.

Also Known As: mastocyte
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