Chronic urticaria


Chronic urticaria is a skin condition where a person gets hives that last for more than six weeks. These hives are red, itchy bumps that can appear anywhere on the body. The exact cause of chronic urticaria is often difficult to determine, but it can be triggered by various factors such as stress, infections, medications, or underlying health conditions.

Managing chronic urticaria involves treating the symptoms to reduce itching and inflammation. This can be done through antihistamines, which help to block the effects of histamine in the body and reduce the symptoms of hives. In some cases, additional medications may be prescribed such as corticosteroids or immune-modulating drugs. It is important for individuals with chronic urticaria to work closely with their healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that works best for them.

Frequently asked questions

What is chronic urticaria?

Chronic urticaria is a skin condition characterized by the persistent presence of hives or welts. These hives may be itchy, red, and raised, and can appear anywhere on the body. Chronic urticaria is diagnosed when these symptoms last for six weeks or longer.

What causes chronic urticaria?

Chronic urticaria can be caused by a variety of factors, including autoimmune disorders, infections, medications, and allergies. In many cases, the exact cause of chronic urticaria is unknown, and it may be triggered by a combination of factors.

How is chronic urticaria diagnosed?

Diagnosing chronic urticaria usually involves a physical examination, a review of medical history, and sometimes allergy testing or blood tests. A doctor may also perform a skin biopsy to rule out other conditions.

Is chronic urticaria contagious?

No, chronic urticaria is not contagious. It is a non-infectious skin condition that cannot be spread from person to person through contact.

How is chronic urticaria treated?

Chronic urticaria is typically treated with antihistamines to reduce itching and inflammation. In some cases, corticosteroids or other medications may be prescribed. Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers and wearing loose clothing, may also help manage symptoms.

Can chronic urticaria be cured?

In many cases, chronic urticaria can be managed and controlled with treatment. However, some individuals may experience periodic flare-ups or have symptoms that persist for an extended period of time.

What are common triggers for chronic urticaria?

Common triggers for chronic urticaria include stress, certain foods, medications, insect bites, and environmental factors such as heat or cold. Identifying and avoiding triggers can help reduce the frequency and severity of hives.

Symptoms of Chronic urticaria

Symptoms of chronic urticaria include red, raised, and itchy welts on the skin that often come and go without a clear reason. These welts can vary in size and shape and may appear anywhere on the body. Some people with chronic urticaria may also experience swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat, which can be dangerous if it affects breathing. In some cases, the welts may be accompanied by a burning or stinging sensation. Other symptoms can include fatigue, headache, and a general feeling of being unwell. It is important to seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms to determine the underlying cause and receive proper treatment.

How common is Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria is actually quite common. Many people around the world experience this condition, which is characterized by hives that persist for six weeks or longer. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or health status. The exact cause of chronic urticaria is often unknown, but it is believed to be related to the immune system and how it reacts to certain triggers. People with chronic urticaria may have to deal with symptoms like itching, redness, and swelling on a daily basis, which can significantly impact their quality of life.

Causes of Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria happens when your body releases histamine, a substance that causes blood vessels to leak fluid. This leaking fluid makes your skin swell up in hives. The exact reason why this happens is not always clear, but it can be linked to allergic reactions, infections, autoimmune diseases, or even stress. These triggers can make your immune system go into overdrive and mistakenly attack healthy cells in your body, leading to chronic urticaria. Identifying and managing these underlying causes can help in reducing the symptoms of chronic urticaria.

Who is affected by it

Chronic urticaria can affect people of all ages, from children to adults. It doesn't discriminate based on gender or race. Anyone can develop chronic urticaria, regardless of their overall health or lifestyle. It can be frustrating and disruptive to daily life, as the constant itching and swelling can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Some people may find it difficult to participate in activities they enjoy or socialize with others due to the visible symptoms of chronic urticaria. It's important to seek medical advice if you suspect you may have chronic urticaria, as a healthcare provider can help diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Types of Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria comes in a few different types, each with its own characteristics. The first type is chronic spontaneous urticaria which causes hives to appear without a specific trigger. These hives may occur frequently and can be very itchy. The second type is chronic inducible urticaria which is triggered by specific factors such as pressure, cold, heat, or sunlight. These hives usually appear in response to the specific trigger.

Another type is chronic autoimmune urticaria which is related to the immune system mistakenly attacking the body's own tissues. This can lead to recurrent hives and is often associated with other autoimmune conditions. Lastly, chronic physical urticaria is caused by physical stimuli like pressure, heat, cold, or vibration. When these stimuli are encountered, hives may appear on the skin.

Diagnostic of Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria is diagnosed by a doctor after the patient reports having hives for at least six weeks. The doctor will ask the patient questions about their medical history, possible triggers, and symptoms. They may also conduct a physical examination to check for any signs of underlying conditions that could be causing the hives.

In some cases, the doctor may order blood tests or allergy tests to try to pinpoint the cause of the hives. A skin biopsy may also be performed in rare cases. By gathering information from the patient's history, physical examination, and test results, the doctor can make a diagnosis of chronic urticaria and work with the patient to develop a treatment plan.

Treatment of Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria, also known as hives, can be treated in several ways. One common treatment is antihistamines, which help to reduce itching and swelling caused by hives. In some cases, doctors may recommend a combination of different antihistamines to effectively control the symptoms. Corticosteroids are sometimes prescribed for short-term relief of severe hives, but they are not usually recommended for long-term use due to potential side effects. In cases where antihistamines and corticosteroids are not effective, other medications such as omalizumab or cyclosporine may be considered.

Beyond medications, avoiding triggers that can worsen hives is an important part of managing chronic urticaria. Common triggers include certain foods, medications, and environmental factors like heat or stress. Identifying and avoiding these triggers can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of hives. Additionally, lifestyle changes like stress management techniques, wearing loose-fitting clothes, and using cool compresses can help alleviate symptoms. In some cases, allergists or dermatologists may recommend alternative therapies like acupuncture or phototherapy to help manage chronic urticaria.

Prognosis of treatment

In chronic urticaria, the long-term outlook of treatment can vary from person to person. Some individuals may find relief from symptoms and have periods of remission, while others may struggle with recurring flare-ups despite treatment. The effectiveness of treatment can depend on factors such as the underlying cause of the urticaria, individual response to medication, and adherence to treatment plans.

Because chronic urticaria can be complex and unpredictable, it's important for individuals to work closely with their healthcare providers to find the most effective treatment approach for their specific situation. This may involve trying different medications, adjusting dosages, or exploring lifestyle changes to better manage symptoms. Regular monitoring and communication with healthcare providers can help to track progress, make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan, and improve the overall prognosis of chronic urticaria.

Risk factors of Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria can be caused by many factors. Some of these can include allergic reactions to certain foods, medications, or environmental triggers like pollen or dust mites. Stress, infections, and autoimmune diseases can also play a role in causing chronic urticaria. Understanding these risk factors can help identify triggers and manage symptoms effectively. Consulting a healthcare provider is important in diagnosing and treating chronic urticaria appropriately.

Complications of Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria can make life difficult for many people. It causes long-lasting hives and itching that can be very uncomfortable. These symptoms can come and go, making it hard to predict when they will strike next. It can be frustrating not knowing when the next flare-up will happen.

In addition to physical discomfort, chronic urticaria can also have emotional effects. Dealing with ongoing symptoms can be stressful and may lead to feelings of anxiety or depression. It can also impact daily activities, such as work and social interactions, as individuals may feel self-conscious about their appearance or worried about experiencing a flare-up in public.

Prevention of Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria can be prevented by identifying and avoiding triggers that can cause flare-ups. This includes avoiding known allergens such as certain foods, medications, or environmental factors like pollen or animal dander. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and managing stress can also help prevent chronic urticaria. It is important to follow a consistent skincare routine to keep the skin moisturized and healthy, as dry skin can worsen symptoms of chronic urticaria.

Another important step in preventing chronic urticaria is to follow the treatment plan prescribed by a healthcare provider. This may include taking medications as directed, attending regular follow-up appointments, and keeping track of any changes in symptoms. Staying informed about the condition and seeking support from healthcare professionals, support groups, or counseling services can also be beneficial in preventing chronic urticaria from worsening.

Living with Chronic urticaria

Living with chronic urticaria, also known as hives, can be very challenging. It's like having an itch that never goes away, and it can be really uncomfortable. The red, raised welts on the skin can come and go unpredictably, making it hard to plan things like going out with friends or to work.

Because the cause of chronic urticaria is often unknown, it can be frustrating trying to find the right treatment. Many people with this condition have to try different medications and lifestyle changes to manage their symptoms. It's important to work closely with a healthcare provider to develop a plan that works for you. Despite the difficulties, it is possible to live a fulfilling life with chronic urticaria by learning to manage symptoms and seeking support from others who understand what you are going through.


Chronic urticaria is a skin condition where red, itchy welts (hives) appear and reappear on the skin for more than six weeks. It can be caused by various factors like allergies, infections, or autoimmune reactions. Epidemiology of chronic urticaria involves studying how common this condition is in different populations, how it affects people of different ages and genders, and what factors may contribute to its development.

Researchers have found that chronic urticaria affects around 1% of the population at some point in their lives. It can occur in both children and adults, but it is more commonly seen in adults. Women are also more likely to experience chronic urticaria compared to men. Understanding the epidemiology of chronic urticaria can help healthcare providers identify high-risk populations, develop prevention strategies, and provide appropriate treatment options.


Chronic urticaria is a condition where someone develops itchy hives that last for more than six weeks. Researchers are studying this to understand why it happens and how to help people with this problem. They look at things like how the body's immune system reacts and what triggers these hives.

Researchers also study the different treatments available, such as antihistamines or other medications, to see how well they work for chronic urticaria. They may also explore the role of stress or other factors in triggering hives, to find ways to manage or prevent them. By studying chronic urticaria, researchers aim to improve the quality of life for those affected by this condition.

History of Chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria is a medical condition where a person develops hives that last for more than six weeks. These hives can be itchy and uncomfortable, causing distress to the affected individual. The history of chronic urticaria dates back to ancient times, with mentions of similar symptoms in various medical texts.

Over the years, research has helped us understand more about chronic urticaria and its causes. It is now known that chronic urticaria can be triggered by factors such as stress, infections, or autoimmune conditions. Advances in medicine have led to better treatment options for chronic urticaria, helping patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. The history of chronic urticaria shows how far we have come in understanding and treating this condition.

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