Chronic Urticaria

What is Chronic Urticaria?

Urticaria is a skin condition that appears as red, itchy welts due to a skin reaction. This is also known as hives. This condition is considered chronic if the reaction appears frequently over months, a year, or if the welts are present for more than six weeks. The cause of this condition is known to appear due to the release of histamine into your bloodstream. This reaction can be triggered by scratching, heat or cold, stress, sunlight, exercise, pain medications, parasites, or even pressure on the skin due to a waistband. 

What are the symptoms of Chronic Urticaria?

  • Welts that vary in size
  • Possible severe itching
  • Painful swelling of the lips or inside the throat
  • A tendency of the hives to appear or become worse with triggers
  • Batches of red skin-colored wheels everywhere in the body

What are the complications of Chronic Urticaria?

Since hives can happen due to an allergic reaction keep an eye on any signs of dizziness, trouble breathing, and swelling of lips since it may indicate an anaphylactic reaction. 

How is Chronic Urticaria diagnosed?

The diagnosis for Chronic urticarial is mostly clinical, which means is mainly based on your signs and symptoms. The history and physical exam might help your healthcare provider understand the reason for this reaction which leads to appropriate treatment. A diary of your medications/supplements as well as a summary of your diet and activities can help with the diagnosis. An allergy test can be ordered to rule out any allergic underlying conditions. 

How is Chronic Urticaria treated?

The main step to start treating this condition is to identify the cause of the reaction. Getting rid of triggers can help avoid reoccurrences. Antihistamines such as loratadine, cetirizine, or Fexofenadine can be used to alleviate the symptoms. Other medications such as prednisone or anti-inflammatory medications can help with the inflammation and redness. 

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What are the differential diagnoses of Chronic Urticaria?

  • Vasculitis
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Pityriasis rosea 

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