Urticaria

The Agony of Hives

There’s a 15% chance you could get hives at least once in your lifetime and 1.8% of people battle hives daily. Acute urticarial typically lasts for less than 6 weeks, while chronic urticaria lasts for longer than 6 weeks. Urticaria can also occur with angioedema.

What are the symptoms of urticaria?

Itchy red raised bumps that can come and go. While common it is very distressing for patients.

Should Allergy testing be done in urticaria?

Despite urticaria being a nuisance, sometimes no tests may ne required.

There are many causes of urticaria.

While allergy can cause urticaria, not all urticarial cause hives therefore allergy testing is rarely required.

Infection is one of the most common causes. Often no cause can be identified.

Your Doctor will discuss with you the role of blood testing and /or allergy testing if you have chronic urticaria.

What causes urticaria?

While acute urticaria is commonly set off by infections, it may be related to a food, medication or even contact with a plant, insect sting or animal.

In chronic urticaria, 80% of the time no cause can be identified. Some urticaria that is chronic is physical in nature but often it may be related to an underlying autoimmune condition.

Chronic urticaria is rarely allergy in aetiology. Thyroid autoimmunity, connective tissue disease, urticarial vasculitis and even hormones, medication or infections may be responsible for chronic urticaria.

Here's how we can help:
  1. Our trained Doctors we can diagnose the type of urticaria and assess whether any tests or specialist referrals may be required.

  2. Although some patients may require no tests, however chronic sufferers may require blood tests, allergy tests or even a skin biopsy depending on their history.

  3. Our Doctors can offer first-line urticaria treatments and helpful strategies to help ease the discomfort of regular hives.

  4. We can discuss:

    • How to avoid triggers
    • Medications to avoid such as NSAIDS
    • Foods to avoid
    • Suitability and evidence for elimination diets
    • Medications and non-drug medications
    • Doseage of antihistamines
    • Suitability for Omalizumab injections
  5. We can consider whether other specialists such as immunologists may be needed in your treatment plan, especially in treatments resistant disease, suspected urticarial vasculitis or if alternatives treatments needed.

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