Urticaria is the medical term for hives. Hives are raised welts on the skin that are usually itchy. They can be any size and can also occur anywhere on the body. Hives are commonly a sign of an allergic reaction, however they do not have to be related to an allergy. Chronic urticaria can be debilitating and difficult to treat at times.

Chronic Urticaria

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, hives are considered chronic when they occur almost daily for more than 6 weeks and are typically itchy. These hives typically do not have an identifiable trigger, which is idiopathic (idiopathic means “unknown cause”).

It is possible to suffer from hives because of allergies. If you are concerned an allergy is the cause of your hives, then seeing a Board-Certified Allergist would be beneficial. An allergist will perform multiple tests (skin tests, blood tests, oral food challenges, etc.) to try to find the root cause. If an allergy is causing your hives then an allergist will be able to find the right treatment plan to limit or get rid of your reaction.

Those with chronic spontaneous (or idiopathic) urticaria should also see an allergist. An allergist can still create a treatment plan that will work best for you, although this plan will look different than those with underlying causes. Treatment includes antihistamines, anti-itch balms, and other treatment options.

Clinical Research

Sometimes treatments do not work, and chronic urticaria can be debilitating. The constant itch and swelling of the skin can be disruptive to your daily life. Clinical Research may be the best path for you if your chronic urticaria has become a constant itchy problem in your life. National Allergy & ENT is currently enrolling for a chronic urticaria trial for adults dealing with itch. For more information please call our Research department at (843) 261-2222 or send an inquiry online.