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Urticaria - What is it for

​Urticaria (also known as hives) is a common skin condition that can affect up to 20% of people (one in five people) at some point in their lives. It can cause itchy pink swellings or bumps that can appear anywhere on the body and sometimes be accompanied by swelling of the eyelids or the lips. 

These skin lesions may change in size, fade, or reappear. Individual skin lesions typically resolved within 24 hours without a trace, although the course of the condition may be longer. 

Daily episodes of urticaria that persist for more than 6 weeks is a condition known as chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU). This condition is neither an allergen nor contagion. Instead, it involves activation of the immune response system.

Who can Urticaria affect? 

It can affect children and adult, both male and female of all ages. 

Types of Urticaria

We can categorise urticaria based on its duration and triggers. Although in some patients, more than 2 types of urticaria can co-exist.

Here are 3 ways we categorise urticaria:

  1. Acute urticaria is defined by spontaneous occurrence of hives or angioedema for 6 weeks or less. The cause of acute urticaria is found in less than 50% of cases. The most common cause of acute urticaria is viral infection (40%), followed by drug reactions (9.2%) and food intolerance (0.9%).
  2. Daily or almost daily episodes of hives or angioedema for more than 6 weeks are known as chronic urticaria. There are generally 2 types of chronic urticaria:
    • Chronic inducible urticaria which can be brought on by a determined stimulus such as skin pressure, cold, heat or exercise, or
    • Chronic spontaneous urticaria where the cause is unknown 

Urticaria - Symptoms

Urticaria - How to prevent?

Urticaria - Causes and Risk Factors

Urticaria - Preparing for surgery

Urticaria - Post-surgery care