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Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU)

What is chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU)?

Chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) is an unpredictable form of chronic hives that can flare up at any time with no identifiable cause. These hives may not go away for several months and in some cases even years.

What are the symptoms of chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU)?

The following are characteristic symptoms of CIU:
  • Clusters of red or white welts on the face, trunk, arms or legs. Welts can vary in size and may change shape or can appear and fade repeatedly
  • Moderate to severe itching
  • Pain or burning caused by swelling

What causes chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU)?

While the cause of CIU is unknown, the reaction may be caused by certain triggers, including pain medications, infection, insect bites or parasites, exposure to heat, cold or sunlight, stress, consumption of food or alcohol, or pressure on the skin.

How is chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) diagnosed?

The diagnosis of CIU is largely clinical and based on medical history and physical examination. Tests to confirm a diagnosis include:
  • Complete blood cell (CBC)
  • Examination of the stool for ova and parasites
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA) titers

What are the treatments for chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU)?

The FDA has approved Xolair, an injectable medication, to treat CIU. Other options include:
  • Antihistamine medications
  • Oral steroids may

Where can I find out more about chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU)?

Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU) Articles

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