Diagnosing Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria with Unanswered Questions Lingering

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People can experience bouts of urticaria over the course of their lives, but usually they only last for a matter of days. When the symptoms last six weeks or more, it can be classified as chronic idiopathic urticaria.

People can experience bouts of urticaria over the course of their lives, but usually they only last for a matter of days. When the symptoms last six weeks or more, it can be classified as chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU).

Laura Korb Ferris, MD, PhD, a dermatologist at UPMC in Pittsburgh, discussed the diagnosis process during a recent interview with MD Magazine. Ferris said that while most lesions last only 24 hours, it is a potential sign of a much more serious condition. This can also include urticarial vasculitis, which can require a skin biopsy to diagnose and other treatment options to pursue. Some patients with CIU can have 50 to 100 lesions, but there is usually no known cause, with a focus more on finding the right treatment. This can include antihistamines as well as newer treatment options being developed.

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Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH | Credit: George Washington University
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