Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria

More than 20% of people have experienced random hives, or welts, on their skin at some point in their lives. But, there is also a longer-lasting type of hive condition called Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (also known as Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria) that can affect up to 0.5% of people. CSU is a condition that causes random hives and welts on various locations of the body for 6 weeks or more. CSU can affect both adults and children. Usually, the condition is idiopathic, or has no known cause, but sometimes the condition can be related to a viral illness or associated with some autoimmune conditions.

It’s important to know that chronic hives that occur randomly are much different than acute, sudden-onset hives that can occur following accidental ingestion in patients with food or drug allergies, or with patients with history of allergic reactions. In those conditions, the trigger is usually very obvious, such as a food, medication, or insect sting, and leads to hives occurring usually within 30 minutes. Once treated, these hives usually resolve. One major difference is that with chronic hives, symptoms will continue and there will be no obvious trigger. Many patients suspect medications or foods as triggers, but this is not usually the case in chronic hives.

CSU is usually benign and not an indication of anything concerning or dangerous going on in the body. Sometimes, patients will have other symptoms that will require further work up with labs or other tests. However, most of the time, hives are very easy to treat using safe and effective medications to help the hives get under control and hopefully stay away for good! If you are suffering from chronic hives, be sure to address your symptoms with your allergy provider in order to get the best control and relief you need!