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How Does Chronic Urticaria Impact Your Daily Life?

August 29, 2020   188 views  

How Does Chronic Urticaria Impact Your Daily Life?

If you have red or coloured bumps on your skin that appear and disappear all the time, it is probably not a common insect bite. The rash can be hives, and the itching from hives can range from mild to severe. Hives, also called urticaria, affect about 20 per cent of people at some point in their life. Scratching, alcohol, exercise, and emotional stress can make itching worse. If you think you have hives, it’s best to talk to an allergist or a dermatologist.

Hives, also known as urticaria, are red, itchy boils due to skin reactions. Urticaria has been described as a swelling of the skin that is often itchy. These vary in size and appear and repeatedly fade as the reaction progresses. This condition is considered a chronic hive if they appear for more than six weeks and often recur over months or years. But, there is no clear cause of chronic hives.

Hives occur when cells in the skin called mast cells secrete histamine, a chemical that causes liquid blood vessels (capillaries) to leak. When this leaking fluid builds up on the skin, it forms a swelling that we recognize as hives. Chronic hives can cause a disturbance in quality of life like very uncomfortable feelings, and interfere with sleep and daily activities. For many people, antihistamines and antipruritics help. 

This article provided by Cosomosure Clinic – Best Skin Clinic provides information about urticaria and how chronic urticaria impacts your daily life. Before that, let us see how it causes.

Causes of urticaria:

Hives can be caused by physical factors such as heat, cold, movement, sunlight, stress, constant pressure on the skin (such as from a belt or thong), a sharp increase in body temperature (from fever or hot baths or showers) or caused by an irritating chemical, cosmetic, or soap. Hives can also be a symptom of a whole-body allergic reaction to any of the following:

  • Inhalation: Flower aroma, animal scales, mushrooms
  • Syringe or insect stings: Bee stings or injection drugs
  • Ingestion: Food (tree nuts; fish and shellfish; dairy products; nuts, especially peanuts), dietary supplements, medications such as penicillin or aspirin

Hives tend to affect about 20% of people at some point in their lives, with the largest episodes occurring in people between the ages of 20 and 30. In rare cases, an allergic reaction that causes hives triggers a chain reaction throughout the body. This causes a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. Sometimes hives last six weeks or more, a condition known as chronic (or idiopathic) urticaria. Often, the cause for this chronic condition is not found and usually goes away on its own after a few weeks.

What is acute and chronic urticaria?

  • Acute urticaria lasts less than six weeks and lasts several days. It’s spontaneous, and It can’t be induced.
  • Chronic urticaria lasts more than six weeks. If chronic urticaria is diagnosed, take tests such as  CRP, ESR (for signs of inflammation).
  • Autoimmune urticaria occurs when antibodies act against mast cells. Children diagnosed with autoimmune urticaria do not usually have any concomitant autoimmune disease.

Chronic urticaria or suspected autoimmune urticaria must be referred to a dermatologist for further evaluation and evaluation.

Symptoms:

Chronic hives signs and symptoms include:

  • Lots of red or skin-coloured welts can appear anywhere on the body.
  • Welts vary in size, change shape and appear and fade over and over again as the reaction proceeds.
  • Severe Itching.
  • Painful swelling (angioedema) of the lips, eyelids, and throat

The tendency of signs and symptoms will appear with triggers such as heat, exercise, and stress. The tendency for signs and symptoms last for more than six weeks and become frequent and unpredictable, sometimes for months or years Short-term (acute) hives occur suddenly and go away within a few weeks.

When to see a doctor:

Call or meet your doctor if you experience severe hives or hives that persist for several days. Seek emergency medical care in case of chronic hives. If you experience hives as part of a severe allergic reaction, get emergency help. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include dizziness, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the lips, eyelids, and tongue.

Diagnosis:

Your doctor will ask about your history of allergic reactions and recent exposure to new pets, plants, insects, or food or drugs. During a physical exam, your doctor can usually distinguish between hives and other types of rash. He will also look for other signs of a serious allergic reaction.

If the disease is common, your doctor may order blood or skin tests for allergies. If your doctor suspects you may have anaphylaxis, they will immediately begin treatment and monitor your blood pressure and breathing closely.

Treatment:

For the most uncomplicated relief of episodes of itching, Cosmosure doctors may suggest lotions such antihistamines. Many over-the-counter antihistamines are available. This is important for relieving the itching sensation, as scratches can cause more itching and itching.

If these medicines don’t work, you may be prescribed drugs such as cyproheptadine (Periactin), azatadine (Optimin), or hydroxyzine (Atarax or Vistaril). In cases where they are even more resistant to treatment, H2 receptor blockers may be added before bed. This is very useful for people who have difficulty sleeping due to itching. When other options fail, corticosteroids such as prednisone or omalizumab can be used to suppress the immune system for chronic urticaria or recurrent episodes.

How does chronic urticaria affect your daily life?

Chronic urticaria (urticaria) is a debilitating allergic skin condition that affects most of the population. It is characterized by erythematous, papular, and ichthyotic lesions that persist for more than six weeks. 

Quality of Life (QoL) is important for people with urticaria. It can be defined as an individual’s satisfaction or happiness derived from life. Various factors can influence the well-being of a person, e.g. work, housing and finance. Health is one of the main factors.

  • Chronic urticaria affects well-being and everyday life. The health of some patients is similar to that of coronary artery disease and severe asthma. Also, it creates discomfort in the family structure, interferes with work at work, at school, and ruins leisure time.
  • Itchy skin causes various complaints and lesions depending on the number and location, can affect a person’s physical appearance and social life.
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia, fatigue, and drowsiness are common due to itching or side effects of antihistamines. 
  • Patients complain of recurrent pain syndromes, including severe headache and fibromyalgia, while the prevalence of mental disorders such as depression, hysteria, hypochondria, and post-traumatic stress disorder is high.
  • The extent to which quality of life is affected depends on the aetiology and severity of chronic urticaria. If UT is associated with delayed pressure urticaria, it affects the quality of life more than urticaria itself.

Conclusion:

Chronic urticaria greatly affects a patient’s quality of life because the symptoms can last for years. Significant damage was observed in the most severe patients and those diagnosed with autoimmune urticaria. Quality of life assessment is essentially better to assess disease progression and the effectiveness of treatment. For most people, hives are a rare disorder that occurs when exposed to certain substances. For more information and for best urticaria treatment contact Dermatologist at Cosmosure clinic by booking your appointment or contact us at 8331040404.