Urticaria is the common name used for swollen, red and itchy dermal lesions appearing in different parts of the body. Of all cases, 40% may be accompanied with edemas (angioedemas) on lips, eyelids, palms and soles. Urticaria can be acute or chronic. In its acute form, symptoms last less than 6 weeks. Chronic cases, however, last more than 6 weeks without any external stimulation. Lifelong chronic urticaria is observed among 15% of all cases and complaints tend to persist for over a year. Out of all cases lasting more than a year, 20% exhibit the relevant symptoms for 1-5 years. Drugs, foodstuffs and foodstuff additives, infections, thyroid diseases, various types of cancer and rheumatological diseases may trigger urticaria. Yet 85% of urticarial cases are idiopathic.
Antihistaminic medication is administered for treatment. Cortisone therapy may also be initiated to address cases not responding to antihistamines. Non-responsive patients should be evaluated by an allergy specialist.