What do you know? It's a quick quiz!


Correct. Raised, itchy hives and/or swelling

Sorry, wrong answer. The ‘urticaria’ in CIU refers to raised, itchy hives and/or swelling

CIU quick facts


Chronic

means the urticaria continues to develop for more than 6 weeks (although in some cases it can persist for years).

Idiopathic

means it occurs unpredictably and its cause is never clearly identified.

Urticaria

refers to groupings of raised, red or white itchy hives (wheals) of various sizes that appear and disappear on any part of the body, but often on the face and extremities.

Chronic urticaria - what are the different types


Urticaria is commonly known as "hives"

Individual cases may not be representative of the general population.
Photos are courtesy of the urticaria network e. V. (UNEV), Dr. Martin Metz and Dr. Gordon Sussman.

An introduction to chronic urticaria

Chronic urticaria describes a group of conditions that involve itchy hives (wheals) and/or angioedema (swelling). Your doctor will diagnose your chronic urticaria as either inducible or idiopathic. Inducible means the condition has a trigger, like cold, heat, etc. Idiopathic means a specific trigger for urticarial was never clearly identified.

Known and unknown urticaria - understanding the difference


If you’ve had hives for over 6 weeks without any trigger you probably have CIU.

Who gets CIU?


  • CIU is seen slightly more often in women
  • Typically, about half the cases of CIU are seen in 20 to 40-year-olds, but the condition can occur at any age
  • About half of CIU cases last up to 1 year, the average case lasts 3 to 5 years
  • 25% of patients have an atopic background

Because it is spontaneous, CIU can be unpredictable.
CIU involves symptoms that are not caused by a specific trigger – they just seem to show up. As some hives disappear, new ones may develop.
With CIU, you can develop hives at any time without warning (e.g., wedding, prom, special holidays). CIU can affect your quality of life!

What is angioedema?


Angioedema signs and symptoms include large hives or swelling of the skin which can occur around the eyes and lips, hands, feet, genitalia, and inside the throat. Swelling in the throat may obstruct breathing and could require emergency treatment. Angioedema is less itchy than hives, but can cause pain or burning.

Individual cases may not be representative of the general population.
Photos are courtesy of the urticaria network e. V. (UNEV), Dr. Martin Metz and Dr. Gordon Sussman.

Most CIU patients have episodes of angioedema, which can have an important impact on quality of life. In rare cases, some people with CIU will only have angioedema.

See more examples of urticaria and angioedema cases


Individual cases may not be representative of the general population.
Photos are courtesy of Dr. Gordon Sussman.

If you’ve been living with CIU for a long time you know there is no cure, but there are treatment options.

If you think you may have CIU, help your doctor by using the symptom tracker.

DON’T GIVE UP.
Talk to your doctor and ask about
CIU and a referral to a specialist