Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU)

Chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) is a common skin disorder. It is an allergic reaction to things that irritate the skin. The condition is characterized by recurrent, itchy, red welts, also known as hives, which can swell and last for hours.

CIU mostly affects children between the ages of 5 and 15 years. Adults may still suffer from CIU, but it is less common. There is no known cause of CIU, hence the term “idiopathic.”

The most common treatment for CIU is antihistamines. These drugs block the action of histamines, which are the body’s natural response to allergies. Some antihistamines are more effective than others, so you may need to try several before finding one that works for you.

Symptoms of Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

The symptoms of CIU vary from person to person. Generally, hives from CIU will come and go in waves. The welts may be small or large and may last anywhere from a few minutes to several days. Other common symptoms of CIU include:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Stiffness
  • Inflammation

In some cases, the hives may appear and then disappear without treatment.

Complications of Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

CIU is not typically life threatening and does not cause any long-term or permanent damage to the skin. However, the itching and discomfort can be very uncomfortable. Some people may experience anxiety or depression as a result of the condition.

In some cases, the hives may become infected due to scratching. Infected hives can be more serious and require medical attention. In rare cases, CIU can lead to anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

When diagnosing CIU, your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination. It is important to mention any other allergies you may have, including your reaction to medications or foods. This will help your doctor rule out any other conditions that could be causing your hives.

Treatment for CIU includes antihistamines, avoidance of triggers, and lifestyle changes. Antihistamines can help reduce or eliminate the hives. It is important to avoid any known triggers, such as foods, medications, and certain environmental factors. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as stress management techniques can also help manage symptoms.


Chronic idiopathic urticaria is a common skin disorder, which is characterized by recurrent itchy and red welts. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be an allergic reaction to various things that irritate the skin. Treatment includes antihistamines, avoidance of triggers, and lifestyle changes. If you think you have CIU, it is important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible to begin treatment.