Chronic urticaria is characterized as persistent itchy rashes that lasts on and off for 6 weeks or longer. The exact cause of the rash is not usually clear. Some individuals might also end up with swollen lips, tongue or in other parts of the body every now and then. Take note that the symptoms are often alleviated with antihistamines.
Commonly used treatment choices for chronic urticaria
The release of histamine beneath the skin is usually responsible for triggering urticaria. The antihistamines block the action of histamine. In many cases, antihistamines can provide minor or full relief of the symptoms.
How to soothe the rash
Creams such as menthol in aqueous form can be used to cool down the skin and alleviate the itchiness. In some cases, calamine lotion can also be used. Additionally, a tepid bath or shower can also alleviate the itchiness before bedtime and allow the individual to sleep.
Avoidance of triggers and contributing factors
In some instances, a trigger such as food might be identified as the cause of chronic urticaria. In such cases, it can be avoided. On the other hand, some could not pinpoint a specific trigger.
Certain factors are known to worsen the symptoms. There are considerations to bear in mind such as:
- Avoid clothes that are too tight
- Keep the body as cool as possible since urticaria is likely to flare up in warm conditions.
- Avoid hot baths, alcohol or exposure to strong sunlight.
Steroids work by reducing the inflammation and ease chronic urticaria. Nevertheless, it is not a commonly used treatment due to its potential to cause serious side effects that occur if they are taken regularly. A brief course of oral steroids might be recommended for serious flare-ups of symptoms.
What is angioedema?
It is important to note that antihistamines are often used to minimize the swelling of angioedema. In some cases, an injection of epinephrine and emergency care is required if the swelling involves the throat and results to difficulty breathing.