First and foremost – stay cool, stay calm
• Keep your skin cool. Stay in air-conditioned environments for as long as possible in summer.
• Do your best to reduce stress. Consider taking up a relaxing hobby or activity, like yoga or meditation. Ensure you get enough sleep.

Take care of yourself and your surroundings.

  •  Pamper yourself!
  • Apply cool, wet compresses to your skin. Covering the affected skin with bandages
    or dressings can be soothing and also prevent scratching.
  • Take a cool bath. But not too cold – make it comfortable! Adding some baking
    soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal to help with itching.
  • Dress for success! Wear loose, smooth-textured clothing, preferably cotton. Avoid tight, scratchy, or rough material, including wool.
  • Avoid anything that aggravates your CIU, irritates your skin or causes an allergic reaction. This includes certain foods like spicy food, medications, pollen, pet dander, scented household cleaning products, latex or insect stings.
  • Cut down on the drinking! Alcohol consumption may aggravate symptoms.

Track your symptoms and keep a diary of when and where the hives start, when you experience a worsening of symptoms and what you ate that day.


The information in this section has been gathered from existing peer-reviewed and other literature and has been reviewed by an expert dermatologist on the CSPA Medical Advisory Board (November 2016)

Overview: What is Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU)?

CIU is an autoimmune disorder that is: chronic (long-lasting), idiopathic (we don’t know why it happens) and urticarial (presents with hives). There is no specific known trigger, the condition is defined by hives that last for 6 weeks or more. The hives usually disappear with time but they may return later.
“Rare diseases are still real diseases.”- It is estimated that 1% of the population is affected by CIU. Patients are usually between the ages of 20 and 40 and it affects twice as many women than men.  


Dermatologists and allergists can both diagnose CIU based on the following information:

Blood test - A blood sample may be taken to count the different parts of your blood, like white blood cells and red blood cells. This may be done to rule out infection as the cause of your hives.
Skin test - Your skin may be pricked to confirm whether you have allergies.

These tests and more may be done to rule out any other health conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
If a cause still isn't found, your doctor may diagnose you with CIU.


Antihistamines are generally the first treatment option.
An injectable medication can also be prescribed, that is currently used to treat adults and children 12 years and older with CIU

To help with the itch and swelling, an oral steroid may also be prescribed to you for short periods of time.

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