1. Urticaria/ Hives is an allergic condition characterized by recurrent and transient episodes of itchy, red, raised patches on skin.
  2. It is caused by release of histamine and other inflammatory mediators from the mast cells and basophils.
  3. Acute urticaria usually lasts upto less than 6 weeks and is more common in children and young adults as compared to its chronic counterpart (>6 weeks) which is more common in adults.


  1. Foods like peanuts, shell fish, eggs, artificial food dyes etc.
  2. Infections such as streptococcus, helicobacter, mycoplasma etc.
  3. Drugs : Aspirin and other NSAIDS ACE inhibitors, opioids and alcohol.
  4. Blood transfusion.
  5. Physical factors such as excessive and cold temperatures.


  1. The most important management of urticaria is elucidation of any specific triggering/precipitating factors and their elimination.
  2. Generally oral anti-histaminics are the mainstay of treatment.
  3. In non responsive cases, antihistaminics may be combined with short course of steroids.
  4. Immunomodulators have been used in chronic autoimmune urticaria as an adjuvant therapy in selected and refractory cases.

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