What is Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria?

You may not be familiar with the name, but you may recognise the red, itchy hives (a form of rash, also known as wheals or welts). These hives appear without warning, last at least six weeks and can suddenly reappear after having cleared.1

Unlike other conditions with hives, CSU has no known external trigger.1 It is not an allergy, and if you suffer from it, it is not your fault.2

 

 

CSU: Different for Everyone

 

Everyone's skin is different and so everyone's experience of CSU is different, but people often experience:

 

Hives1,2,3

  • Raised, red itchy skin
  • Most people with CSU will have outbreaks of hives
  • Outbreaks last at least six weeks and can come back

Swelling (Angioedema)4:  

  • Sudden, and sometimes painful, swelling in the deeper layers of the skin
  • The eyelids and lips are the most commonly affected areas of the body
  • The swelling usually goes down within 72 hours

 

Urticaria: More Common Than You Think

Around 20% of people will experience it at some point in their lives, although for most, it is short-lasting and does not come back.9

A small proportion of people (roughly 0.5-1%) go on to develop CSU.10

A TYPICAL CSU SUFFERER:

  • Nearly twice as many women as men suffer from CSU.11
  • People of all ages can be affected by CSU, but the incidence peaks between 20-40 years of age.12
  • CSU is unpredictable in nature and so the length of time someone suffers varies.

More than Skin Deep

The impact of CSU doesn't end with the physical symptoms:13

  • It can have negative effects on quality of life, which may frequently include sleep deprivation and psychological comorbidities such as depression and anxiety.
  • The frequent failure to identify a specific underlying cause of CSU, its unpredictable symptoms and a high disease burden lead to frustration among patients and their doctors.

LEARN MORE

  1. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) website. "Chronic Urticaria (Hives)." Accessed July 2016. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=23&cont=328
  2. Maurer M et al. Allergy 2011; 66:317-30.
  3. Krueger G. Arch Dermatol 2001; 137:280-84.
  4. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) website. "Chronic Urticaria (Hives)." Accessed July 2016. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=23&cont=328
  5. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) website. "Skin Allergy Overview." Accessed July 2016. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/skin-allergy.aspx
  6. Maurer M et al. Allergy 2011; 66:317-30.
  7. Axelrod S, Davis-Lorton M. Mt Sinai J Med 2011; 78:784-802.
  8. Maurer M et al. Allergy 2011; 66:317-30.
  9. Schaefer P. Am Fam Physician 2011; 83(9):1078-84.
  10. Maurer M et al. Allergy 2011; 66:317-30.
  11. Maurer M et al. Allergy 2011; 66:317-30.
  12. Maurer M et al. Allergy 2011; 66:317-30.
  13. Maurer M et al. Allergy. 2011; 66:317-30.
  14. Maurer M et al. Allergy. 2011; 66:317-30.