Close up of boy's neck with chronic urticaria. He is scrating them and is very uncomfortable.

It’s estimated about 1 in 5 people will develop hives – itchy bumps and painful welts – at some point in their life. For some, the hives may persist. If skin symptoms last 6 weeks or longer, it is known as chronic urticaria, or chronic hives. The condition affects more than 500,000 people in the United States. Some doctors believe the rates of chronic urticaria may be higher. Many people may not report or recognize symptoms.

Allergy & Asthma Network recently launched a new Chronic Urticaria Toolkit to raise awareness of the skin condition. The toolkit, available at, helps people identify symptoms and discuss treatment options with their doctor.

“The Chronic Urticaria Toolkit is a new, easy-to-use educational resource,” says Lynda Mitchell, Allergy & Asthma Network interim CEO. “It is intended to support patients on their journey to living well with chronic urticaria. It also serves as an aid to healthcare professionals as they work with patients to uncover what’s causing symptoms and determine the best treatment.”

What is chronic urticaria?

Chronic urticaria is diagnosed when hives appear for more than six weeks. The hives may break out for no apparent reason, then come back again, often on different parts of the body.

There are different types of chronic urticaria, each with different triggers.  If you and your doctor are unable to identify what’s causing the hives outbreak, it’s called chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU).

Chronic urticaria is most common in adults between ages 40 and 59. More women than men are affected. Chronic urticaria also affects more Black Americans than Caucasians.

Chronic urticaria can impact a patient’s quality of life. It can take both a physical and mental health toll. The good news is that chronic urticaria is not a lifelong condition. Doctors, mental health specialists and patients can work together to develop a management plan. This allows patients to live their daily life with as few symptoms as possible.

What is included in the Chronic Urticaria Toolkit?

The Chronic Urticaria Toolkit is a one-stop, web-based educational resource. When you visit, you will…

  • learn what chronic urticaria looks like and how it’s diagnosed;
  • find out about the different types of chronic urticaria;
  • be able to identify what can trigger or worsen symptoms;
  • learn about treatment options – from antihistamines to biologics;
  • watch webinars and videos hosted by chronic urticaria medical specialists;
  • get a list of questions your doctor may ask at appointments.

You can also  get answers to frequently asked questions, such as:

  • How can you prevent chronic urticaria?
  • Is chronic urticaria contagious?
  • Can pregnancy cause chronic urticaria?
  • Why is chronic urticaria worse at night?
  • Is there a chronic urticaria diet?

When patients gain a better understanding of chronic urticaria, they take another step toward improving quality of life. Research shows developing a chronic urticaria management and treatment plan can improve home life and productivity at work or school.

The Chronic Urticaria Toolkit was created with support from:

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