CIU Symptoms

Chronic Hives Without a Known Cause

Most people think that chronic hives are caused by an allergic reaction to something. With CIU, this is not the case.

CIU Symptoms

CIU symptoms, or flares, are similar to other types of hives. In general:

  • Hives are red, white, or flesh-colored bumps with distinct edges that may change shape. Your doctor may call them “wheals.” Wheals can be as small as a pencil tip or larger.
  • Hives usually itch. The itch can be mild to severe.
  • Hives often occur on the chest, back, arms, and legs, but can appear anywhere on the body.
  • Hives may also “move around.” For example, they may show up on your hand, go away within a day, then show up later on your shoulder.
  • A red hive will turn pale when pressed in the center. This is called “blanching.”

People treating their chronic hives with antihistamines may still have CIU symptoms.

Finding a Specialist to Treat CIU

Specialists who focus on chronic idiopathic urticaria include allergists, who specialize in allergies and immune system diseases, and dermatologists, who specialize in medical conditions that affect the skin. Seeing a specialist about your symptoms can help determine a diagnosis.

Download CIU treatment discussion guides to help start your conversation with a specialist.