Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria Overview

What Is Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU)?

CIU is a chronic hive condition in which the cause is unknown. CIU stands for:

CIU: Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

CHRONIC means recurring and lasting for 6 weeks or more. IDIOPATHIC means that there is no known cause. URTICARIA, pronounced “ur-ti-kair-ee-uh,” is a medical word for hives. Hives are a skin reaction that causes red or white itchy welts. The welts vary in size and appear and fade repeatedly as the reaction runs its course.

Facts About Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

Chronic idiopathic hives are the most common type of chronic hives. For every 10 people with chronic hives, 7 of them have chronic hives where the cause is unknown.

Here are some facts that every person with chronic hives needs to know:

  • Hive symptoms, or flares, most often occur in people between the ages of 20 and 40.
  • Women are twice as likely to have CIU than men.
  • Most people have flares that come and go for 1 to 5 years. Some people have symptoms even longer than that.
  • Symptoms can appear at any time without triggers.
  • It cannot be spread from person to person like a cold.
  • Patients taking antihistamines may still experience CIU symptoms. Even when the doctor increases the antihistamine dose, it may not be enough.

If you have hives, don’t know the cause, and they have lasted at least 6 weeks or more, you may have CIU.