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Chronic Urticaria: Causes and its long-term treatment

Chronic and recurring urticaria is a challenging problem for the medical world as on most occasions the exact cause remains unknown. Unfortunately, chronic urticaria is treated only symptomatically using conventional medicines. What causes urticaria is more difficult to answer than what happens during urticaria, as we described on the earlier page. In almost half the cases we know what causes or induces urticaria; and half the time, we or the patients have no clue to its exact causation.

Acute urticaria is a condition where one experiences urticaria for a short time, maybe for a few minutes. However, chronic or recurring urticaria is a major problem, as urticaria keeps appearing again and again, say 3-4 times in a day for a few months or few years. Chronic urticaria is a real challenge, where homeopathic treatment is required.

We shall try to examine some of the most common exciting factors known to induce chronic urticaria, which may be grouped as:

Allergens: A large number of allergens have been identified as causative agents for some cases of urticaria. It may be noted that urticaria is an individual hypersensitivity and the following factors may not cause urticaria in all urticaria-prone individuals.

Food allergens: Milk, cheese, egg, protein products, wheat, cereals, certain daals (pulses) as used in India, peas, orange, fish, chicken, etc. Synthetic and natural food additives and artificially flavored food articles.

Environmental factors: Exposure to pollen, house-dust, buffalo dander, fungi, change in temperature, etc. are known as exciting factors. Extreme cold, heat, pressure may induce urticaria.

Drugs: Man-made drugs are a major cause of urticaria. Antibiotics (Penicillin), anti-inflammatory medicines (aspirin, indomethacin), vaccinations and foreign sera, hormonal preparations, contraceptive pills, etc are few common ones. Animals treated with penicillin excrete a small amount of it in the milk sufficient to cause urticaria in sensitive individuals.

Infections and Infestations: Insect bites, fungal, protozoal, frequent bacterial infections (Urinary tract), viral infections (Hepatitis), helminthiasis (worm infestations such as roundworms, tapeworms), etc. are factors known to cause urticaria. Domestic contact with the pet animals should be examined as a cause for urticaria.

Synthetic products: Use of personal products such as deodorant, perfume, talcum powder, cosmetic products, animal derivatives, and similar synthetic substances may induce this disorder.

Emotional factors: Especially in chronic, recurring cases of urticaria the role of emotional factors must be examined. Emotional stresses may directly or indirectly make on susceptible to develop a tendency to urticaria. The psychological factors may work as exciting, aggravating or maintaining cause.

Systemic and General Disease: Urticaria in some cases may present as a sign of other systemic or general internal diseases such as hormonal disorders (hyperthyroidism), SLE, polycythemia, reticulosis. In a certain variety of malignancies (cancer), urticaria may present as a precursor

Idiopathic causes: No list of causation is complete without adding a paragraph of 'Idiopathic' which simply implies those causes which are unknown. Urticaria is one of the many diseases of which the exact cause is not fully understood.

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