Urticaria pertains to feature red, itchy skin stains of various shape and size, usually presenting as an allergic response. Commonly known as hives, these spots subside within one day, with no pigmentation or scaling. When lesions recur for over 6 weeks, the condition is called chronic urticaria.
It is a critical form of urticaria, with participation of mucous membranes, usually in regions like the eyelids, tongue and lips. A detailed medical history and physical examination are usually sufficient for a diagnosis of chronic urticaria. A concurrent history of parasitic disease, thyroid disease, or autoimmune disease may warrant additional investigations. If the lesions persist for over 24 hours at a time, or you will find accompanying attributes of skin bleeds, autoimmunity, fever or arthritis, a skin biopsy may be suggested.
Determined by the causative factor, chronic urticaria is divided into three subsets:
- Physical or inducible urticaria, where the cause is some consistent, recognizable variable such as mechanical stimuli (pressure, vibration), temperature fluctuations, perspiration, anxiety, sun exposure, and water contact. This type is also known symptomatic dermatographism, cholinergic urticaria, or pressure urticaria, and comprises about 20 percent of cases.
- A rare selection, where chronic urticaria is secondary to some underlying medical condition.
- The most significant subtype is called chronic idiopathic urticaria or chronic spontaneous urticaria, where no specific causative factor could be identified; however, about 20-45% of these patients have an underlying autoimmune disease procedure.
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Most people having chronic urticaria with mild symptoms can be handled well with anti-histamines to decrease the rash in addition to itching. Additional medications like colchicine, dapsone, and steroids are given for a restricted time period for people with moderately severe symptoms. Immune modulating medications or anti-thyroid medications may be required for a small fraction of patients. Emotional anxiety, overtiredness, tight fitting clothing, alcohol, aspirin and other anti inflammatory anti-inflammatory drugs are known triggers that will need to be avoided.
Amelioration of severe itching could be achieved using soothing lotions and lukewarm baths. While chronic urticaria may last from months to years, with good therapy, at least about 50 percent patients experience remission in a year. Chronic urticaria, with the exception of angioedema, isn’t life threatening, even though it can adversely impact quality of life. For those patients who don’t respond to traditional therapy, Ayurvedic herbal therapy can be given to efficiently reverse the basic pathology of the disease by strengthening the skin tissue, treating allergies, and preventing recurrence.
Herbal medications which act on the skin, subcutaneous tissue, mucus membranes, capillaries, and blood, are employed in chronic urticaria therapy with quite good results. According to Ayurvedic pathophysiology, urticaria is divided largely into three different types:
- ‘Sheeta-pitta’ with predominantly’Vata’ dosha symptoms.
- ‘Utkotha’ with dominant’Pitta’ symptoms.
- ‘Udarda’ with dominant’Kapha’ symptoms.
Each of these forms of urticaria is treated differently, according to the clinical presentation, causative factors, and seriousness. For patients with refractory symptoms, purification Panchkarma processes like induced emesis, induced purgation, and bloodletting are used either singly or in combination.
Additionally, patients with refractory symptoms may also require treatment for chronic gastro-intestinal symptoms, repeated parasitic ailments, thyroid disorders, chronic anxiety, latent infections, and chronic inflammation. Patients with an underlying autoimmune process may require detoxification; therapy of chronic inflammation; recovery of damaged organs, tissues and body systems; rejuvenation utilizing tonifying medications; supply of particular nourishment; slow immune modulation; and therapy to the particular sort of chronic urticaria. Most patients with chronic urticaria can be completely treated in about 4-8 months using Ayurvedic herbal medications. Patients with autoimmune disease may require treatment for longer periods. A precise diagnosis and identification of all probable causes is important so as to achieve a fast treatment response. It’s equally important to adopt appropriate lifestyle alterations and avoid known triggers to be able to prevent recurrence. Gradual tapering off of medications may also be necessary for preventing recurrence.