Spontaneous hives is a very burdensome condition which not only has painful symptoms but can affect how someone feels about themselves, their relationships with friends and families, or whether they can work or go to school.1-3
Chronic urticaria affects 1% of the population and is defined as hives and/or swelling lasting more than 6 weeks.4 Up to 75% of these chronic hives sufferers have chronic spontaneous urticaria, a form of the condition that can occur unpredictably without an identifiable trigger.1 Chronic spontaneous urticaria is more common in women than men and peaks between the ages of 20 and 40 years.1
Most cases of spontaneous hives involve the presence of an autoantibody which attaches to mast cells and basophils to activate them and which results in the release of histamines and other chemicals that cause the hives.5
It can be very frustrating to not know what the specific cause is and not know when the hives will appear, making it difficult for you to live a normal life. There are effective treatment options. For some of these treatments you need to be in the care of an immunologist or dermatologist. Speak to your GP about a referral to an urticaria specialist.
Explore on this siteChronic spontaneous urticaria Chronic hives (urticaria) causes Incidence of chronic hives in children
Locate a specialistAustralasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Skin & Cancer Foundation Australasian College of Dermatologists
- Maurer M et al. Allergy 2011; 66:317–330.
- Maurer M et al. Allergy 2017; 72: 2005-2016.
- Mendelson M et al. J Dermatol Treat 2017; 28:229-236.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. ASCIA PCC Hives Urticaria 2021. Available from https://allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy/urticaria-hives Accessed August 2021.
- Asero R et al. F1000 Research 2017; 6:1095.