Avoid any obvious triggers or exacerbating factors and try these simple measures:
1) Keep the skin cool, avoid getting hot from exercise and take lukewarm baths. Resist the temptation to rub the itchy skin and apply copious amounts of moisturizing creams to reduce dryness and itch.
2) Avoid alcoholic drinks and foods containing additives.
3) Apply 1% menthol in aqueous cream to soothe the affected skin.
4) Avoid all aspirin or codeine containing medication (including ibuprofen, diclofenac
and mefenamic acid
). Only use paracetamol
as a painkiller.
5) Carefully read Side Effects list of any other medication you are currently taking and avoid medicines that are known to trigger urticaria or angioedema
The mainstay of treatment is high dose ANTIHISTAMINE medication which may be necessary for prolonged periods
(in excess of 6 weeks). Double conventional doses of antihistamines may be needed for symptom relief. Occasionally "stomach-ulcer treatment" medication such as Cimetidine and Ranitidine
which are known to also dampen down histamine release are added. New leukotriene receptor antagonists used for asthma have produced some symptom relief in chronic urticaria which you can discuss with your treating doctor. Short courses of oral steroids may be necessary to settle more severe symptoms can be tried with doctor?s advice only. Cortisone should not be used for prolonged periods of time as they may lead to osteoporosis
in adults. Sometimes special investigations are done if the condition is recurring and find out the rarer causes. The Autologous Serum Skin Test (ASST) raises a weal on re-injection of the patients serum and is a good indicator of Auto-antibodies.