AbstractBackground and Aim:
Urticaria is one of the most common skin diseases. Depending on the length of symptoms, acute (lasting less than 6 weeks) and chronic urticaria (CU) (> 6 weeks) are distinguished. Present study was done with an aim to evaluate the clinical and epidemiological features of chronic urticaria.
Material and Methods: The Present Descriptive study group included 150 consecutive patients with chronic urticaria attending the dermatology outpatient department of Tertiary care institute of Gujarat. A preformed questionnaire was used to collect detailed history of disease onset, duration, morphology and distribution of chronic urticaria. Severity of itching and number of wheals were noticed and urticaria activity score (UAS) was calculated by adding pruritus and wheal score. Duration of individual wheals, presence of angioedema, and systemic symptoms like malaise, headache, abdominal pain, arthralgia and wheezing were noted.
Results: Angioedema was seen in 78 and dermographism in 66 patients. Duration of individual wheal was 30 minutes in 24 patients and one hour in 29 patients. One hundred and twenty patients had wheals which occurred daily per week. Diurnal variation of urticarial wheals was not seen in 51 patients. Out of the 98 patients who showed diurnal variation 65 had wheals at night. Whole body was involved in 25 patients and trunk and limbs were involved in 9 patients. Sparing of palms and soles were seen in 22 patients. Food was the aggravating factor in 51 patients, exposure to house dust in 42, sweat in 54, pressure in 56, sunlight in 25, drugs in 33, stress in 54, heat in 20, water in 30, cold in 7, infection in 46, dental caries in 54, and infestations in 30 patients.
Conclusion: Exacerbation of chronic urticaria by food, drugs and pressure was more in our study. Thyroid disorder was more common and atopic diathesis was less common in our patients. Chronic urticarias among family members were also more common in our study.