What is the prognosis of acute urticaria (hives)?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Henry K Wong, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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The prognosis in acute urticaria is excellent, with most cases resolving within days. Acute urticaria usually can be controlled using only symptomatic treatment with antihistamines. If a known triggering factor is present, avoidance is the most effective therapy. Acute urticaria causes discomfort, but it does not cause mortality, unless it is associated with angioedema involving the upper airways. [25, 26, 27] If a patient continues to be exposed to a known trigger, the condition may become chronic.

Morbidity depends on the severity and duration of the condition. One study found that urticaria patients can have as much psychologic, social, and occupational distress as patients who are awaiting triple coronary artery bypass surgery. [28]

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