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What causes urticaria?

Q: My 13 years old daughter has developed urticaria for the last three months. She gets swollen patches on her body and at times a swollen lip. She had malaria seven months back and had stomach infection after a month. Her skin rashes were earlier appearing every 12-24 hours but would disappear completely with 1/2 tablet of Cetzine. After de worming (Nizonide 500 mg) and one week of Rantac (150mg - 2 tablets per day), they have been pushed to every 3-4 days. She is also taking homeopathy treatment.

A:Urticaria can be caused by anything you can think of. It may be something which you have tolerated for years and now suddenly it is causing allergy. It may be something in the air like pollens, air fresheners, mosquito repellents etc. or some ingestants like adulterants, preservatives, flavouring agents, nuts etc. or an internal problem like worm infestation, hepatitis, collagen disorder etc. Thus, the permanent cure of urticaria will occur only if one identifies such a cause and removes it. This is not an easy task. It is also true, that with the passage of time, most cases will resolve on their own, whether you find the cause and remove it or not. Therefore, one gives minimal medicines so that the patient is comfortable enough to do one's chores and yet not suffer from side-effects. If however, too heavy medication is required or if the patient develops some other symptoms, then one would not like to wait for spontaneous resolution. Since the urticaria seems to be waning in your child, one can wait for some time for spontaneous resolution before embarking on a probable lengthy investigation.

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