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Fifteen-minute consultation: Assessing the child with persistent urticaria
  1. Simon Jonathan Hardman,
  2. Eleanor Minshall
  1. Paediatric allergy department, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Simon Jonathan Hardman, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield S10 2TH, UK; simonhardman{at}


Chronic urticaria is the presence of wheals and/or angioedema, with daily or intermittent symptoms lasting more than 6 weeks. Although rarely life threatening, it can be a cause of significant embarrassment and misery. In most cases, no underlying factor is identified. It is therefore important to have a structured approach to the assessment in order to exclude important diagnoses, minimise costly screening tests and ensure a correct diagnosis is made. This article aims to highlight the importance of a focused history, provides a clear scheme for establishing a diagnosis and recommends when to perform appropriate investigations. A short discussion regarding treatment options and prognosis is also provided.

  • paediatric
  • urticaria
  • allergy

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  • Contributors SJH researched and wrote the first draft. EM critically appraised and revised the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.