Chronic hives is a very irritating condition which has no cure and few treatment options. Good news for sufferers of this condition is that vitamin D has been found to offer relief for chronic hives, reported the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) on Feb. 17, 2014. A study done by researchers at UNMC has shown that vitamin D can serve as an add-on therapy which may provide some relief for chronic hives.
Observational reports have found an association between vitamin D and chronic urticaria, however no randomized controlled trial had been conducted, reports the Annals of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology.
Researchers wanted to determine whether high-dose vitamin D supplementation would lessen Urticaria Symptom Severity (USS) scores and medication burden in patients suffering from chronic urticaria. They concluded that as an add-on therapy, high-dose vitamin D3 could be considered a safe and potentially beneficial immunomodulator for patients suffering from chronic urticaria.
Chronic urticaria is an allergic skin condition, wherein chronic hives create red, itchy welts on the skin which sometimes includes swelling. These hives can occur daily and they can last longer than six weeks, or sometimes even years. Jill Poole, M.D., associate professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, was principal investigator of this study which investigated the role of over-the-counter vitamin D3 as a supplemental treatment for chronic hives.
Dr Poole and her associates concluded vitamin D3 could be considered a safe and potentially beneficial adjunct therapy for this condition. Vitamin D3 did not cure the condition, but it showed benefit when it was added to anti-allergy medications. The cause of hives is not generally well understood, but allergy and autoimmune reactions are thought to sometimes play a role. Standard therapy consists of control of symptoms with antihistamines and other allergy medications. This can be costly and may be associated with side effects. The finding that adding vitamin D3 to the treatment for this condition is therefore significant.