The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and actress Vicki Lawrence are teaming up in a new educational campaign on chronic idiopathic urticaria.
“My involvement in CIU & You has given me a chance to meet others who live with the condition,” Vicki Lawrence told Healio.com/Dermatology. “I hope that by sharing my story, other people living with CIU [chronic idiopathic urticaria] will know they are not alone. I hope it inspires them not to give up, to jump-start the conversation with their doctor and get the support they need to manage their CIU.”
Lawrence is sharing her personal experience with CIU, having been diagnosed four years ago after hives appeared across her torso, neck and arms.
“When I first got an outbreak of hives … I felt like no one understood what I was going through,” Lawrence said in an AAFA press release. “CIU is not something to just tolerate. It’s important to find an allergist or dermatologist who can work with you to manage your condition.”
“CIU can be hard to diagnose and is best treated by a specialist,” Beth Corn, MD, a member of AAFA’s Board of Directors and an allergist, told Healio.com/Dermatology. “It’s important that people talk to their doctor about what they’re experiencing with CIU … They should think about their condition and write down what they are going through.”
The CIU & You campaign, supported by the AAFA with funding from Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Genentech, is designed to support patients by helping them define and track their symptoms, according to the release. Patients with CIU can access the campaign’s website to track symptoms and access a discussion guide to use with their specialist.
Approximately 1.5 million people experience CIU, which is characterized by hives that spontaneously appear without an identifiable cause and can reoccur for 6 weeks or more, according to the AAFA. – By Bruce Thiel