The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the management of patients with chronic urticaria: An observational two-center study from Turkey.

Erdem Y., Polat Ekinci A., Altunay I. K., Sivaz O., Inal S., Gokalp M. O., ...More

Dermatologic therapy, vol.34, no.1, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/dth.14652
  • Journal Name: Dermatologic therapy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak significantly affected the clinical practice in hospitals and the management of many diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pandemic-related factors on the severity and course of chronic urticaria (CU). A total of 194 CU patients who were on regular follow-up, were enrolled in the study. The disease activity was assessed by means of the weekly urticaria activity score (UAS7) and urticaria control test (UCT). Patients were divided into two subgroups according to their disease aggravation as "aggravated" and "non-aggravated". Two groups were compared in terms of demographic, clinical, COVID-19-associated parameters, and parameters related with the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on CU management. The omalizumab use was statistically higher (P = .017), and the systemic corticosteroid use was statistically lower (P = .025) in the "aggravated" group. Adherence to quarantine was significantly lower in the "aggravated" group (P = .027). 173 patients (89.2%) were unable to contact a dermatologist during the pandemic. Among 186 patients who received treatment for CU before the pandemic, 48 (25.8%) did not continue the existing treatment during the pandemic. CU aggravated in one patient with COVID-19 and remained stable in the other. This study showed that CU patients, especially those on omalizumab therapy, had difficulties in attending medical care and even in the maintenance of their existing therapies during the pandemic. Creating novel follow-up and treatment models as well as the increased use of teledermatology might be beneficial in the management of this life-disturbing condition.