Healthgrades for Professionals

Empowering physicians with a patient perspective

Urticaria Health Apps That May Help Your Patients

Medically Reviewed By Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI

Urticaria can be a frustrating condition for people and their healthcare professionals alike. Mobile apps can help them manage care and better understand the condition.

gettyimages-1460100094-1024x683.jpg

For some people, there’s no explanation for urticaria, while for others, certain triggers can cause it. This kind of chronic condition requires self-care and monitoring. Yet, the digital world could help fill an unmet need in this area.

Some experts estimate that chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) affects between 0.5 and 1% of the participant populations studied in the United States and internationally. While CSU is idiopathic, a related form, chronic inducible urticaria (CIU), occurs with exposure to stimuli, such as cold or touch.

A 2021 study Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source  found that more than half of the participants with both types of chronic urticaria were very interested or extremely interested in an app to help them monitor disease activity and control. Only 10% of the study participants had no interest in such an app. 

This article reviews the current state of apps for urticaria, including key benefits they could provide and potential downsides.

Available urticaria apps

A search for apps addressing chronic urticaria for Apple iOS and Android platforms yielded very little.

A 2021 editor’s letter Trusted Source Wiley Peer reviewed journal Go to source  that applied an automatic search algorithm for self-evaluation apps for chronic urticaria in the Apple App and Google Play stores also found few relevant apps. Some included in the publication are no longer available or aren’t available in the United States.

Here are brief summaries from the websites of available apps:

  • CRUSE Control: This app is from the Urticaria Centers for Reference and Excellence (UCARE). CRUSE stands for ChRonic Urticaria Self-Evaluation. Developers designed this app to track symptoms, quality of life, and treatment response. It may also help people with urticaria prepare for their appointments and share reports with their care team.
  • UrticariApp: A Spanish group called the Association of People Affected by Chronic Urticaria (AAUC) developed this app. Available in English and Spanish, it uses images and graphs to track and monitor chronic urticaria. However, this app lacks update support. The latest version is from 2016. As a result, it may not be useful for people with urticaria.

Urticaria app limitations

Urticaria apps currently available are limited. Developers currently support and update only one app in the United States. The availability of one app and a strong interest in having more apps to monitor their condition highlights an unmet need for people with chronic urticaria.

Should more apps become available in the future to help people with chronic urticaria, the American Academy of Dermatology cautions against apps that say they can diagnose or recommend treatments. These apps lack accuracy and can lead to false diagnoses.

Instead, helpful apps can include monitoring tools, reminders, and options for communicating with care teams and community support.

Other limitations to consider with any health app include health information privacy and security. Questions people with chronic urticaria can consider asking include:

  • Are they willing to pay for an app or pay for additional features?
  • Does the app support sharing or exporting information?
  • Is the information securely encrypted?
  • Does the app share their information with a third-party company or database?
  • Does the app pose a privacy risk with location tracking?

The bottom line on urticaria apps

Some people with CSU or CIU would like to have urticaria apps. They could be useful tools to support self-care and connect people with chronic urticaria with their care teams. This may help resolve a care gap this population faces. 

Was this helpful?
0
  1. Anto A, et al. (2021). Automatic screening of self-evaluation apps for urticaria and angioedema shows a high unmet need. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/all.15061
  2. Chang D, et al. (2022). A genome-wide association study of chronic spontaneous urticaria risk and heterogeneity. https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(22)01476-2
  3. Cherrez-Ojeda I, et al. (2021). Chronic urticaria patients are interested in apps to monitor their disease activity and control: A UCARE CURICT analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8684305/
  4. Dabija D, et al. (2023). Chronic urticaria. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555910/
  5. Ludmann P. (2023). Health and wellness apps that dermatologists do and don’t recommend. https://www.aad.org/public/fad/digital-health/apps
  6. Pozderac I, et al. (2020). Chronic inducible urticaria: Classification and prominent features of physical and non-physical types. https://acta-apa.mf.uni-lj.si/journals/acta-dermatovenerol-apa/papers/10.15570/actaapa.2020.29/actaapa.2020.29.pdf

Medical Reviewer: Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI
Last Review Date: 2023 Nov 28
View All Healthgrades Dermatology Professionals Articles
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.