A questionnaire was sent in 1984 to 97 children with urticaria, who had previously been seen in Danish general practice during a period of three months in 1982. The questionnaire included questions about provoking factors and the course of the disease. Replies were received from 79 children, 46 of whom had experienced one attack only, and 33 had had several attacks. Fifteen percent of the former and 48% of the latter suggested a variety of provoking agents, which were mainly food and food additives in the recurrent group. Previous infections were not suspected, though 20% had signs or symptoms of infection at the registration in 1982. It is suggested that a first episode of urticaria should be investigated by the practitioner only, with simple questioning and perhaps symptomatic treatment, because the first attack is often the sole one.
During a three month period 186 Danish general practitioners recorded 97 children with urticaria. No significant difference in frequency relating to sex was found. In 88 per cent of the cases the reason for contact was pruritus and exanthema. Patients did not appear to attend the practitioner on account of fear of serious disease. In 15 out of 21 children the disease had persisted for less than 24 months. Ninety-four per cent were questioned about provoking factors, but in only 17% was the aetiology elucidated. Only five patients revisited their general practitioner during a 14 day follow-up period. This confirms that most cases in general practice belong to the acute urticaria type in contrast to cases of urticaria in dermatology out-patient clinics. Seventy-five per cent were treated with drugs, in most cases with antihistamines.