Vicki Lawrence’s Chronic Health Condition

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Playing Vicki Lawrence’s Chronic Urticaria

Emmy Award-winning actress and comedienne Vicki Lawrence perhaps is best known for the many characters she portrayed on the popular American sketch series The Carol Burnett Show. Lawrence says that she recently began experiencing frequent outbreaks of irritating hives, for which she tried every over-the-counter and at-home remedy she could find but without success. 

At the advice of her daughter and friends, Lawrence tried making several lifestyle changes, including adjustments to her diet and the soaps and shampoos she uses, to identify a possible trigger for her body’s response. After several weeks of suffering without an answer, her doctor finally diagnosed her with chronic idiopathic urticaria.

CIU is a common skin condition that affects nearly 1.5 million Americans and is characterized by red, raised itchy bumps that occur daily or almost daily for at least six weeks. Although some cases of CIU may be caused by an underlying autoimmune disorder, for many the cause of the condition remains unclear. 

After receiving her diagnosis, Lawrence decided to become the spokesperson for CIU & You, a resource site for CIU sufferers run by the not-for-profit organization Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. She adds that she felt it was important to let fellow sufferers know that they are not alone and that there are resources available.

“I said I would throw my hives in the ring and come out and talk about this, because there should be an advocacy place for everything in this day and age,” Lawrence says.

ER physician Dr. Travis Stork adds that if you are suffering from unexplained hives for an extended period of time, visit your doctor.

To learn more about chronic idiopathic urticaria, vist