A MUM-of-three whose skin condition has made her life misery for 15 years has been given hope by a newly-licensed treatment normally used for asthma.
Louise Webber has suffered chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) since the age of 19, an allergic reaction which causes itchy skin.
She has tried treatments to reduce the frequency of the flare-ups, but hopes they can now be banished for good after the European Commission approved the use of Xolair to treat the condition.
The 33-year-old, of Wordsworth Street, Hapton, has had her first monthly injection and said rashes and burning sensations have so far stayed away.
She said: “A new treatment that actually works for me would change my life. I’ve had the problem for so long so I’m nervous about hoping.
“I’ve been in complete despair for the past 15 years as nothing has worked. My doctor has tried everything. I was in constant fear of another flare-up. It’s so itchy. It’s just like being on fire and it itches and itches. People don’t realise how bad it can be. It takes over your life.”
Louise, mum to Lawson, seven, and three-year-old twins Morgan and Taylor, used to take antihistamines and immune suppressants, but she would still suffer about two flare-ups a week.
They would often happen when she felt hot, so she had to avoid exercise and abandon her dream of being a horse riding instructor.
Louise, who now works in the cafe at Motorpoint in Rosegrove, added: “I’ve had a real problem with my weight, physically and mentally, due to the lack of exercise and jumped from a size eight to size 14.”
CSU is thought to affect up to 630,000 people in the UK.
Xolair is an established treatment for severe allergic asthma, but was recently approved as an NHS-funded treatment for CSU patients not responding to antihistamines.
Maureen Jenkins, a director at Allergy UK, said the drug ‘gives new hope to those who have had to suffer day after day’.