IT’S YOUR HEALTH: Actress and comedienne Vicki Lawrence is known for her roles in Mama’s Family and The Carol Burnett Show, but now she is taking on a different role – to educate people about a health condition she has.

Lawrence said it happened to her seven years ago.

“I broke out in hives, and my allergist, we tried everything to get rid of them,” she said.

After six weeks, he diagnosed her with Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU).

“I had never heard such a thing,” Lawrence said. “Chronic means it’s lasted for more than six weeks, idiopathic means the doctor can’t tell me why it’s happening, and urticaria is a fancy doctor word for hives.”

She understood the name of the condition, but not much else.

“I went home and started Google-ing and could find no good information,” Lawrence said.

Her doctor was familiar with CIU and was able to manage her symptoms, but not all patients have that resource, so Lawrence wanted to help spread awareness.

“I was fortunate enough several years ago to be able to join forces on this web program, CIU & You,” Lawrence said.

It’s an educational program for the 1.5 million Americans who have CIU. The website recommends finding an allergist or dermatologist that’s familiar with the condition.

Lawrence is now hive-free, but she still acknowledges the “C” in CIU.

“Chronic, but it’s manageable,” Lawrence said. “That’s the good news. It’s not curable, but it’s manageable.”

The website has downloadable educational resources and encourages patients to take photos to track their symptoms. For more information, visit .