Overview of hives
Urticaria, otherwise called hives, is the presence of light red, swollen knocks or plaques on the skin that appear suddenly – either because of the body’s response to specific allergens or for unknown reasons.
Urticaria usually itches, but it can also burn or sting. Hives can show up anyplace on the body, including the face, lips, tongue, throat, or ears. The hives shift in size (from a pencil eraser to a supper plate), and they may consolidate together to shape bigger zones known as plaques. It can last for hours, or even a day before fading away.
Angioedema resembles hives, but the swelling occurs under the skin rather than on the surface. Angioedema is characterized by deep swelling around the eyes, lips, and sometimes the genitals, hands, and feet. The rash usually lasts longer than the hives, but the swelling usually goes away in less than 24 hours.
Infrequently, angioedema in the throat, tongue, or lungs can impede the aviation routes, causing trouble relaxing. This could become life-threatening.
Causes of hives
Urticaria happens when the body responds to an allergen and deliveries histamine and different synthetic substances from under the outside of the skin. Histamine and chemicals cause inflammation and fluid buildup under the skin, which causes hives.
Include examples of known triggers:
- Medicines, including some antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, used for high blood pressure
- Foods like nuts, shellfish, food additives, eggs, strawberries, and wheat products
- Infections, including influenza, colds, glandular fever, and hepatitis B
- Bacterial diseases, including urinary lot contaminations and sore throats
- Intestinal parasites
- Extreme temperatures or temperature changes
- A high body temperature
- Animal dander from dogs, cats, horses, etc.
- Dust mites
- Waste cockroaches and cockroaches
- Pollen grains
- Some plants like nettle, poison ivy, and poison oak
- Insect bites and stings
- Some chemicals
- Chronic diseases, such as thyroid disease or lupus
- Exposure to the sun
- Water on the skin
- Playing sports
In more than half of the cases, people never find the exact cause of hives. Chronic urticaria may start as an autoimmune response, but it is not clear why it occurs.
What are the signs and symptoms of hives?
The most well-known signs are:
- Pink or red bumps that are slightly raised.
- Welds that occur alone or in the group, or connect over a large area.
- Skin swelling that subsides or disappears within 24 hours in one place but may appear elsewhere.
As for the symptoms (what you feel), urticaria is usually itchy. They sometimes sting or hurt. Some people always get hives in the same place or spots on their bodies. Often these people have a trigger (what causes hives). Each time they are exposed to this trigger, they develop hives.
A dermatologist may call this type of hives fixed, which means immobility. Fixed hives may occur when a person takes a certain drug (stationary drug eruption) or is exposed to much sunlight (fixed solar urticaria).
Urticaria and angioedema are common. You may be at increased risk of developing hives and angioedema if you are:
- Angioedema before
- You have had other allergic reactions
- You have a family history of angioedema or hereditary angioedema
How are hives diagnosed?
More often than not, a specialist can analyze hives just by taking a gander at the skin. To find the cause, you may be asked questions about your child’s medical history, recent illnesses, medications, exposure to allergens, and daily stressors.
If your child has chronic hives, the doctor may ask you to keep a daily record of activities, such as what your child eats and drinks, and where on the body it tends to appear. Analytic tests – for example, blood tests, sensitivity tests, and tests to preclude conditions that could cause hives, for example, thyroid infection or hepatitis – might be finished to find the exact cause of the hives.
To check for body cells, the doctor may place ice on your child’s skin to see how he is reacting to the cold or place a sandbag or other heavy object on the thighs to see if the pressure is causing the hives.
Severe angioedema can be life-threatening if the swelling causes the throat or tongue to block the airway.
Treatment of hives
The first step in getting treatment is to find out if you really have hives. In most cases, your doctor will be able to determine if you have hives from a physical examination. Your skin will show signs of bruising associated with hives. Your doctor may also do blood tests or skin tests to determine the possible cause, especially if it was the result of an allergic reaction.
You may not need prescription treatment if you have a mild case, that is not related to allergies or other health conditions. In these circumstances, your doctor may suggest that you seek temporary relief with solutions:
- Take antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine
- Avoid irritating the area
- Avoid hot water, which may aggravate the rash
- Take a cool or lukewarm bath with colloidal oatmeal or baking soda
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that must be addressed immediately by a doctor.
Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent from recurring in the future. If you are allergic and know what substances are likely to cause an allergic reaction, your doctor will suggest that you avoid any possible exposure to these agents. Allergy shots are another option that may help you reduce your risk of developing hives again.
Avoid being in high humidity areas or wearing tight clothing if you have recently had an outbreak.
To find out exactly what type of hives a person has, or to learn more about research into the immune basis of hives or rare forms of the condition, see a doctor. However, it is important to keep in mind that most cases of urticaria are unpleasant, not dangerous, and are always temporary.