Hives – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

March 25 01:21 2019 Print This Article

Urticaria is also known as hives . It is an allergic reaction, which produces pale raised areas of skin surrounded by blotchy red patches . Hives are a sign of an allergic reaction, and are usually harmless if they are the only symptom your child is having. Children with hives and more severe symptoms, such as wheezing , difficulty breathing or swallowing, or swelling in their mouth or throat, may have anaphylaxis a serious allergic reaction. These children need immediate medical attention. Hives are a type of allergic or immune system reaction that occurs when something triggers the release of a chemicals, including histamine, from cells in a child’s body. Hives vary in size, and may join together to form larger areas known as plaques. They can last for hours, or up to several days before fading. There is a variation in shapes, quantity and even color from light pink to dark red. Foods and drugs are the common causes of hives. Some patients get hives occasionally only when they ingest a specific food or food additives. Other get hives as a chronic problem which can go on for years. Most studies of chronic hives suggest a low percent of food allergy causes usually because diet revision attempts were inadequate to reveal the hidden food causes. There is a variation in shapes, quantity and even color from light pink to dark red.

Hives, called urticaria by the medical profession, is a skin condition that is characterized by sudden outbreaks of red, itchy welts on the skin. Any area of the body may be affected. The welts may vary in appearance, from tiny, goose ‘bump-like spots to rashes that cover significant areas of the body. Hives usually go away within a few hours to two days, but in rare cases they become chronic and may last for six weeks or more. Hives are an allergic reaction. Unfortunately reaction can be anything, including cold, heat, and even emotional tension. Unless you already have a good idea what is causing hives or if a new drug had just been taken, the doctor is unlikely to be able to determine the cause. Most often, a search for a cause is fruitless. Hives are raised, red, itchy, often fluid-filled patches of skin that may appear and disap¬≠pear at random. They range in size from less than 0.6 to 2.5 cm (0.25 to 1 inch) or more, and they may last a few minutes or a few days. A single hive commonly develops after an insect sting. Multiple hives often develop in response to a drug, food, or infection. Most people have only one attack of hives lasting form a period of minutes to weeks.

Causes of Hives

Find common causes and risk factors of Hives :

  • Sun exposure.
  • Hives can be caused by something taken internally, most often a medicine such as penicillin or aspirin.
  • Wearing tight fit clothes.
  • Sometimes foods cause hives; shellfish and strawberries are well-known examples.
  • Heredity.
  • Sweat .
  • Exercise.
  • Wearing jewelry that is not very suitable for your skin.
  • Stress.

Signs and Symptoms of Hives

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Itching of the skin.
  • Redness of skin.
  • Multiple hives.
  • Itching.
  • Dizziness.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Irregular heart beat .
  • Swelling of the affected area .

Treatment for Hives

The best treatment for hives and associated swelling is to identify and remove the basic cause. The best drug for widespread hives is an antihistamine. It may not cure the hives, but it will reduce their number and relieve itching. Benadryl or its generic equivalent is available without a prescription. It comes in both liquid and tablet form. Benadryl may cause drowsiness, so do not drive while taking it. Continue taking your antihistamine for a day or 2 until you are sure the hives are completely gone. Your medical provider can prescribe a non-sedating antihistamine if necessary.

Treatment may include:

  • Apply cool compresses to the welts. This may reduce swelling and pain . If a large part of your body is affected, soak in a cool bath. Avoid hot baths or showers.
  • The best drug for widespread hives is an antihistamine. It may not cure the hives, but it will reduce their number and relieve itching.
  • Check medicines you are currently taking for side-effects and ask yourself if the symptoms arose since commencing the medication.
  • Continue taking your antihistamine for a day or 2 until you are sure the hives are completely gone.
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