Skin allergies are difficult to deal with. It can affect you physically and mentally. Sometimes dealing with skin issues can result in low self-esteem. Ignoring any allergies can lead to some serious complications. If you are affected by any skin problems, always seek professional help and consume the medication under the supervision of your doctor.
There are many kinds of skin allergies we face, and every skin problem has its own unique name. In this article, we will get to know about urticaria also known as hives.
What are hives/urticaria?
A sudden pale red bump or welt on the skin is Urticaria, commonly known as hives. The swelling that often comes with hives is called angioedema.
What causes hives?
Well, it is difficult to know the exact reason but some allergic reactions, chemicals in certain foods, insect stings, sunlight, and medications might result in hives.
Let’s have an in-depth analysis of the causes.
There are several types of hives, including:
Acute urticaria: This type of hives lasts for less than 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months). Foods, medications, and infections, insect bites, and diseases are some common reasons affecting people with hives.
Foods like nuts, chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries, and milk can lead to hives. Surprisingly, fresh foods are the biggest factor causing hives more often than cooked foods. Certain food additives and preservatives may also be responsible.
Some medications can also lead to reasons causing hives like aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, high blood pressure drugs (especially ACE inhibitors), or painkillers such as codeine.
Chronic urticaria: Chronic urticaria is a kind of hives that lasts more than 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months). The causes behind this type of hives are difficult to identify or understand than acute urticaria. Sometimes the cause behind this is impossible to locate. However, some causes can be thyroid disease, hepatitis, infection, or cancer.
Chronic urticaria can affect your organs like the lungs, muscles, and gastrointestinal tract. Some of the symptoms of chronic urticaria are shortness of breath, muscle soreness, vomiting, and diarrhea.
They may also be a symptom of an underlying health problem, such as:
- Celiac disease
- Type 1 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid disease
Physical urticaria: They are usually caused by something that stimulates the skin, such as cold, heat, sun exposure, vibration, pressure, sweating, or exercise. Usually, you can only find these kinds of hives on the affected stimulated skin and hardly ever appear somewhere else. You can find it yourself within 1 hour.
Dermatographism. Physical urticaria, hives usually appear right after firmly stroking or scratching your skin. These hives can also join other forms of urticaria.
Temperature changes affect our body, sometimes making us sick. People who are sensitive to change in temperature might get affected by temperature-induced hives. There are two kinds of temperature-induced hives. One occurs due to cold water or air exposure while the other is exercise-induced hives that occur because of your body heat from physical activity. There is another kind of hives known as solar hives in people who are exposed to sunlight or tanning body.
Infections are dangerous and can lead to complications. So, treating an infection is vital. Hives can occur due to both viral as well as bacterial infections. Common bacterial infections can lead to hives resulting in urinary tract infections and strep throat. Viruses that cause infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis, and colds results in hives
The Link to Contact Dermatitis
There is something as painful and itchy rash called contact dermatitis usually occurs when your skin comes in contact with something you are allergic to (allergic contact dermatitis) or an irritation caused by it on your skin (irritant contact dermatitis). Do not get confused about contact dermatitis with hives as both are different, however, sometimes chances of people affected with contact dermatitis are getting hives if that person comes in contact with an allergen.
What do hives look like?
Sometimes we get different kinds of rashes or red patches on our skin, and it is quite difficult to differentiate them. So how can we know what hives are and how do they look like? The most striking and unnoticeable symptom linked with hives is the welts that appear on the skin. It is not necessary that welts always must be red, they sometimes exactly like the color of your skin. They might be tiny and round, ring-shaped or large, and of random shape. Hives are known for their itchiness, and they have a propensity to occur in batches on the affected part of the body. They can grow larger, change shape, and spread.
Sometimes hives usually disappear or re-emerge throughout the outbreak. When it comes to individual hives, they can stay on your skin anywhere from half an hour to a day. If you press hives then it might turn white. It can also change size and shape accordingly and sometimes can come altogether creating a larger, raised area.
Hives are difficult to tolerate and can appear in a variety of parts of your body. Immediately consult your doctor and seek professional Medicare help if there is an outbreak of hives around your throat or on your tongue or have trouble breathing along with hives.
How are Hives Diagnosed?
It is difficult to locate the cause of hives as there is no specific test conducted for hives or the associated swelling of angioedema. The testing simply depends on the many questions asked by your doctor, your medical history, and a thorough exam by your doctor.
A skin test may be conducted by the doctors to find any specific allergy or a blood test to ensure you do not have any illness.
How are Hives Treated?
Hives can be stressful to deal with. The most effective treatment for hives is to locate them and remove the trigger, though it is difficult to do. Doctors usually prescribe Antihistamines to give you some relief. Antihistamines are usually the best medication that can prevent hives from even occurring in the first place.
Antihistamines or a combination of medications may be prescribed to treat chronic hives. If still, the pain occurs then patients are prescribed oral steroids. People above 12 years old and affected with hives can be prescribed a biologic drug called omalizumab (Xolair).
If in any case, hives are severe then an injection of epinephrine or a cortisone medication should be given to the affected person.
All these treatments should only be practiced under the supervision of your doctor. Consuming these medications without proper guidance may lead to some serious complications.
How Can Hives Be Managed?
While you’re waiting for hives and swelling to disappear, here are some tips:
- Applying cool compresses or wet cloths to the affected areas helps in providing some relief.
- Always try to work and sleep in a cool room.
- Do not forget to wear loose-fitting lightweight clothes, as they are airy and light on the skin.
When Should I Call the Doctor About Hives?
If you are affected with hives following these symptoms, then immediately contact your doctor:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, or face
“HealthLink.news does not have any intention to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide its users and/ or the general public with information to better understand their health. All content (including text, graphics, images, information, etc.) provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis, or treatment. HealthLink.news makes no representation and assumes no responsibility/ liability for the accuracy of the information, advice, diagnosis, treatment provided herein or on its website. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY IN SEEKING TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ IT HERE OR ACCESSED THROUGH THE HealthLink.news WEBSITE.”