Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Remedies

Hives Treatment Remedies


The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What are Hives?

Hives affect around 20 percent of people at sometime during their lives.It is very common.

Hives mostly occurs in people aged 20 to 30.

These pale red swellings can appear on the face, tongue, lips, throat, ear, or anywhere else on the body.

Hives will rarely affect your palms or soles of your feet.

Hives may also be triggered by certain foods, insect bites, cosmetics, medicines, chemicals, contact with an irritant, airborne contaminants, or extremes of temperature.

Hives can be categorized as acute hives or chronic hives.

Acute urticaria is the most prominent type of hives and only lasts for a few weeks (less than 6 weeks).

Chronic hives (which are less common) on the other hand persist for more than 6 weeks.

It is believed that one out of every 6 persons will suffer from acute hives at some stage in his or her life.

Dermatologists claim that 1 out of 1000 people is likely to suffer from chronic hives at one point in his life.

Chronic hives are characterized by large patched which may grow and spread to other parts of the body.

Hives occur suddenly and may disappear in a few hours; they are usually harmless and may reappear in the very spot or in a different place.

Hives can be a allergic reaction to something that has been inhaled, injected or ingested.

Anaphylaxis occurs in very rare cases, when the hives sets of a chain reaction throughout the body.

Angioedema is similar to hives but for angioedema the swelling occurs in the lower layers of the dermis.

Angioedema mostly occurs around mouth, eyes, in the throat, abdomen and in other areas.

Hives Symptoms

Hive signs and symptoms are aggravated by temperature extremes, physical exertion, or stress.

Hives sometimes sting and hurt.

For some people Hives can appear at the same spot on the body. This is because when they are exposed to the trigger.

The flares that form around the weals are as a result of the dilation (widening) of blood vessels on stimulation by histamine.

Wheals can get bigger and spread. They can join together and form larger areas of flat raised skin.

Wheals can change shapes. They can disappear and reappear.

When you press the center of the wheal, it will turn white. This is called blanching.

When your hives becomes severe and does not respond to treatment then consult a doctor immediately.

If you feel dizzy, chest tightness, or tongue or throat swelling seek for emergency care.

Hives Causes

Salicylates can be described as aspirin-like compounds that occur naturally.

Salicylates can be obtained in a number of foods, particularly those of plant origin including tea, tomatoes, raspberries, spices, and orange juice.

Vasoactive amines, just like salicylates, cause the release of histamine. This group of chemicals exist in the following foods: pineapple, chocolate, tomatoes, fish, and strawberries.

Antibiotics, especially penicillin, induce allergic reactions that may result in hives.

Aspirin is also a common inducer of the condition.

Some infections, bacterial or fungal could also lead to hives.

A number of illnesses including thyroid disease, lupus, vasculitis, and many others are likely to increase your risk of developing hives.

Chronic urticaria occurs when your own immune system turns against its own tissues. This is referred to as an autoimmune reaction.

Antibodies sets off production of histamine which eventually leads to hives.

Chronic hives usually occur alongside autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Persons with a history of liver infection (hepatitis), intestinal parasites, hypothyroidism, or hyperthyroidism are more likely to develop hives than those with no history of chronic hives.

Stress, alcohol, caffeine, and warm temperatures may also increase the risk of developing hives.

A majority of the cases of hives reported in children have been attributed to viral infections.

Viral infections such as a flu or cold may spark off urticarial rash.

These conditions are also linked to other infections including athlete’s foot, strep throat, or urinary tract infections.

Physical urticaria is a form of hives that occurs when the skin is directly stimulated by physical irritation. The irritant could be heat, cold, sun exposure, pressure, vibration, exercises, or sweating.

Dermatographism is a different form of physical hives that is triggered by scratching or stroking your skin.

Hives that occur due to skin exposed to the sun is called solar urticaria. The rash hardly appears for 24 hrs. The condition weekens once the skin is no longer exposed to sun.

Water urticaria occurs upon contact with water. This is caused due to skin being sensitive to chlorine.

Helicobacter pylori (common as H. pylori) is a bacterium that infects the stomach.

This bacterium or germ may result to hives after treatment.

Hives Diagnosis

It is difficult to determine the cause of chronic urticaria.

Extensive testing for a long period is required to find the cause.Regular testing is not recommended.

During diagnosis of hives, your doctor examines any swellings on your skin (welts) and seeks to understand their cause.

He may also seek information regarding your medical history to identify any other possible causes for your condition.

An allergy test may also be ordered by your doctor if he suspects food allergies to be the trigger factor for your hive symptoms.

Where the doctor suspects the cause of your hive symptoms to be hereditary angioedema, he may ask for blood tests to be carried out.

Blood tests are performed with the sole objective of checking the levels of certain blood proteins and studying how they function.

Doctors often diagnose acute (short-term) hives by examining the red rash on the patient’s skin which is typical of hives (urticaria).

When examining the rash, your doctor will seek to know when the rash was first spotted, the first position of the rash, if you were on any medication before the rash, the food you had eaten before the rash, or if you have been diagnosed with hives before.

He may also ask if you suffered any insect bites right before you began experiencing the hive symptoms.

The doctor may refer you to an allergy clinic if he has reason to believe that the underlying cause of your symptoms is food-related.

Your doctor may order for a full blood count test if he suspects long-term hives (chronic hives).

A full blood count test will be necessary in identifying anaemia.

Your stool sample may also be taken to reveal any signs of intestinal parasites, if any. This will help to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.

Problems with the patient’s immune system can be identified using an ESR test.

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test will enable your doctor to know if the cause of your condition and symptoms is as a result of auto-immune reactions.

The doctor may also find it necessary to perform thyroid tests to check hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism cases.

Hives can be a warning signal for alergic reaction.

Hives Treatment

Inorder to treat hives, the first step is to find the cause.

If the hives are caused due to any medication or food, avoid them.

Your doctor may suggest calamine lotion, an over-the-counter cream, to treat patients with itching.

Aviod hot showers because it might aggravate the rash.

Avoid scratching, tight clothing and exposure to sunlight.

Antihistamine tablets oppose or reverse the effects of histamine.

The most common antihistamine tablets are diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton).

Diphenhydramine is often administered in doses of 25 milligrams while chlorpheniramine is taken in doses of 4 milligrams.

Antihistamine tablets could be prescribed by your doctor or simply be bought from pharmacies.

Your pharmacist will advise you on the best brand of antihistamine tablets that will cause minimal side-effects.

When under antihistamine medications, you are cautioned against drinking of alcohol. Alcohol may cause drowsiness as a side effect of these tablets.

Persons on antihistamine medications should not drive or engage in any other activity that requires mental concentration.

Other types of antihistamine tablets that can be bought over the counter include loratadine, fexofenadine (Allegra), hydroxyzine (Atarax or Vistaril), and cetirizine (Zyrtec).

A common example of oral steroids used to treat hives is prednisone.

Persons with much more serious symptoms or episodes of hives are referred to dermatologists, skin specialists for advanced treatment.

Allergy specialist such as immunologists may also be involved.

Patients with anaphylaxis or angio-oedema may be admitted at the hospital for specialized treatment.

Other forms of treatments that your doctor may find appropriate include ultraviolet radiation, tricyclic antidepressants, antifungal antibiotics, and other agents capable of suppressing your immune system.

A number of topical therapies are also available for treatment of hives.

Therapies make use of lotions and creams that numb the patient’s nerve endings (soothe the rash). This has been found to be effective in alleviating itching.

Lotions and creams used in the treatment of hives may comprise any of the following ingredients: menthol, camphor, pramoxine, or diphenhydramine. These ingredients are responsible for the soothing effects associated with the lotions and creams.

You will need your doctor’s advice before using any cortisone-containing creams.

You can also use wet compresses or bandage the affected area of your skin to prevent the urge to scratch itchy areas.

A number of natural ways have also been suggested to treat patients diagnosed with hives.

Doctors recommend diets that boost the immune system of those diagnosed with the condition.

Eating food rich in acidophilus, vitamin C, and probiotics is vital for persons with defects of the immune system.

Fresh ginger can also be used on the patient’s inflamed skin to soothe the skin. It could be incorporated into the patient’s food, taken in form of pills, or as a steam treatment.

Aloe vera may also be applied topically on the affected areas of the skin. This prevents the hives from spreading to other parts of the body.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend acupuncture to lower the severity of hive symptoms and to decrease their frequency.

An emergency kit can be prescribed by the doctor for insect bites, certain foods and medications. The kit contains epinephrine injections which can be used during emergency situations.

Hives Prevention

The most common and effective method suggested for prevention of hives is lifestyle changes. Simple lifestyle changes prevent reoccurrence of hives.

Avoid any foods that may spark off an allergic reaction. This is the first step in preventing hives associate with certain food allergies.

Allergy shots have been suggested by doctors as effective methods of preventing future attacks associated with hives.

Persons who just suffered from hives should not wear tight-fitting clothes, and should avoid high humidity areas to keep off reoccurrence of the condition. This is because weals will always occur around areas of the skin experiencing local pressure.

Doctors recommend smooth-textured cotton clothes. Natural fabrics are recommended because they permit you skin to breathe.

Try to keep cool; ensure that your bedroom is cool enough for the night. This is because hives are more likely to erupt in warmer environments than cooler ones.

Avoiding trigger factors for hives such as hot baths, sun exposure, alcohol, and undue emotion is effective at keeping off hives.

Food additives such as Sodium benzoate, Allura Red, and Tetrazine should be avoided. It is also advised that you always take adequate amounts of water.

While choosing skin care products, it is important that you pick those that marked as chemical-free.

Get adequate sleep as well.

Hives Statistics & Facts

Every year, it is estimated that 15 percent of the U.S. population suffer from hives or angioedema as a result of allergic reactions (according to NWHIC).

Hives often change their size rapidly and switch locations, disappearing from one point and reappearing in another, within hours.

Treatment of hives focuses on alleviating symptoms as the condition disappears on its own.

Antihistamines remain the most prominent treatment option for hives.

The medical name for hives is urticaria.

Typically, hives do not show serious or long-term complications.

It is estimated that 20 percent of the world’s population experiences hives.

A hive rash may appear anywhere on the patient’s body: it could be on the face, ears, lips, throat, or even on the tongue.

Hives Treatment Remedies plus

The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What are Hives?

Hives, also known as urticaria (or nettle rash), refer to raised bumps or lesions ("wheals") that appear on the skin. They are allergic reactions characterized by itchy red welts on the skin.

Hives occur when cells in the skin (mast cells) release histamine, a chemical that stimulates blood vessels (capillaries) to leak out fluid into the deepest skin layers. The leaking fluid builds up in the skin forming pink or red swellings-the hives.

Histamine is released as a response to an allergic reaction (in the presence of an allergen) or any other irritant.

The skin lesions witnessed by patients with hives is due to inflammatory skin reactions. The result of the inflammation is a capillary leakage which occurs in the dermis. This leads to skin swellings known as edema.

Hives are touched off by a number of physical factors including sustained pressure on one’s skin surface, heat, cold, stress, sunlight, or exercises.

Hives Symptoms

One obvious symptom of hives is a raised patch of skin made up of a cluster of wheals that may cover the entire body if left untreated.

Most patients diagnosed with hives will report intense itching around the areas affected by the swellings. This is very prominent in acute hives.

Reddish patches, commonly known as flares, may be observed on the patient’s face, hands, or feet.

Other patients may also suffer difficulties in breathing associated with swollen tongue or throat.

The plaques witnessed on the skin vary in size as well as shape; they may migrate or regress.

Hives Causes

Hives are allergic reactions that can be sparked off by a number of environmental factors. Tension, emotional stress, food, or inhaled substances could set off any of these allergic reactions.

Hives are often triggered by chemical irritants or any other allergic reaction that may stimulate production of the protein histamine.

Hives can be triggered off by certain fruits, particularly citrus fruits. Some foods including tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, milk, and shell fish may also spark off hives. This could be as a result of some food allergy.

The most prominent chemical groups that trigger hives in foods are salicylates and vasoactive amines.

Other common trigger factors include pollen, dust, allergy shots, medicine, animals, latex, and certain chemicals. Any skin contact with these sensitizers may trigger an allergic reaction.

Hives Treatment

In most cases, acute hives may disappear within 48 hours without the need for any specialized treatment. Treatment typically involves alleviating the symptoms of hives as you wait for it to disappear

Doctors suggest a cold shower for patients who have reported symptoms related to itching.

Antihistamine tablets (oral medications) may also be recommended by your doctor to ease your symptoms. These tablets work by blocking the action of the skin protein, histamine, which is responsible for causing hives.

If your doctor identifies certain foods as the trigger factor for your hive symptoms, he would ask you to keep off such foods in order to forestall your symptoms. The doctor may therefore propose a strict diet for your condition.

Other patients diagnosed with hives are subjected to a short course of steroid medications to alleviate pain associated with swellings on your skin. This is common for severe cases of hives.

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