Hives, known medically as urticaria, are pale bumps that appear red on one’s skin. They are itchy and may sometimes sting or burn. Usually, their appearance is cause by an allergic reaction to some substance or is a result of a known irritant. Hives are usually accompanied by swelling known as angioedema. The welts typically only last about six to twelve hours each. The hive patches are variable in size and change size rapidly, as well as move around quickly.
Because the cause can be difficult to pinpoint, treatment is normally restrict to symptom relief rather than curing the condition.
If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic hives, we suggest you visit a professional to gain some insight into the cause of the condition. We recommend these Dermatologist in Lahore if you reside in the city.
Types of Hives
Though the characteristic welts of hives are present in all types, there are certain differences between each. The types of hives include:
This type can last about 6 weeks before symptoms disappear. Causes include certain foods, medications, insect bites, and diseases.
The foods that usually cause hives include chocolate, fish, eggs, berries and tomatoes. Certain food additives could also cause the condition.
Medications like aspirin, anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, and painkillers like codeine can all potentially cause hives in some people.
These are hives that last longer than the usual 6 week period. Identifying the cause of this type is usually harder than doing so for the previous type of urticaria. It’s rare that a cause is found for the condition, however, some known causes include hepatitis, cancer and thyroid diseases.
The condition can sometimes also affect other organs like the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and muscles. This can lead to symptoms like difficulty breathing, vomiting and diarrhea.
This is more of a subtype of another type of hives known as physical urticaria. In this type of urticaria, the hives are caus by stimulation by something in the environment, like light and heat, or simply by sweating or pressure apply to the skin. In dermatographism, the hives appear after directly stroking or scratching the skin.
Dermatographism usually presents itself along with other types of urticaria.
Certain bacterial and viral infections can cause hives, such as urinary tract infections and strep throat. Most often the viruses that cause mononucleosis, colds and hepatitis also cause hives.
As mentioned earlier, there is great difficulty in finding the source of the hives, so treatment options are limit. Oftentimes, antihistamines are prescrib to at least provide some relief from the itchiness and inflammation. If the urticaria is chronic, then antihistamines might be taken according to a regular schedule to prevent the formation of hives.
|If antihistamines are not enough to provide relief, oral steroids may be prescribed. If the hives are too severe, you may expect to have an injection of epinephrine or cortisone to reduce symptoms.
Managing Chronic Hives
If you are prone to having hives regularly, there are certain things you can do to reduce their severity and regularity. These include:
- Ensuring your environment is cool and comfortable whether you are working or sleeping.
- Making sure your clothes are not too tight and restricting.
- Applying a cool wet compress to affected areas.
- Take a lukewarm bath with baking soda.
If you’re considering steroids or other medications to treat your hives, we highly recommend you consult a professional before you self-medicate. We suggest you check out these Skin specialist in Karachi, if you reside in the city.