What are hives?
Hives are also known as urticaria which is a swollen outbreak, pale red bumps or plague, it appears on the skin and for an unknown reason or just because of a reaction of the skin to some allergens. Hives can cause itching, sting or burn on the skin.
Hives can appear on any part of the body, these include the lips, face, tongue, ears and throat. The size of hive varies, some appear very large up to the size of a plate and some very small. When they appear, some can last for a day and some just few hours.
What causes hives?
Hives from allergy form when there is histamine and blood plasma leaking or leaked out on the skin from tiny blood veins.
Histamine is a concoction discharged from specific cells along the skin’s veins.
There is others reason why there is histamine release, these are chemicals in some food, sunlight exposure, insect bites, and medications, but in many cases, the causes are harder to be defined.
Types of hives
Acute urticaria: This hives can last just below six weeks are mostly caused by foods (nuts, chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries, milk), medications (aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, ibuprofen, high blood pressure and codeine), and infections. Other causes can be insect bites and internal diseases.
Chronic urticaria: This hives can last longer than six weeks, and are mostly caused by thyroid disease, hepatitis, cancer and infections. But usually, in some cases, the cause of chronic urticaria and very difficult to identify. This can easily affect the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and muscles and some of the symptoms are sore in the muscles, short breath, diarrhoea and vomiting
Physical urticaria: This is caused by a direct physical skin stimulation like heat, cold, exposure to sun, pressure and vibration, sweating, pressure and exercise.
Dermatographism: This urticaria is very common and is in contrast with physical urticaria, the hives form from stroking and or scratching.
How are hives diagnosed?
Diagnosis of hives is done by a medical doctor through questions, medical history and examinations. Skin test are usually carried out to identify any substance your skin may be allergic too.
How to treat hives?
The first treatment of hive is to identify what type of hives and then remove the trigger.
Your doctor will prescribe antihistamines for relief.
Chronic hives can also be treated with antihistamines or with other medications.
Chronic hives can also be treated with oral corticosteroids.
Omalizumab can also be prescribed to treat chronic hives.
An injection of epinephrine or cortisone can also be used.