Hives, medically called urticaria is an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or plaques that appear suddenly on the skin. This condition can be a result of the body’s reaction to certain allergens or other reasons.
Knowing more about hives
The typical symptoms of hives are the itchiness, but sometimes patients can experience the feeling of being burned or stung. Those red patches or welts can appear unexpectedly anywhere on the surface of your skin. Not only your face but your lips, tongue, throat, ears can also be affected by this skin condition. Their size of the hive is various, ranging from the size of a pencil eraser to a dinner plate. More seriously, those small bumps may join together to form plaques, which is a larger area of hives. It takes hours or up to several days before the symptoms of hives get better and fading.
Some causes of hives include:
- Insect stings,
- Chemicals in foods,
- Allergic reactions,
- Histamine, which is a chemical released from your body due to some medicines.
Types of hives
Acute urticaria is hives lasting less than 6 weeks. Foods, infections, latex, and also medicines are the most common causes. Insect bites or a disease could also lead to acute urticaria.
Types of food that most commonly cause hive are:
Some drugs can also contribute to the development of hives on your skin are aspirin, other NSAIDs, high blood pressure medications, and painkillers.
Chronic urticaria is hives that last more than 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria sometimes could be mistaken for acute urticaria due to the similar symptoms, therefore, seeking for the cause of it is usually harder or impossible. The differences are that chronic urticaria may also include your immune system, chronic infections, hormonal disorders, and tumors. In some cases, thyroid disease, hepatitis, cancer can be the causes.
Physical urticaria is hives which are caused by direct physical stimulation of the skin such as cold, heat, sunlight, vibration, pressure, sweating, and exercise. They usually happen right in the area where the skin was affected, usually within 1 hour after exposing.
Dermatographism is hives that are formed after firmly stroking or scratching the skin.
Simple tips for hives management
While you wait for the hives and swelling to disappear:
- Use lukewarm water instead of hot water;
- Use gentle, mild soap;
- Apply cool compresses or wet cloths to the affected areas;
- Do daily activities at a cool temperature;
- Wear light, loose clothes.
Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms including dizziness, wheezing, trouble breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the tongue, lips, or face.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: April 4, 2017 | Last Modified: April 4, 2017
Hives and your skin. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/hives-urticaria-angioedema#1. Accessed March 30, 2017.
What are hives and Angiodema? http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/hives-urticaria-angioedema#1. Accessed March 30, 2017.