Hives

WHAT ARE HIVES OR URTICARIA?

Hives (known as Urticaria) are characterized by circular red, raised, and itchy spots on the surface of the skin. They may appear like mosquito bites, with a red outer rim and a white center.it may occur anywhere on the body, but it is usually found on the torso, arms, throat, and legs. spots may vary in size from small to large. Hives usually disappear within minutes; but they may remain for days or weeks or sometimes longer.

WHAT are the CAUSES OF HIVES?

Hives can arise due to different causes and the most common will be mentioned below, however almost 80% of hives` cases are of unknown reasons

  1. Allergens     

Allergens are responsible for the allergic reaction. They include many things as:

  • Medication as antibiotics, aspirin, and codeine
  • Foods and some kinds of food additives
  • Infections either bacterial, viral, or parasitic
  • Being in contact with plants or animals
  • animal dander, insect venom (as bee and wasp stings) or pollen

The more you are exposed to allergens, the more likely you will develop allergy to them.

  1. Physical and emotional changes

Hives may be triggered by excessive exercise, sweating, exposure to sunlight, hot or cold temperatures and emotional stress.

  1. Disease

Hives can appear as response to presence of antibodies produced by the immune system, as in the case of infection like the common cold.

  • Also hives may be caused by any underlying disorder of the immune system as systemic lupus erythematosus, rubella, and hepatitis

and in this case, it will be chronic.

TREATMENT FOR HIVES

Mild hives may not need treatment and will disappear within few days without treatment. To decrease the symptoms of hives you can:

  • Use a cool compress to the rash site and wear loose cotton clothing.
  • Avoid excessive physical activity and irritation of the affected area.
  • If you know the cause of the hives, try to avoid the causative agents as much as you can.
  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight, heat and hot showers, as excess heat may exacerbate hives.
  • Moderate hives symptoms may require treatment with an antihistamine medication as Levohistam®.

In case of severe hives, or the rash continues for several days, See your doctor.

If you feel lightheaded or that your throat is swelling or you suffer from difficulty in breathing, Seek emergency medical.

REFERENCES

1 https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy/urticaria-hives

2 https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hives