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

Allergy and its types

ALLERGIES

What is allergy?

Allergy symptoms occur as an immune response to allergen which is normally harmless but with some people, it induces allergic reactions.

Once an allergen is breathed in or comes in contact with the skin, your immune system fights the substance by releasing chemicals such as histamine.

As a result, allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, watery eyes, itchy skin or swelling may occur.

WHY DO ALLERGIES happen?

Some factors may cause allergies to develop including:

  1. Family history

Most allergies are inherited as they are passed down from parent to child, but it is not necessary to inherit allergy to the same allergen.

  1. Diet

The kind of diet from early days may be risk factor in developing allergies. As introducing cow milk or soymilk formulas before 3 or 4 months will be a risk in developing allergy.

  1. Time of Birth

Babies born during the spring have a higher risk of developing seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever.

  1. Cigarette smoke

Passive exposure to cigarette smoke increases the risk of developing allergic respiratory symptoms in children.

  1. Exposure to allergens

Being in contact with allergens (substances that can trigger allergies) increases the risk of developing allergy and this probability will increase when your body`s immune defense is weak as during illness or pregnancy.

IS THERE A SPECIFIC AGE FOR ALLERGY TO ARISE?

Allergies are more common in children, but they can develop at any time or age.

DO ALLERGIES STAYS FOR LIFE-LONG TIME?

Not always. Sometimes allergic symptoms start to appear in childhood, disappear for years, and then start up again in adult life. Also, they are prone to developing new allergies.

HOW CAN I TREAT ALLERGIES?

Allergies can usually be treated by a wide range of products including antihistamines, which prevent histamine from attaching to cells and causing allergy symptoms.

Levohistam is a fast, non-drowsy oral antihistamine that helps in reduction of the symptoms of hay fever allergies.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF ALLERGIES

  1. Dust mite allergies

Dust mile allergy arise because of dust mites which are tiny creatures, found in fiber-filled surfaces as pillows, mattresses, or any fiber surface in warm atmosphere, dark and humid. Allergy arises by inhalation of dust mites and their waste.

  1. Pet allergies

Pet allergies are triggered by pet dander from animals as dogs and cats. People with pet allergies have immune system response to harmless proteins found in dander, pet saliva or urine resulting in allergic symptoms. Pet hair itself is not considered an allergen, but it may collect dander. Avoiding exposure to the problem animal is the best way to avoid symptoms of allergy.

  1. Mould allergies

Mould is usually found indoors and outdoors and may be found in poorly ventilated areas. Symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and a blocked or runny nose may arise on exposure to mould. At home, Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries are the most common areas where mould grows because of condensation and a lack of airflow.

  1. Pollen allergies

Pollen produced by trees, grasses, weeds and flowers cause allergy in many people. This type of allergic reaction is known as hay fever. Symptoms as sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, watery eyes, itchy skin or swelling may arise.

  1. Oral allergies

Oral allergy syndrome may result because of protein found in fruits and vegetables causing itching in the mouth after eating a particular fruit or vegetable.

Cooking destroys the proteins responsible for this allergic reaction, so the same foods that cause symptoms when eaten raw will not often cause allergy when cooked. Often the responsible proteins are in the skin of fruits and vegetables. Buying canned varieties may be an option, as canning destroys the proteins as well.

HOW CAN I REDUCE EXPOSURE TO ALLERGENS?

Tips to reduce your exposure to different allergens found at home

  1. Dust mites
  • Use allergen‐proof covers for mattresses and pillows.
  • Wash all bedding, blankets, or soft toys in very hot water weekly.
  • If you can, replace carpets with tiles or timber.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with purifying filter.
  1. Mould
  • Keep good ventilation for the bathroom and try to keep it dry. You can use an exhaust fan.
  • Fix any water leaks anywhere in the house.
  • Discard papers, books and newspapers that are not in need as they can absorb moisture and encourage mould growth.
  • Clean the fridge drip tray and door seals.
  1. Pets
  • Keep pets outside your home or at least out of your bedroom and living areas.
  • Good home ventilation is a must.
  • Use allergen‐proof covers.
  • Bath the pets and clean its cage, bedding and litter box regularly.

Important tip for reducing your allergy symptoms

  • Wear a mask when cleaning your home or working in your garden to avoid dust mites, allergenic mite material and mould spores.

REFERENCES

http://www.allergy.org.au/images/stories/aer_allergy_prevention_children_feb09.pdf