Hives are red raised bumps that appear on the skin when allergic to factors such as food, environment, medications etc. Hives are skin rashes that appear in blotches.
Hives causes inflammation of the skin and also causes severe itching. Hives can be of any size and shape and can occur anywhere on the body, but it is most commonly found on the legs, arms and back.
Hives look similar to an insect bite, pale at the center and red around the edges. Hives can appear in a cluster or can also be scattered.
Hives are basically classified into two types:
- Regular Hives
- Chronic Hives
Regular Hives are often triggered by environmental factors such as heat, cold, change in temperature. When the skin is exposed to these factors, there is an outbreak of hives and usually lasts as long as the skin is exposed to these triggers.
On cessation of exposure, hives disappear. Regular hives, or localized hives, are generally non-recurring in nature and occur only when exposed to the triggering agent. Regular hives are harmless and one shouldn’t be worried about them.
Chronic Hives on the other hand is a result of a severe allergy such as, allergy to food, medicines, insect bites or a medical problem such as autoimmune disorders or viral infections.
Chronic hives usually lasts for weeks and requires medical attention.
Below are a list of differences between regular hives and chronic hives:
- Time Duration: Regular hives usually lasts for a few hours or a few days and are not recurring. Chronic hives are recurring and last for a long period of at least six weeks. It is advisable to note down the amount of time the hives have persisted on your body in order to identify is the hives are chronic or regular.
- Drugs: Usually regular hives can be treated by over the counter medications. Antihistamines or ointments can help reduce or eradicate symptoms of regular hives. Chronic hives will not respond to these medications because, chronic hives usually have an underlying medical problem and hence that needs to be treated first.
- Other symptoms: Chronic hives are generally accompanied by other symptoms such as breathing difficulty, headache, dizziness and fainting. In such cases, one needs to seek medical attention immediately. Regular hives do not have such symptoms.
- Triggering factors: Chronic hives are triggered by factors such as an allergy to a food substance or an underlying medical problem. Avoiding such triggers is the best way to prevent chronic hives. Regular hives are caused by environmental factors and should subside in few hours.
- Treatment: A person with chronic hives will have to undergo tests such as a blood test or an allergy test in order to identify the problem and then treat it. Regular hives can be treated with over the counter medicines.
These are just some of the main differences between chronic and regular hives. Using this information you may be able to deduce whether you are suffering from chronic hives or the more common Regular hives.