Hives is a common skin allergy which is found to affect people on the arms, legs, trunk and back. Hives appear as raised skin welts and are red in color. Hives are also itchy and their clusters are known to change their shapes and even locations.
Hives causes are generally investigated by the dermatologist who is approached by the patient. After determining the actual causative factor that had triggered skin hives, the doctor puts the patient on a certain medication.
Main Causes of Hives
Hives is a skin allergy condition that appears as red patchy and itchy clusters on the skin. The usual causes of hives are none other than the most common allergens that trigger the auto-immune response of the body.
Usually, if a pathogen or an infectious organism enters the body, then the body triggers the immune system which in turn produces anti-bodies to fight the invading pathogen.
Sometimes the body begins to produce IgE, a special set of anti-bodies that combine with the skin’s mast cells. These mast cells then begin to produce a chemical substance called: histamines.
Histamines in turn produce what we term symptoms. In the case of hives, the symptoms are seen on the skin as red patchy and itchy clustered lesions. Around 20% people suffer from hives and seek medical advice to get rid of them.
The factors that trigger such an allergic response from the body resulting in hives are given below:
- Certain drugs and medications are known to trigger the condition of hives in some people. If you find that you have developed the symptoms of hives after consuming Alfa drugs, penicillin or any common aspirin, you can be sure that these drugs are responsible for such a reaction from the body.
- Consumption of eggs, shell fish, nuts etc are known to trigger the onset of hives.
- Some people are allergic to pollen grains also. They are found to have symptoms of hives after having visited a garden or a greener area. If you are among the people who have developed mosquito-bites-like symptoms which are itchy as well after having visited a garden or even near a potted flowering plat, then you have developed hives and are allergic to pollen.
- Animal dander such as that of a cat is also one of the factors which triggers onset of hives. People who wish to keep cats as pets must ensure that they are not allergic to them.
- Wasp stings or any other insect bites are also known to cause hives. Usually, insect stings trigger allergic response in the body with the result that the person begin to have itchy and patchy skin welts. These welts are raised and are also red in color. They are most likely to be symptoms of hives if the location of the welts keeps changin all over the body.
- Other not-so-common causes of hives are stress related reasons. Stress is also known to trigger severe autoimmune reactions in the body. One of the symptoms is related to symptoms of hives.
- Certain cancerous illnesses also trigger onset of hives. Leukemia and other autoimmune diseases cause clustered lesions on the skin which are none other than hives.
- Exposure of the skin to extreme temperatures such as sun and cold temperature is also known to trigger allergic reactions such as hives. Wearing tight fitting clothes in extreme temperatures triggers this response as well.
- Hives condition is aggravated when the skin begins to sweat. It is also found that excessive perspiration triggers skin hives.
Symptoms of Hives
The basic symptoms of hives include red itchy and patchy skin welts that keep changing their locations all over the body. They are mostly seen on the arms, trunk, legs etc.
In severe cases, hives are known to trigger face swelling and swelling in tongue as well. The skin welts appear as clusters which become white in color on pressing at the middle. The shape of these raised botchy welts keeps changing and often compels the patient to give into scratching them.
On persistent scratching the situation only worsens. The strangest aspect of skin hives is that the welts seem to heal and disappear after some time, but suddenly there is an onset of hives again, which spreads all over the body. For more symptoms visit symptoms of hives.
How to Get Rid of Hives?
The best method to get rid of hives condition is to first find out the hives causes. Once the causative factor that has triggered hives is understood, the doctor advises patients to avoid the causative allergen.
Once these allergens are removed from the vicinity of the patient, it is easier to tackle the problem of hives. The biggest challenge is to identify the case of hives.
Doctors also prescribe anti-histamine drugs such as Benadryl, Seldane and other popular drugs which are found to be very effective in getting rid of hives.
If you have had an attack of hives, avoid taking hot showers and toweling vigorously. Avoid exercising as this might irritate the skin and further aggravate the condition.
Doctors also give anti-histamine injection shots to patients with severe hives condition. One must also avoid wearing tight fitting clothes and of course, wear clean and airy ones, preferably cotton.
Scratching of hives is not advisable and one must avoid it at all costs.
Hives can be easily managed with proper medication and avoiding the allergen that triggers the reaction on the skin. Identifying the allergen that actually causes hives is in fact quite a challenge.
If you are suffering with the problem of hives, then it is advisable to note the common hives causes to which you might have been exposed to.
You may consider listing all the drugs or practices you have been experiencing in the last few days. Match with the hives causes listed in this page. You can then narrow down to the factors that could have triggered the onset of hives.
If the condition of hives persists more than a week, then there is something to worry. Seek the advice of a good dermatologist in such cases.