Hives are allergies that appear on the surface of the skin. However, it is important to identify hives and distinguish it from other skin diseases. As most of the skin diseases manifest as swollen eruptions and patchy skin, we have to look for specific characteristics of hives.
The body parts that are usually affected by hives are the limbs and the torso. The other parts might be affected as well, like the scalp and the palms but it is limited.
The exact and particular cause of hives are not known but it is believed that they develop as a result of an allergic reaction to certain stimulant such as pets, dust or food.
How Can Hives be Identified?
Hives are typically displayed as raised bumps also known as welts or wheals on the surface of the skin. They are immensely itchy with some experiencing a burning sensation.
Their size can range from small spots to medium in nature. Sometimes they might resemble a saucer.
Hives often cause puffiness or swelling including the toes and fingers. Sometimes swelling can occur in the eyelids as well.
These symptoms may occur rapidly.
The raised bumps or welts as they are known often appear on one portion of the body and spread quickly. Some people feel the sensation of shivers and goosebumps.
Hives may last for hours to a few days. Sometimes they may disappear, only to reappear hours later.
Severe allergic reactions accompanying hives may include swelling of the tongue and throat. In that case, it is advisable that you see a doctor immediately.
Identifying the Causes of Hives
In certain acute cases of hives, a history of the event needs to be recorded. How did the outbreak occur and other such things.
Was a specific food consumed, or any medication taken by the victim within hours or minutes before the symptoms appeared?
Was the victim bitten or stung by an insect shortly before the rash appeared?
Was the victim suffering from some kind of infection?
Or was the victim under severe stress before developing the hives?
In chronic cases of hives, the doctor may check blood and urine samples to establish that the person has hives.
The best ways to treat hives are antihistamines. These are administered orally and require frequent doses to bring the situation under control.
Small course of corticosteroids may be needed and in case the symptoms are severe, the victim might need epinephrine shots to bring about immediate relief.
Other drugs available for treating hives are doxepin and montelukast.
It can be said that hives are a common disease and human beings are easily affected by them. But with proper care and medication hives can be completely cured. The catch is to identify hives at the right time and take emergency steps to cure it.
But no delay should be done in resorting to medical help as it can aggravate very fast in some of the cases.