Symptoms of hives Hives is a particular skin condition that appears like rings and patches on the body. The other name of hives is utricaria. Utricaria or hives is actually a harmless skin allergy which can also be referred to as rash.
This is an allergic reaction which makes the skin pale. The skin also gets swollen and patchy. It has been observed that about 16-20% people get affected by hives sometime or other in their lives. Symptoms of hives have been summarized here.
Why Do People Get Hives?
Hives is a particular skin allergy which is caused because the body’s immune system gets irritated and produces histamines as a result. The auto-immune system of the body goes on a trigger after it confronts an allergen.
The chemical substances that are produced on the skin owing to the allergic reaction may produce abnormal symptoms. As a result, people end up getting hives on the skin which are itchy as well.
Being allergic to certain foods or drugs or any other factors is due to genetic predisposition of the patient. Generally allergies run in families and a person with parents allergic to certain substances has higher chances of being allergic too. Thus, skin hives and their symptoms are commonly seen in families.
- Appearance: Skin hives rashes appear as raised and circular skin welts. They are itchy and appear as clustered bumps on the skin. The size of hives is generally ranging from a few millimeters to several centimeters.
- Location: Hives are generally found on the arms, trunk, neck and legs. It is usually observed that when hives of a particular area lessen in prominence, they soon reappear on other parts of the body.
Chronic Utricaria (Hives)
When the skin hives last for a longer time, say more than six weeks, then this particular condition is called as Chronic utricaria. This is a more severe case of hives where the actual cause of hives is not known.
In fact it gets more difficult to identify the actual cause of skin hives in chronic utricaria. For more detail click Chronic hives
What are First Symptoms of Hives?
As is true with any skin allergy, the mast cells of the skin begin to produce chemical called “histamine” which gives the appearance of hives on the skin. When the body has an allergic reaction of hives then there is a sudden onset of skin welts and raised red colored or pale colored bumps.
These bumps mostly resemble mosquito bites and are itchy too. In fact, most of the people first mistake skin hives as normal mosquito bites. But the glaring difference between skin hives and mosquito bites is that the sizes of the welts keep changing.
It is also seen that the location of the hives shift from legs to arms or vice-versa. These welts last for a day or so and keep changing their locations. Sometimes, severe forms of hives result in swelling in lips, moth area, face and the tongue. This is called as angioedema.
Face swelling: Swelling of the face is the most common symptom in hives where the patient gets swollen cheeks and the glands too get irritated.
Causes of Hives
Skin hives or utricaria is a harmless skin allergy which is mostly caused by allergens such as cat dander, insect bites, pollen grains, shell fish, nuts, tomatoes, soy, chocolates, berries or certain medications such as penicillin, sulfa, aspirin etc.
Some people are allergic to the above mentioned substances or to certain others which have not been listed here. After coming in touch with them either through consumption or through physical proximity, one may end up getting skin hives. The most common causes of skin hives are found to be pollen or animal dander.
There are certain other causes of skin hives which have been detected after serious investigation. They are hepatitis B, parasitic worms, certain grasses and plants, temperature fluctuations, wearing tight fitting clothes and certain drugs that the person has begun consuming.
Certain viral and fungal infections are also known to be causative of skin hives. Doctors have documented research that people who have been taking anti-convulsant drugs are sometimes allergic to them. They also may get red botchy patches of hives that get aggravated with further consumption of the drugs.
Some people might be allergic to sulfa drugs as well. In fact, sulfa drugs are the most common causes of allergic reactions such as skin hives. They are asked to stop taking them and another combination of drugs is then prescribed.
How to Solve The Problem of Hives?
The general method of treating skin hives is to identify the particular cause which has resulted in causing the skin condition. The general method of treating the skin problem, which is followed by doctors, is to firstly find out the actual cause of skin hives and then eliminating it from the food group or from the vicinity of the patient.
Doctors also advise patients to consume certain anti-histamine drugs and even corticosteroids which are found to be effective in very sever cases of skin hives. The common anti-histamines that are found to be very effective for treating mild cases of skin hives and solve the symptoms of hives are: Benedryl, Seldane, Tagament etc. newer innovative drugs are increasing gaining popularity to battle the problem of hives.
They may be easily available as over-the-counter medicines and should be taken as recommended over the foil. If the symptoms of hives persist, then it is advisable to seek the advice of the dermatologist. In cases of very chronic hives or chronic utricaria, doctors may inject the patient with solutions of epinephrine. These injections are preferred in cases the skin allergy gives rise to death-like situations.
Apart from these, avoiding areas where there is pollen or cattle dung which might have caused the hives reaction is a wiser way of getting rid of the symptoms. If you had been to a garden and suspect pollen as the culprit to have triggered hives, then take a cool shower. One you see hives symptoms, it is advisable to avoid wearing tight clothes, exercising the body or taking hot showers.
When Not to Worry About Hives
Symptoms of hives may not last for more than a week and soon the allergic reactions are found to abate with time. Thus, it is advisable to avoid the suspected allergen that might have triggered reaction with skin hives. However, if the symptoms of hives persist for more than a week, then one must seek the advice of a good dermatologist.
Treatment of hives involves a holistic approach to battle the symptoms and also prevent the recurrence of the skin allergy, hives. It is imperative to identify the causative allergen which might have triggered it and follow the advice of the doctor.