Home :: Skin Disorders :: Hives

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment for Hives

What are hives?

Percentagewise, allergic reactions of varying severity account for asignificant portion of emergency room visits. Patients can have allergic reactions to a wide variety of substances: foods, cosmetics, lotions, plants, pollens, animal danders, medications, bee stings, ant bites, injectable radiopaque contrast material, and even the fabric softener or detergent used on clothes. It cannot be overstated that we are all exposed to a great number of potential allergens daily.

Some individuals suffer from "hives." A skin reaction that results in slightly elevated patches that are redder or paler than the surrounding skin and often are accompanied by itching.

Causes of Hives

Hives may develop, when you have an allergic reaction to a substance, histamine and other chemicals are released into your bloodstream, causing itching, swelling, and other symptoms.

Hives can be triggered by exercise, heat, cold, stress, insect bites, and exposure to any number of potential allergens like pollen, shellfish, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, and other foods.

Symptoms of Hives

  • Welts (bumps on skin) come and go on the skin or mucous membranes.
  • These welts may enlarge, spread, and join together to form larger areas of flat, raised skin. They can also change shape, disappear, and reappear within minutes or hours. The welts tend to start suddenly and resolve quickly. When you press the center of a red welt, it blanches (turns white).
  • Welts are often accompanied by itching.

Treatment of Hives

Evaluation will include a patient history to determine any potential exposures to unusual foods, exposures to pet or insect bites, or use of any new medication. Skin tests may be helpful later but are not used during the reaction.

Treatment is with antihistamines (i.e. Benadryl) and adrenalin shots where appropriate. Steroid medications (methylprednisolone) may be given intravenously to the victim of a more serious allergic reaction.

Repeat doses of medications are frequently necessary when dealing with a food allergy. Longer acting antihistamines (Seldane, Hismanal, Atarax) are useful for the longer term management of allergic symptoms.

Sometimes antihistamines are coupled with a histamine H2 blocker, such as cimetidine, for a more powerful effect.

Mild urticaria (hives) can be treated safely with an antihistamine (Benadryl) and a skin cream (i.e. Caladryl or Calamine).

Prevention of Hives - Some tips

  • Avoid the substances that trigger hives. If you know in advance that you will be exposed to a trigger, a preventive dose of antihistamine can prevent or minimize the hives.
  • Don't wear tight-fitting clothing and avoid hot baths or showers just after an episode of hives.
  • Be moderate in your intake of sweets, chocolate, starches and greasy food and food to which you might be sensitive. If you break out into hives the day after you eat fish or prawns or in bumps when you've indulged in an orgy or chocolate, you know which food to restrict in your diet.

Also see: Home remedies for Hives

Note: Why not join our forums and keep learning many interesting things while having fun with other forum members? Believe us, you'll just love it. We have over 20,000 members and 70,000+ posts and it is still growing everyday.

Send Page to a Friend

Our Latest Comprehensive Guides
Hair Colouring Gone Wrong
Makeup Tips For A Photogenic Look
Is It Worth Splurging on Beauty Products?
A Guide to Makeup Foundation Primer
Beauty Quick Fixes That Every Woman Should Know
All Natural Hair Treatments for Winters
Nail Care
Facial Massage
Face Masks
Blush: Blusher & Makeup Tips
Skin Types
Punk Hairstyles
Body Care
Home Skin Care
Curly Hair
Homemade Acne Solutions
Celebrity Makeup Tips
Beauty Solutions With Vodka
Beauty Solutions of Coconut Oil

Subsribe to our newsletter and stay tuned with ultimate-cosmetics.com.

Whats up on our blog?

Reader's Favorite Tip
Unable to select database