Hives also known as Urticaria is an outburst of red, swollen marks that are often caused by allergies and/or skin reactions. Hives can be chronic and usually cause itching, burns and can interrupt one’s sleep and daily activities.

Typically, hives can appear on any part of the body. They come in various sizes and usually last for a period of one day before disappearing except of course, for cases that are chronic which may last longer and keep reoccurring.

Types of Hives

Hives can either be mild or chronic. Some of the common types of hive include:

  1. Acute Urticaria: This is the most common type of hive which usually lasts for a period of fewer than 6 weeks. Although acute urticarial can affect any part of the body, it typically affects the neck, face, fingers, and toes.
  • Chronic Urticaria: Although not as common as the aforementioned, chronic urticaria is estimated to affect 1 in every 1000 people. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/157260.php Typically, it lasts for a period of 6 weeks and/or more depending on severity.

The causes of chronic urticarial are difficult to identify but have been linked to possible immune disorders such as thyroid diseases. Also identified as factors that could cause chronic urticarial are viruses.

Other known triggers/causes of hives include:

  • Medications
  • Insect bites
  • Latex
  • Pollen
  • Bacterial infection
  • Certain types of medication (e,g antibiotics)
  • Certain foods such as eggs and wheat products. (Source)
  • Physical urticaria: This type of hive is usually caused by factors that directly stimulate the skin such as heat, cold, pressure, exercise, etc. They usually affect only the part or parts of the body that that was stimulated.
  • Dermatographism: This is also a very common type of hive which appears after one itches the skin hard or firmly.

Signs and Symptoms of Hives

  1. Presence of red welts on specific parts of the body or on every part.
  2. Reoccurring episodes of welts appearing in different colors, shapes, and sizes.
  3. Skin irritations which may cause severe itching.
  4. Throbbing or hurtful swelling of body parts such as the lips and eyelids.

Treatment/Management of Hives

For the most part, hives are often managed using effective homely treatment measures. Only a few cases which are chronic will require medical attention. Some of the effective home remedies include:

  • To help reduce the intensity and or provide relief from itching, you can apply a cold, damp cloth to the affected areas. This can be done as often as possible.
  • Bathe with Anti-itching solutions or apply some little antiseptic disinfectants such as Dettol to your bathing water these helps reduce irritation.
  • Aloe vera has been shown to contain elements that can help soothe and reduce hives. Applying aloe vera to affected parts can come in handy.
  • As the popular saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Try avoiding irritants or things that will either trigger or stimulate hives e,g perfumes, exposure too sun.

Sources:

WebMD  https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/hives-urticaria-angioedema#3

Mayo Clinics: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/157260.php

Medical News: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-hives/symptoms-causes/syc-20352719

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