What is Hives ?
Urticaria, popularly known as urticaria, is a skin disease characterized by raised, itchy and reddened patches caused by skin reactions due to different conditions.
These red spots can vary in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters, and they can commonly merge with each other and cover a very large area on the skin. The spots may appear and disappear within 24 hours during the course of the disease. Hives are not contagious.
If the rash and blisters from hives persist for more than six weeks and recur frequently over months or years, the condition is considered chronic urticaria.
People with chronic hives can be very bothersome. It can interfere with sleep or daily activities. Antihistamines and anti-itch medications to be taken with the advice of a doctor can lead to relief in individuals suffering from the condition.
What Causes Hives ?
Hives rash and accompanying blisters are caused by the release of histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream by certain cells.
Medical professionals often cannot determine the cause of chronic urticaria or why acute urticaria sometimes becomes chronic. However, it is known that some of the triggering causes of rash on the skin are as follows:
-Insects or parasites
-Various types of food
-Prolonged pressure on the skin, like a rubber band
However, in some cases, chronic urticaria may be associated with another underlying medical condition such as thyroid disease or, rarely, cancer.
What Are the Symptoms of Hives ?
The most common of the signs and symptoms of chronic hives are red or skin-colored patches that can appear anywhere on the body. In addition, swellings that change in size, appear and disappear during the day, and very hard itching are another symptom.
Painful swelling of the lips, eyelids, and throat, ie angioedema, may also occur. It has been observed that the symptoms of hives intensify during fatigue, stress, heat and exercise.
Chronic urticaria may continue uninterruptedly for more than six weeks and recur over the years, but short-term, acute urticaria, appears suddenly and disappears within a few weeks.
If blisters and redness are seen that continue to appear for several days, it is absolutely necessary to consult a skin specialist, namely a dermatologist. Chronic urticaria by itself does not put the individual at risk of a serious allergic reaction, ie anaphylaxis.
However, emergency care may be required if the individual is showing signs of hives, among other symptoms, as part of a severe allergic reaction. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include dizziness, shortness of breath, and swelling of the lips, eyelids, and tongue.
How Is Hives Diagnosed ?
The diagnosis of hives is usually made after a physical examination by a dermatologist. The specialist will ask the patient a series of questions to understand why the signs and symptoms are caused.
However, in order to monitor the situation, the individual may be asked to keep a daily list of daily activities, medications, herbal remedies or supplements taken, eating and drinking during the diet, in which area the hives appear and how long they last, or whether the hives are accompanied by painful swellings.
As a result of the physical examination and medical history, if the doctor concludes that the hives are caused by a separate underlying medical problem, they may request a series of blood tests and skin tests.
How to Treat Hives ?
It is usually possible to find an effective treatment for hives. The doctor diagnosing hives will likely recommend treating the symptoms of the disease with antihistamines and taking self-care measures.
If these methods do not work, it is necessary to consult a doctor to determine the most suitable combination for the individual with prescription drugs.
Taking antihistamine drugs without a doctor's control can cause side effects. They can cause undesirable side effects, especially in pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, individuals with chronic medical conditions, or individuals taking other medications. For this reason, a doctor should be consulted before starting to use any medication.
In addition to antihistamines, histamine blockers, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, monoclonal antibodies and immunosuppressive drugs are used in the treatment of chronic urticaria in advanced stages.
Lifestyle Changes for Hives
Chronic urticaria may persist for months or years. It can disrupt the sleep pattern of the individual and become a way to interfere with his daily life. A few simple precautions can help prevent or soothe recurrent skin reactions of chronic urticaria:
-Avoiding known triggers
-Wearing loose, loose and light clothing.
-Avoid scratching the skin.
-Relieve the affected area by washing, fanning, using a cool, damp cloth, or with lotion or anti-itch cream.
-Avoid using harsh soaps.