Hives is a skin condition in which red, itchy areas appears on the skin surface. Hives can be of varying sizes that ranges from a few millimeters to several inches. In the language of medical experts it is called Urticaria. it looks like a mosquito bite and often cause itching on the skin. they generally appear in clusters and their sizes tend to change with the time. Hives can appears anywhere on the body but the most affected areas are leg, back, torso and arms.
According to an estimate about 12-15% people around the globe will develop this problem in their entire lifespan. One trademark of hives is their tendency to change the size very rapidly. Also if they are fading in one area then there are chances then some other areas are going to be affected. Hives which are not in clusters often lasts for 24 hours only. Hives are harmless in most of the cases and can disappear itself with out any medication. The problem occurs when they persist more than a week and you are totally disturbed by the severe itching. In that case you probably need some medical care.
The root cause for hives is the histamine which is a chemical release by the mast cells of the body. Mast cells regularly release this chemical as a part of immunizing the skin to fight against micro-organisms and other foreign invaders. But sometimes allergies due to some foods or some other factors along with histamine can cause this fluid to leak through the blood vessels which leads to the swelling in the skin. some other factors include viral infections, insects’ bites and stings, latex and some times stress also.
Symptoms of Hives
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Appearance of red, itchy and raised areas on the skin.
- Appearance of circular weal looks like a mosquito bites.
- A cluster of weals is present.
- As one cluster fades the new one starts to appear.
Treatments for Hives
Hives are treated automatically by the body immune system but in acute cases you need treatment. Chronic hives are those if they last for six weeks or more. As we know that hives are caused by chemical called histamine so you can treat them by anti-histamine medication like benadryl (Diphenhydramine hydrochloride), Atarax (Hydroxyzine), Periactin (Cyproheptadine). If the hives still persists then it is advisable to go to a dermatologist.
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