What are hives? the medical term for hives is Urticaria. This is a common condition that can affect up to 20% of the population at some time in their lives. Hives can occur in a number of shapes and sizes from a few millimeters to several inches in diameter. They are red, itchy lesions that are not dangerous but make many people miserable. Although hives themselves are not dangerous they may be an indication of a severe allergy which could be potentially hazardous.
Many times the cause of hives is not known but a common reason for getting them is an allergic reaction. When you have an allergic reaction your body releases histamines which causes blood vessels to contract. This results in the dilation of capillaries allowing fluid to leak into surrounding tissues. This fluid building up in the surrounding tissues causes the redness, swelling, and itchiness associated with hives.
Hives can be caused by a number of different allergens including food, animal dander, mold and pollen. for some people hives may also be triggered by heat, sweating, exposure to sunlight, or even stress. If you suspect that you have hives or if you’re not sure what’s causing them you should visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis and to learn about various treatment options.
Because hives are often caused by an allergic reaction, treatment will usually be in the form of antihistamines. in some severe cases oral steroids may be prescribed for short-term use. Other treatment options include topical creams and lotions that numb the nerve endings in your skin and help to relieve itching. There are many treatment options available without a prescription that can be very effective.
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