What are Urticaria Skin Hives(Allergies Rashes)?
What are Hives?
Hives, or “wheals”, are pale red swellings of skin, as small as a peanut to as large as
a plate, that occurs in groups on any part of the skin. Each hive lasts a few hours before fading without a trace. New areas may develop as old areas fade.
What are the types of Hives?
Acute (new or periodic episodes lasting fewer than 6 weeks) and chronic (periodic episodes lasting more than 6 weeks).
How does a Hive form?
Hives are formed by blood plasma leaking out of small blood vessels in the skin. This is caused by the release of chemical called histamine. Histamine is released from cells called “mast cells” that lie along the blood vessels in the skin. Allergic reactions, chemicals in foods, or medications can cause histamine release.
What are the trigger factors?
Sometimes it’s impossible to find out why hives are forming. Hives can be triggered by many things, including:
- Medications, especially aspirin, and anti-inflammatory drugs, or antibiotics
- Infections with viruses, bacteria, or fungi
- Environmental allergies such as insect bites, pollen, or animal dander
- Physical exposures such as heat, cold, water, sunlight, or pressure
- A medical condition such as blood diseases, or cancer
- Food allergies, such as strawberries, eggs, nuts, or shellfish
In up to 90% of outbreaks of hives, a trigger is never found despite extensive testing; these cases are referred to as idiopathic urticaria. In approximately 50% of idiopathic urticaria outbreaks, hives are most likely caused by a reaction from the person’s own immune system (autoimmune reaction).
Who’s at risk?
Hives are very common – 10-20 percent of the population will have at least one episode in their lifetime.
Acute hives are most common in children and young adults, and chronic hives are more often seen in females, especially middle-aged women.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Hives can affect any skin surface. Hives appear as well-defined, pink-to-red swellings ranging in size from 2 mm to over 30 cm. Hives usually appear in groups or batches. Individual lesions of hives disappear within 24 hours, though a single episode may last much longer.
Dermographism is a type of hives that appears within a few minutes of scratching the skin. The rash usually appears in a straight line (linear) pattern.
Swelling of the eyes, mouth, hands, feet, or genitals can sometimes occur with hives. This swelling, called angioedema, usually goes away within 24 hours.
Hives is usually an itchy rash that can also burn or sting.
What is the treatment?
Try to discover and avoid any triggers of your hives.
Try to notice if it improves or worsens with exposure to heat, cold, pressure, or vibration. Take a list of every medication (prescription or over-the-counter), supplement, or herbal remedy you may have taken recently. Also, recall any recent illnesses you might have had, since some illnesses (or their treatments) can trigger hives.
The doctor will take a detailed medical history and may do blood tests, urine tests, or X-rays.
However, most people with hives do not know the cause, and they require medications.
The most common medications for hives include:
- Sleep-causing (sedating) type-1 antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, or cetirizine
- Non-sleep-causing (non-sedating) type-1 antihistamines such as loratadine, fexofenadine, or desloratadine
- Type-2 antihistamines such as ranitidine, cimetidine, or famotidine
- Montelukast, zafirlukast, or zileuton
- In rare situations, the doctor might prescribe a short course of oral corticosteroid pills.
How much would the treatment for urticaria cost?
The cost of treatment is dependent upon the mode of treatment administered.
A single consultation with Dr. Rinky Kapoor would be chargeable at about INR 1000/-.
For more information on Dr. Rinky Kapoor’s work, click on:
About Dr. Rinky Kapoor
Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Co-founder of The Esthetic Clinic, is one of the best dermatologists in the world & currently practices in Mumbai, India. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr. Kapoor is trained at the National Skin Centre, Singapore & at Stanford University, USA. A celebrity skin doctor, Dr. Rinky Kapoor has won many honors such as “Best Dermatologist Mumbai”, “Top 10 Cosmetologist India”, etc for her evidence based expert dermatology care, affordable & reliable skin care, hair care & nail care …Read more
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