Hives are bothersome condition caused when our body responds to histamines. As a reaction, the body releases blood plasma out of vessels in the skin. There are several causes for histamine release, including exposure to sun, allergic reactions, insect stings, certain chemicals in foods, medications and many other factors. Usually hives or urticaria can last for days and weeks, and it all depends on the type of the hives. Once you learn to distinguish them, you are better prepared to treat and handle hives. Hives display on the body as pale red bumps on the skin, causing itching or stinginess.
Types of hives
There is no place on the body where hives cannot manifest. They can appear anywhere, including tongue, ears and lips. The following are the common types of hives.
Acute hives last less than six weeks, and are usually caused by food, infections and medications. Some of the foods that cause acute urticaria include chocolate, fish, nuts, fresh berries, milk and tomatoes. It is worth noting that fresh foods are more common cause for hives than cooked foods. Acute urticaria can also be caused by medications such as aspirin and other types of anti inflammatory drugs.
The cause for chronic urticaria is harder to determine. Chronic hives can last more than six weeks, and the cause might never be identified. However, some of the common causes include thyroid disease, infection, cancer or hepatitis. Besides the external area of the skin, chronic hives can affect internal organs as well. Some of the organs affected by chronic urticaria are muscles and lungs. Shortness of breath, diarrhea and soreness are the symptoms for alert.
Physical hives are caused by stimulation of the skin and appear on the spot where the skin was stimulated. Some forms of direct physical stimulation include exposure to sun, sweating, pressure, cold or heat, and vibration. You can notice the hives just one hour after the exposure to direct stimulation.
The cause for dermatographism is the human. We are the sole responsible individuals for dermatographism. The condition occurs as a result of stroking or scratching the skin. Dermatographism is a sub form of physical urticaria and can occur with other forms.
Causes for panic
While there is no need to panic and call a doctor immediately, sometimes, hives can cause severe problems. For example, if you notice dizziness, shortage of breath, tightness in the chest and swelling on parts of the body such as lips and tongue, it is time to sound the alarm.
First aid help with hives
The treatment for hives and urticaria is to consume antihistamines. However, while you wait for your physician to prescribe antihistamines and begin the treatment, you can do manage the pain/stress yourself. For example, a common way to treat hives is to apply cool compresses on affected areas. Don’t forget to wear loose lightweight clothes that do not irritate the skin.