Hives are itchy, red and raised skin surfaces which are allergic to the medicine or food. Hives is the common name given for the medical condition urticaria. The skin area becomes elevated with a blanched center. Hives will appear in various sizes and shapes. They extend from few millimeters to the some inches in the measurement of their diameter existing anywhere on the body. According to the statistics, nearly 20 percent of people are found to be developing urticaria. Hives are mostly seen in women than in men. Women are more in search of how to get rid of hives. The characteristic feature of hives is that they keep spreading from one place to the other. They may not be present at the initial place and will be transferred to another place in just few hours. A single hive will not exist more than 24 hours.
The hives that have started to appear in the morning might be disappearing in the afternoon and will be seen again during the latter part of the day. It is said that there are no other skin diseases that get solved so easily. The symptoms might not stay for long time when the patient approaches the doctor but the photograph of the symptoms at their worst stages and brief explanation of the history of the symptoms can be done by the person to allow the doctor to diagnose the symptoms.
The swelling that is present deep inside the skin might be accompanying the hives known as angioedema. The swelling or inflammation is observed in the feet and hands as well as on the eyes and lips. There are two types of hives called acute and chronic urticaria. The acute urticaria will get eliminated in about six to eight weeks while the chronic urticaria will be eliminated in more than six to eight weeks. The other forms of physically stimulated hives are known as cholinergic urticaria. These hives are known to generate few hundreds of tiny and itchy skin areas. They generally appear just after doing any physical exertion or exercise. These hives often appear in young people.
Symptoms of Hives
- The ordinary forms of hives suddenly flare up or become reddish in the surroundings for no reason.
- The welts created are present in several areas.
- The welts itch, swell, flare and disappear after some time and might appear somewhere else.
- This type of appearance and disappearance might be repeated for some days to some weeks.
- The hive episodes mostly remain for a period of less than six weeks.
- The limit timing of hives is arbitrary and it might end in about six weeks, which are often called as “chronic”.
- Hive is a red, itchy, circular and sponge like lesion that changes and evolve from few minutes to few hours.
- The size of the hives differs from smaller to bigger.
Causes of Hives
Most of the ordinary hives are called as idiopathic and will not have any cause. Some ordinary hives might be stimulated by the viral infections. Some of the ordinary hives are caused by the drugs and the medication has to be stopped if it is this case, as there is no test that can identify the association of drug with the hives. In the case where the drugs are stimulants of the hives, then they will go away when the drugs are stopped from being taken. If the hives do not get eradicated in spite of stopping the drugs then the medications are not the cause of hives.
Some of the drugs like codeine, morphine, NSAIDs and aspirin will trigger the secretion of histamine naturally by the body and cause urticaria through non-allergic mechanisms. If there is no association between the stimulant and the person suffering from hives then the allergy testing is not generally needed.
The chronic hives will appear from months to year period. This condition can be examined with the help of the information related to the medical history of the patient and the habits of the patient.
To understand the exact stimulants of this condition, it is necessary to examine the specific foods or drugs for one time to check whether they are actually involved in causing the chronic hives condition.
Some diseases that are systemic and the infections that are systemic are found to appear as hives.
Some forms of chronic urticaria can be identified by checking whether the person makes antibodies for the mast cell surface antigens.
The physical stimuli that can cause chronic urticaria results in the condition called as physical urticaria.
If the skin is scratched extensively, then it results in skin writing or dermographism. The areas where the skin is scratched will be itchy, reddish and raised along with the surrounding flares. These scratches are seen in the regions where the belt is worn or near the places where the clothes are rubbed against the skin to secrete the histamine through the mast cells.
The physical hives are very less common form of hives that are caused by water, cold and sunlight.
The other causes of hives might be insect bite, medications, animal dander, pollen, eggs, milk, shell fish, nuts, and other foods.
Some other causes include extreme cold, emotional stress, exposure to sun, extensive perspiration, illness due to autoimmune diseases or leukemia or lupus and infections such as mononucleosis.
Home remedies for hives
- Elimination of the stimulating agent: It is necessary to find out the actual reason for the hives condition. If the causal agent is identified, it becomes easy for fighting against the condition.
- Cool compression: The itching and pain on these areas can be relieved by compressing the regions using cool compressing agents.
- Calamine lotion: This lotion can bring relief from the itching sensation.
- Magnesia Milk: Rubbing the magnesia milk on the hives will bring some relief. The irritating sensation and the itchy nature of the hives can be eliminated by the use of milk of magnesia. The alkaline nature of this solution will provide relief.
- Herbal tea: The nerves have to be kept calm when the stress imposes much of discomfort to the person. Taking teas that are made from passionflower, peppermint, valerian, catnip and chamomile are found to be very beneficial for calming down the nerves.
- Corn starch: The tub consisting of warm water can be added with cornstarch taken in half a cup and baking soda. The person can lie in the warm water added with the above components for one time in a day.
- Aloe Vera gel: The hives region can be applied with the aloe vera gel or vitamin E oil for about two times in a day to be beneficial for them.
- Nettles: The “nettle tea” is made by using two teaspoons of stinging nettles that appear in the powdered form. The tea can be given flavor by adding lemon or honey.
- Cayenne pepper: The healing of the hives can be done by cayenne capsules. They consist of zinc, vitamin C and E for bringing quick relief.
- The person with hives has to take shower bath with cool water.
- A paste is made with the mixture of cornstarch taken in three table spoons and oatmeal taken in two cups. This paste can be applied for about 15 mints to half an hour.
- Water added with two teaspoons of turmeric powder can be taken every day. Turmeric acts as antihistamine and antioxidant agent for hives.
- The baby oils that are non-scented and usually plain are applied on the hives for relief.
- The hives can be reduced by reducing the allergic response by the usage of bromelain.
- The skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, acne, boils and hives are resolved using burdock.
- The infections causing hives can be alleviated by the herbal remedy called Chinese skullcap.
- The allergen sensitivity is alleviated for the person by taking this herbal remedy called Echinacea.
- The hives and other allergic responses are prevented by the use of ginger.
- The Berberis herb is ideal for the treatment of skin disorders and hives and for the itching and swelling.
- The allergic reactions and hives can be reduced using green tea.
- The inflammation of the allergic skin is reduced using a herb called as Quercetin.
- The swollen tissues, hives and eczema are alleviated using Schisandra, which is a Chinese herb.
- The hives are reduced by the use of the herb called as Yarrow.
Diet essential for hives
- The food that triggers the allergy has to be avoided: The foods such as peanuts, strawberries, eggs, berries, nuts, chocolates, tomatoes, shellfish, cheese, soy products have to be avoided. It is important to stop eating the food that is allergic to the person.