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Are Hives Contagious?

Medically known as urticaria, hives are itchy eruptions on the skin caused due to a number of reasons. Contrary to popular belief, hives are not contagious. Read on to know more about this subject.
Deeptee A
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Hives is a skin disorder in which the skin (apart from palms and soles) becomes red, swollen, and itchy. It can be caused due to a number of reasons, such as insect bite, allergies, infections, chemicals, viruses, bacteria, fungus, etc. One can see the formation of red welts of various shapes and sizes that usually appear suddenly. The welts may vary in size from a few millimeters to several inches and may join together to form larger areas known as plaques. All of us will not have the same allergies, hence it is difficult to say if it is contagious. However, if a person is suffering from hives, which has filled with pus, then do not touch the pus. The pus may not cause urticaria but may give rise to some other allergies. Another reason why this skin disorder is believed to be contagious is that the cause can be the same in two individuals. For example, if you and your sibling are both allergic to tomatoes, both of you may suffer from urticaria after eating food that contains tomatoes. However, this doesn't imply that urticaria can occur as a result of genes.
The welts or patches mostly appear on the tummy, back, arms, or legs. They appear suddenly when you come in contact with things you are allergic to and have a tendency to spread rapidly. Those that are temporary, lasting for a few minutes or days, are called ordinary hives. It is caused due to common allergies, like peanuts, berries, pollen, etc. Those that last longer than 5 weeks are known as chronic hives. They are known to last for quite a few months. Those caused due to cold or going out in the sun are called physical hives.
How to Get Rid of Hives
✔ For those who suffer from urticaria regularly due to specific allergies, should take some regular medication prescribed by the doctor. Whenever you get afflicted with this skin disorder, you can pop those pills or apply the particular ointment.
✔ Benadryl is said to help when you are suffering from this skin problem. However, consult your doctor before consuming it.
✔ Some other ways of treatment are applying some ice packs to soothe the inflammation, applying calendula ointment, and essential oils, like lemon oil, chamomile oil, etc. Include a lot of vitamin C in your diet.
✔ All these treatment options help in reducing the swelling and itching sensation. Have cold showers and cold water baths for a speedy recovery.
✔ Wear loose fitting clothes till you get rid of this problem completely.
✔ Once you know what you are allergic to, make it a point to stay away from it. Avoid the intake of food items you are allergic to.
✔ If you are on certain medication or drugs that are causing hives, talk to your doctor. Remember that medication will treat the symptoms and not the cause, which is why it's not advisable to go on taking powerful medications, as they may have other side effects.
Always remember to not self medicate. If you face severe symptoms, like asthma or difficulty in breathing, immediately seek medical assistance. Even if hives is not contagious, do not neglect it. Get it treated at the earliest using the appropriate intervention methods. Take care!!
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.