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Hives on Skin

Hives on skin or urticaria is a skin disorder which can cause a lot of itchiness and burning. Mentioned in this article are the causes and the treatment for hives.
Pragya T
Hives on skin look like red bumps, which are caused due to an allergic reaction. This allergic reaction causes the body to release certain chemicals which makes the skin swell up to form these red bumps. People suffering from other allergies are more prone to this skin condition. Though hives are pretty common skin allergies, one needs to treat them immediately to prevent aggravating this condition. They can occur on any part of the skin, and look like an itchy rash of pink or reddish bumps. Sometimes the symptoms disappear on their own.
Causes
Listed below are the common factors which can trigger itchy hives.
  • Certain medications can lead to this condition. Such medications can be aspirin, ibuprofen, antibiotics, or narcotic painkillers.
  • Sometimes urticaria can occur due to infection from fungi, bacteria, or viruses.
  • The allergies from insect bites, pollen, grains, mold, or animal dander can also lead to this skin reaction.
  • Sometimes exposure to sunlight, heat, cold, or water can also cause this skin condition.
  • People suffering from medical conditions like cancer, blood diseases, or gland diseases can be affected.
  • Many times food allergies from certain foods are to be blamed. The foods responsible for this skin disorder are nuts, eggs, shellfish, or strawberries.
  • Stress is another cause which can cause itching hives.
Treatment
Here are some natural remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) medication for treatment of this condition.
Natural Remedies: If you observe a hive rash or bumps, then take a cool shower to prevent it from further spreading or apply an ice compress 2 - 3 times a day to the affected area and around it. Heat stimulates histamines which cause the allergic reaction, so therefore avoid taking a bath with hot water. Wear protective gear, if you are getting hives due to bee or other insect stings. Maintain a diary of the foods you eat and try to figure out which are the foods giving you this allergic reaction. Also, discontinue use of any cosmetics for skin care and only use a mild soap and cold water in case you wish to wash the affected area. It is important that you use mild and unscented detergents to wash your clothes to avoid the possibility of chemicals which might be coming from your fabrics. Also, understanding the reason behind this skin disorder is important, as you can try to avoid the cause for you developing these hives on your body.
OTC Treatment: As hives are caused due to histamines, you can buy some oral antihistamines over the counter for allergy relief like Chlor-trimeton or Benadryl. However, these might make you drowsy, so you can consult a doctor to get a prescription of non-drowsy antihistamines. For people who are suffering from hives due to the stress factor, the drowsy type of antihistamines are a good idea, as you might prefer sleeping through your symptoms. Also for stress-related hives, doctors prescribe the medicine which is a combination of antidepressant and antihistamine.
Though, this skin disorder is common, it is important that you contact your family doctor or a dermatologist in case the condition doesn't get better with the home remedies that you have used or if your symptoms worsen.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.