Hives are a condition which affects the skin. A person suffering with hives will start to itch on the surface of the skin and starts having red welts beginning to form. These symptoms start to form when one has an allergic reaction to food, items placed on the skin or certain medications. Hives is also known as Urticaria.
When one has an allergic reaction to food, medication, pollen and stress mast cells located in the blood stream release histamine. Histamine is a substance which is responsible for the itching and inflammation or swelling in the area.
Red welts or swelling on the skin is often the body’s natural reaction to a foreign invader.
Causes and triggers of hives breakouts
- Insect bites
- Pollen (grass, trees, etc)
- Foods ( fish, milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, soy, etc)
- Pet dander
- Medication (penicillin, sulfa drugs)
- Emotional stress
- Cold or sun exposure
Symptoms of hives
- Localized redness which varies in size
- Hives may come on go
Treatment for hives
Hives will usually disappear on they own without any necessary treatment.
Treatment will only be needed if swelling occurs around your throat as this swelling will block cause your trachea or airway’s diameter to reduce in size, making it difficult for you to breathe. In these cases an injection of epinephrine will need to be administered to reduce the swelling.
Tips to help reduce the swelling and itching
- Calamine lotion will help with the itching
- Avoid wearing tight fitted clothing
- Avoid hot water (baths or showers)