Essential Information on Hives and Treatments
Hives, caused normally by an allergen, is a type of skin rash, though it is harmless. Hives is a skin allergy and its main symptom is a grouping of painful welts on the skin. These welts are circular and come in different diameters ranging from a matter of millimeters to several centimeters. Areas of the body commonly affected by hives are the throat, arms and legs. 16% of the population experience this skin allergy at a point in their lives.
Hives can be caused due to contact with an irritating substance, such as a plant like poison ivy. Other times hives occur due to certain immune responses to food. Stress can also cause hives to outbreak.
Though hives is usually an allergic reaction, they can form anytime a person is exposed to something that makes their body release histamine. A liquid leaks from blood vessels beneath the skin when the body is triggered to release histamine. The bumps on the skin form when the liquid pools together. The bumps are what are known as hives.
Hives occur quickly. It begins as an itchy rash, then turns into a batch of pink welts. The itching can be so severe that it causes people to stop working and sleeping.
Hives happen when one has an allergic reaction to a specific substance and it is important to find out what that substance is. Hives is easier to treat when the allergen is known.
Since stress adds to the severity of hives, it is important to soothe the nerves. A variety of teas like peppermint or passionflower can help a great deal. Some people get great results by soothing their nerves with other teas like chamomile and valerian.
If a case of hives is very severe, specifically if swelling is occurring in the throat, an emergency shot of steroids or epinephrine might be necessary. When the throat contains hives, it can obstruct the airway and make it challenging to breathe.
Stress management, a psychological treatment, often helps subside the symptoms of hives, making them less severe. Stress management along with an over-the-counter antihistamine work well together when fighting hives. If hives continue for more than six weeks, it is a good idea to get into a stress management program on top of taking antihistamines.
If stress management mixed with antihistamines is failing, there is the option to get a prescription for oral corticosteroids, which is obtainable through a physician. Due to safety issues with steroids, they can only be administered for short-term use, meaning they’ll only subdue the symptoms of hives for a brief period of time.
Keeping track of other medications that are being taken while taking antihistamines or steroids is vital, and it is advisable to seek a professional opinion regarding all medications that are being taken at once to make sure there will not be any chance of toxic drug interactions.
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