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Chronic Hives Basic, Treatment and Cure

What is Hives?

Hives are a sign that the whole body is experiencing a hypersensitivity reaction. Hives occur when the body's capillaries and tiny veins get leaky. Fluid escaping from some of these blood vessels becomes trapped in parts of the skin and lining membranes of the body, causing localized swelling.

Hives themselves are not contagious, but the triggers of hives, especially viruses, bacteria, and parasites, may be contagious.

What are the causes of Hives?

When you have an allergic reaction to a substance, histamine and other chemicals are released into your bloodstream, causing itching, swelling, and other symptoms. Hives are a common reaction, especially in people with other allergies like hay fever.

Allergic reactions, chemicals in foods, insect stings, sunlight exposure, or medicines can all cause histamine release. Sometimes it's impossible to find out exactly why hives have formed.

Hives may also develop from:

  • Infections like mononucleosis or illness (including lupus, other autoimmune diseases, and leukemia)
  • Emotional stress
  • Extreme cold or sun exposure
  • Excessive perspiration

What are the symptoms of Hives?

The following are the symptoms of hives:

  • Nettle rash usually starts out as an itchy spot on the skin.

  • After a few minutes the weals develop into areas of reddish blisters of varying sizes.

  • The rash usually lasts for about two to three hours and can then disappear only to return in a different place.

What are the types of Hives?

There are different types of hives. Some of them are listed below:

  • Acute urticaria
  • Solar urticaria
  • Pressure urticaria
  • Chronic urticaria and angioedema
  • Physical urticaria
  • Dermatographism

What are the Treatment of Hives?

The best treatment for hives and associated swelling is to identify and remove the trigger, but this is not an easy task. Treatment may not be needed if the hives are mild. They may disappear on their own. To reduce itching and swelling:

  • Apply cool compresses to the welts. This may reduce swelling and pain. If a large part of your body is affected, soak in a cool bath. Avoid hot baths or showers.
  • Avoid irritating the area with tight-fitting clothing.
  • Apply Calamine lotion.
  • Take antihistamines - Sometimes antihistamines are coupled with a histamine H2 blocker, such as cimetidine, for a more powerful effect.
  • For severe hive or angioedema outbreaks, an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) or a cortisone medication may be needed.

If your reaction is severe, especially if the swelling involves your throat, you may require an emergency shot of epinephrine (adrenaline) or steroids. Hives in the throat can obstruct your airway, making it difficult to breathe.

What are the preventive measures for Hives?

The best way to prevent another bout of hives is to identify your child's triggers and avoid them. If you know in advance that your child will be exposed to a trigger, a preventive dose of antihistamine can prevent or minimize the hives. Avoid exposure to substances that give you allergic reactions. Don't wear tight-fitting clothing and avoid hot baths or showers just after an episode of hives. These can both cause the hives to return.



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