Hives and skin allergy is medically known as urticaria present in form of swollen bumps on the skin that appear instantly as a result of an allergen on the skin or in the body. The bumps will vary in size and will from a few hours to a day. Urticaria affects around 21% of the population at one point in their lives. Hives and skin allergy result from a number of allergens which include;
- Chemicals in food
- insect stings,
- exposure to sunlight
- certain medications
- Viral and Bacterial Infections
- Chronic illness
- Other factors
Hives are either acute or chronic depending on the amount of time they take to clear off. Acute hives will normally resolve on their own, but chronic cases take more than 6 weeks to clear off and may result in dizziness, breathing difficulties and swelling of the body parts like the face. In case its chronic urticaria it’s paramount to consult a physician immediately to lessen the effects of the allergy.
Types of hives
Acute Urticaria is the most common and last less than six weeks. It mainly results from food, medicine, and insect bites.
Physical Urticaria which results from physical contact with the allergen. Exposure to the sun, pressure on the skin are among the causes of this kind of urticaria
Chronic Urticaria lasts more than one month and its most commonly associated with thyroid diseases, hormonal problems, and cancer.
Treatment and Management of hives and skin allergy
One of the most important steps in curtailing the effect of the allergy is being able to identify the triggers and avoiding them. Visit the allergy physician if the allergic reaction continues for more than 6 weeks as this is considered chronic. Milder and less serious cases can be managed through simple home remedies as below;
- Bathing with anti-itch products
Soaking in a bath with the itch products will relieve the itching
- Wear loose clothing
Wear clothing that is not tight fitting to ease up the itching feeling and any irritation. Ensure that the clothes don’t irritate the skin further. Heat increases the urge to itch so it’s advisable to wear lighter clothes.
- Apply a cold compress
Use a towel wrapped in ice to relieve the itchy feeling
If the above home remedies don’t reduce the allergic reactions consider taking antihistamines or combination of medication as prescribed by the physician.
Diagnosis of Urticaria
Once you visit the allergy physician Manassas depending on your medical history the doctor may order a blood test, stool test, thyroid function test and liver test to ascertain the exact cause of the disease. Milder cases may not require testing as the physician will ask a question to identify the allergen.
What to avoid in case you have hives