Information About The Causes Of Hives

An allergic reaction skin hives is very common. Hives are also known as urticaria. It is estimated that 15-20% of all people will be affected by hives at some point in their lifetime.

Hives are the result of an allergic reaction in the skin. When hives occur, blood leaks out of blood vessels under the skin. The cause of this is a chemical called histamine that is released by mast cells under the skin. Identifying the trigger or causes of the allergic reaction skin hives can be difficult. In many cases, the causes of hives are never determined.

Hives can occur anywhere on the body, and can range in size from few millimeters to a foot or more in diameter. They can burn or sting, and are almost always itchy. Often, they will come and go, and change size very rapidly. You may wake up in the morning feeling fine, by lunch have a bad looking outbreak, and by dinnertime look fine again. Then later in the evening they can reappear again.

As we said, an allergic reaction skin hives is very common. We will now go over the types and causes of hives.

Types Of Hives (Urticaria)

There are basically two types of hives, ordinary hives (ordinary urticaria) and physical hives (physical urticaria).

  • Ordinary hives appear suddenly, and for no apparent reason. They usually appear in several places on the body, swell and turn red, and are itchy. They come and go, and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Episodes of ordinary hives can last from a few days to weeks. If they last more than 6 weeks, then they are considered chronic. Chronic hives can last months or years, and usually the cause is never identified.
  • Physical hives occur when something stimulates the skin. Physical hives caused by scratching are referred to as dermatographism. Other stimuli that can cause physical hives include heat or cold, sunlight, exercise, pressure or water.

Cause Of An Allergic Reaction Skin Hives

The following are the most common causes of hives:

  • Ordinary hives. Foods such as nuts, fish, chocolate, berries, or milk are common triggers. Other possible triggers include: insect bites, viral infections, or a medication.
  • Chronic hives. Despite allergy testing and other advanced laboratory tests, the cause of chronic hives is usually never determined.
  • Physical hives. The most common triggers are cold, sun and water.
  • Other triggers of hives include: stress, deodorant or perfume, pets, fungus, bacteria, or a disease.

Now that we have discussed the types and causes of allergic reaction skin hives, it is important to discuss treatment.

Treatment For Urticaria

When you first get an allergic reaction skin hives, you should see your doctor. A doctor can run tests and try to identify the causes of hives. Most often the doctor will not be able to determine the cause. However, if it is the result of a medication or a viral infection, it is easily treatable.

If no cause can be found, then doctors usually recommend an antihistamine or a steroid to relieve the symptoms. The goal of this treatment is to relieve the symptoms, and hope that the hives go away by themselves. There are no approved medications that will cure hives, and there is no guarantee that they will go away on their own. There is only hope.

There are two problems with this approach: First – these medications are not a cure, they only treat the symptoms. Second – is that steroids and antihistamines can have severe side effects. They are not intended for long-term use.

For this reason, many people look into alternative and natural treatments. Natural treatments have no dangerous side effects, and for many people, can be an effective treatment for hives.

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If you have any questions about an allergic reaction skin hives, please write to us. If you need more information about the causes of hives (urticaria), please contact us.

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