Chronic Urticaria Or Hives: How To Diagnose And Treat
Urticariaor hives are common in children and adults. Urticaria is usually short lasting and occurs in association with viral infections. In some children urticaria occurs repeatedly or happens continuously for more than 4-6 weeks. This form of Urticaria is described as chronic urticaria. Chronic urticaria is a disturbing allergic condition of the skin. Chronic urticaria is usually not a serious condition but occasionally can be a red flag sign of a serious internal disease.
What are the types of Chronic Urticaria seen in children? Chronic Urticaria can be spontaneous or idiopathic where the cause of urticaria is not exactly known. The other form of urticaria is a chronic inducible urticaria which occurs in response to cold, heat, sunlight or pressure.
What is the most common cause of chronic urticaria? The most common cause of chronic urticaria in children is idiopathic, which means that the reason for chronic urticaria is not exactly known to science.
Is chronic urticaria a sign of an underlying serious disease in children? Chronic Urticaria can be a sign of an underlying serious disease in some children. The most frequent diseases associated with chronic urticaria in children are auto-immune diseases. Common auto-immune diseases associated with urticaria are autoimmune thyroid disease, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
How Do We Treat Hives
The best way to treat hives is to prevent them in the first place your child should avoid the food or medication that caused them.
Beyond that, specific treatments will vary based on your child’s age, health, and medical history, the extent of your child’s disease, his tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies, and, of course, your own opinions and preferences. Your child’s physician may prescribe:
- antihistamines such as Benadryl or Atarax, which help to decrease histamine release and, therefore, symptoms of urticaria
- non-sedating antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Claritin, which work similarly to antihistamines but ordinarily without making your child drowsy
If your child is having trouble breathing, your child’s physician might use an injection of epinephrine to help decrease the itching and swelling your child’s physician might also prescribe an emergency kit with epinephrine to keep on hand in case of future episodes.
The Wonder Of Baking Soda
If you love baked foods or baking, you would know about the properties of baking soda. It is an easily available item. Baking soda has sodium bicarbonate which has been used as a skin soother since ancient times.
Mix a little portion of baking soda into water. Then rub the paste on your rashes to free your skin from irritation and itching. You can also take a bath with baking soda mixed with water. It has valuable therapeutic properties and can largely help with hives.
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Urticaria Home Remedies: How To Take Care Of Hives At Home
There is an old philosophical saying- Fill whats empty, Empty whats full, Scratch what itches. But hold on, dont scratch everything that itches. Why? Because you may have hives. So instead of causing more harm to your skin, use these effective urticaria home remedies and make your hives disappear.
Do you feel extreme irritation under your skin? Do your hands turn pale abruptly? Do you see red colored bumps appear on your body all of a sudden? If you are nodding your head along in agreement, this article is for you. If you feel the presence of the above signs then there are chances that you may have urticaria.
Urticaria is commonly known as hives. These are red swollen rashes that you may be tempted to scratch. They make your skin itchy and irritable. They are triggered by allergens. The allergens make the body releases a protein called histamine. This protein is the basic reason behind urticaria.
You would want to heal your hives with the best possible methods. Dont worry, read on and learn how to take care of hives at home.
Why Infusion For Health Is A Leader For Urticaria Treatment
One common question about receiving injection therapy is, Is it expensive? Due to our teams experience working with insurance companies and finding financial assistance, patients at Infusion for Health pay 53% less on average than they would for the same treatment at a hospital.
Even better, the treatment is received in a much more relaxing, comfortable environment.
Heres what to expect when you receive your treatment at Infusion for Health:
- First, our knowledgeable, friendly staff will help you schedule your appointment at a convenient time. If you need to reschedule, thats no problem.
- When you arrive for your session, youll be greeted and taken to your private suite. There, youll be able to watch a big screen TV in a comfy recliner. Need a drink, blanket, or snack? Were happy to provide one.
- After your session, well give you clear instructions about your next steps. Well also collaborate with your doctor, so any important information is shared.
We truly believe that patients come first, so your care, safety, and comfort are at the center of everything we do. Thats why everyone at Infusion for Health is dedicated to giving you high-quality care in a relaxing environment. If you need infusion therapy for urticaria, learn more about planning your visit to Infusion for Health.
Infusion For Health offers exceptional infusion therapy services in comfortable, convenient, and safe locations throughout the U.S.
Chronic Urticaria And Chronic Angioedema
Chronic urticaria and chronic angioedema last for more than 6 weeks .
In these conditions, a person will typically experience daily, or almost daily, symptoms without an allergic, infectious, or drug-related cause.
A Guide To Treating Hives Naturally And Effectively
An allergic reaction to something usually causes hives. The most common form of treatment for hives is antihistamine medication. However, Who can use other natural remedies for hives to treat the symptoms of urticaria. These include:
Hives are skin rashes that can be caused by a variety of factors, such as allergies, stress, or medicines. Hives are often red with white or yellow centers. If you have hives, you may be able to treat them naturally and effectively with home remedies. There are many ways to get rid of hives and treat urticaria naturally. These include:
Allergies often induce hives but can also be caused by stress, medications, or certain foods. Hives typically appear as raised red bumps on the skin that may itch or burn. There is no cure for hives, but there are treatments that can help manage symptoms and reduce the frequency of outbreaks.
The most common treatment for hives is antihistamine medication. There are many different types of antihistamines available over the counter and through prescription. Antihistamines block histamine in the body, reducing inflammation and itchiness.
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Can Hives Occur Anywhere Else
Hives can also cause deeper swellings in the skin and mucosa, this is called angioedema. These swellings are often bigger, last longer, may itch less, sometimes hurt or burn and respond less well to antihistamines. Large swellings over joints, for example, can cause pain that feels like arthritis, even if the joint is not involved. Angioedema most frequently affects the face and lips. Although hives and facial swelling can be uncomfortable and cosmetically embarrassing, they are not usually dangerous. Information on angioedema is available on the ASCIA website.
Remedies And Treatments For Hives
Managing a case of hives can involve relying on home remedies and over-the-counter medication. You may also try making small lifestyle changes to lessen the instances of coming across a trigger that will make your skin erupt in hives.
Over-the-Counter Oral Antihistamines
Antihistamines work on histamine, which is released by mast cells â a certain type of immune system cell â in the presence of an allergen or an irritant.
Anti-Itch Creams and Lotions
However, some people can be sensitive to certain topical medications. Children may have a bad reaction to corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone cream. Topical treatment is also not recommended if the affected area is sore, infected, or features an open wound. Hives with these features may only worsen if you treat them with lotions or creams.
Cooling Home Treatments
When you have hives, a cooling sensation may comfort you and draw your attention away from the discomfort caused by skin irritation. Apply cold and wet compresses, use ice on the affected areas, or take a cold bath.
You may also keep some over-the-counter lotions and creams in the fridge, so itâs cool to the touch when you need to apply it on your skin.
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Fast Facts On Dermatographia:
- The condition is commonly referred to as skin writing.
- Episodes of dermatographia usually come and go quickly.
- In people with this condition, rubbing or scratching the skin with a finger causes welts that resemble writing.
- Dermatographia hives frequently appear on the scalp, in the genital area, and on the soles of the feet.
The consensus among medical professionals is that dermatographia is an allergic reaction when specific antibodies are released in response to scratching, pressure, or mild irritation of the skin. This response prompts the release of histamines, which cause the welts.
In general, researchers do not expect to find a strong genetic link to dermatographia, although of those surveyed in a recent study reported a family history of the condition.
Skin writing is often seen in young adults.
The following factors may make the condition worse:
- alcohol use
More than 80 percent of those contacted by researchers in this study said their symptoms were worse at night.
The reaction develops rapidly, within 5 to 7 minutes after the skin is disturbed. It typically disappears within 15 to 30 minutes, although sometimes the welts may last longer.
Welts or hives erupt where the skin has been irritated, rubbed, or scratched, and in areas where clothes rub against the skin, such as shirt collars and cuff lines or sock lines.
These raised marks on the skin appear in a straight-line and are called linear weals. If a general pressure is a cause, the rash is more diffuse.
How Can I Prevent Hives And Swelling
Allergy tests can help your healthcare provider figure out which substances bring on hives and swelling. Once you know your triggers, you can avoid them. You may want to:
- Cut certain foods or liquids out of your diet.
- Reduce exposure to airborne allergens.
- Switch to detergents and soaps without scents or dyes.
- Avoid extreme changes in temperature.
- Relax and take a break when youre stressed or overworked.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
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What Are The Different Kinds Of Hives
Hives fall into two categories on the basis of the time they have been present:
- acute urticaria and
- chronic idiopathic urticaria .
Since hives are so common and acute urticaria, by definition, resolves spontaneously, physicians do not generally expend much time or expense to evaluate the cause of hives of less than eight weeks’ duration.
What Causes Hives And Swelling
Allergens can causes these reactions. An allergen is a substance your body doesnt like, and your bodys immune system reacts by releasing chemicals called histamines. Histamines are a chemical made by allergy cells and other immune cells that goes into overdrive to get rid of the allergen. But your body may respond to the flood of histamines by having an allergic reaction that causes hives and swelling.
People get hives and angioedema from all kinds of things, including:
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About Hives Or Urticaria
Hives or urticaria are raised spots that form a very itchy rash. Theyre usually harmless.
Hives develop when the body releases histamines. The histamine makes small blood vessels in the skin open up and leak fluid, which forms raised patches on the skin surface.
Hives can have several causes.
They might be caused by an allergic reaction.
Your child might also develop hives because of heat, or tight-fitting or scratchy clothing, particularly if your child has eczema.
Some children develop hives for no obvious reason.
Hives are very common but not contagious.
Acute Urticaria And Acute Angioedema
Acute urticaria is a short-lived type of hives. In this condition, rashes last less than 6 weeks and usually occur due to an adverse or allergic reaction to certain foods or medications. Urticaria only affects the upper layer of the skin, called the dermis.
Infections and insect bites can also cause this type of rash.
Angioedema is the rapid swelling of the area beneath the skin, known as the mucosa. A person with hives will not always experience this type of swelling. Angioedema can occur with many different disorders.
Acute angioedema can occur with acute urticaria and is essentially anaphylaxis of the subcutaneous tissues. It is a very serious condition and can be life-threatening.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction and can lead to anaphylactic shock, a potentially fatal condition.
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How Do Dermatologists Treat Hives
When treating hives, the goals are to:
Control the itch
Prevent new hives
Avoid whats causing the hives
Your treatment plan will be tailored to your needs and may include one or more of the following:
To improve your outcome, your dermatologist may give you self-care tips to follow. To see what dermatologists frequently recommend, go to: Hives: Self-care.
Related AAD resources
Image 1: Used with permission of DermNet NZImage 2: Getty Images
ReferencesAntia C, Baquerizo K, et al. Urticaria: A comprehensive review: Epidemiology, diagnosis, and work-up. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 79:599-614.
Antia C, Baquerizo K, et al. Urticaria: A comprehensive review: Treatment of chronic urticaria, special populations, and disease outcomes. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 79:617-33.
Grattan CEH, Saini SS. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, China, 2018:304-19.
Hide M, Takahagi S, et al. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Kang S, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology. McGraw Hill Education, United States of America, 2019:684-785.
Wong HK. Urticaria. In: Medscape Last updated 9/16/2020. Last accessed 8/1/2021.
Yosipovitch G and Kwatra SG. Chronic urticaria. In: Living with itch: A patients guide. The Johns Hopkins University Press. United States, 2013: 56-9.
Most People With Hives Do Not Need Tests
Tests are sometimes done when hives go on for long periods, or when unusual symptoms are occurring around the same time. This is to exclude other diseases, which may appear as hives first, and other conditions later. If hives are associated with high fever, bruising, bleeding into the skin, purple lumps that last for several days, or sore joints, a doctors appointment should be arranged promptly.
Allergy testing is performed when the history suggests an allergic cause.
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What Causes Chronic Hives
For most people with chronic hives, theres no known cause. Rarely, medication allergies or food allergies cause chronic hives. The most common allergic cause is something you consume on a regular basis. Other types of allergies may also bring on chronic hives.
Some people develop chronic hives when their body changes temperature rapidly due to heat, cold or physical activity. Pressure on your skin from tight clothing may also cause the condition.
Facts You Should Know About Hives
- Hives are red, itchy, raised welts on the skin that appear in varying shapes and sizes each one characteristically lasts no longer than 6-12 hours.
- Although hives are very common, their cause is often elusive.
- Hives can change size rapidly and move around, disappearing in one place and reappearing in other places, often in a matter of hours.
- Ordinary hives flare up suddenly.
- Occasionally hives are produced by direct physical stimulation by environmental forces like heat, cold, and sunlight.
- Treatment of hives is directed at symptom relief until the condition goes away on its own.
- Antihistamines are the most common treatment for hives.
- Hives typically are not associated with long-term or serious complications.
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Home Remedies For Hives
As mentioned above, most cases of hives resolve within a few days and treatment will not significantly speed this up. However some cases can be annoyingly persistent and as a result the following treatments may be employed.
1.Antihistamines: As the name implies, these drugs will block the effect of histamine and ideally reduce the size and itchiness of the rash. This is not an advisable treatment for pregnant women unless specifically recommended by a doctor.
2.Corticosteroids: These will be used to reduce swelling, redness, and itching in cases of severe hives or instances of angioedema.
3.Epinephrine: A form of adrenaline used to treat anaphylactic reactions. Epinephrine is normally used by emergency room workers and similar medical personnel to treat cases of severe hives or angioedema. If you are prone to serious attacks you may be advised to carry a self-injection of epinephrine, commonly known as an EpiPen.
4.Avoid triggers: Taking steps to avoid triggers that you know can give you hives will both prevent the condition from reoccurring and prevent the aggravation of any existing outbreaks.
5.Cool compress: Applying a cold, wet compress will help ease swelling and reduce the itchiness.
6.Bath: A bath with baking soda, uncooked oatmeal, or colloidal oatmeal meant for the bathtub can help soothe outbreaks and make them more bearable.