Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
After confirming that you have hives, the physician will work with you to discover the possible cause. Your doctor will take a detailed medical history and may do blood work, urine tests, or X-rays.Obviously, the best treatment for hives is to discover any triggers and stop your exposure to them. However, most people with hives do not know the cause, and they require medications to get rid of them.The most common medications for hives include:
- Sleep-causing type-1 antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or hydroxyzine
- Non-sleep-causing type-1 antihistamines such as loratadine, fexofenadine, desloratadine, or cetirizine
- Type-2 antihistamines such as ranitidine, cimetidine, or famotidine
Is It Hives Or Angioedema
Angioedema swelling of tissue beneath the surface of the skin can be mistaken for, or associated with hives. It can be caused by allergic reactions, medications or a hereditary deficiency of some enzymes. The following symptoms may indicate angioedema:
- Swelling in the eyes or mouth
- Swelling of the hands, feet or throat
- Difficulty breathing, stomach cramps or swelling of the lining of the eyes
The best way to identify your symptoms is to talk to an allergist who can diagnose and treat both hives and angioedema.
Bacterial Infections In The Body
Bacterial infections in the body can also produce hives and hive-like symptoms in many individuals. Two of the most common bacterial infections that can present hives are strep throat as urinary tract infections . Influenza and the common cold are both well-known culprits of producing hives, or the appearance of hives, and these ailments are usually cured with bed-rest and hydration. Also, glandular fever can also cause the skin to break out, causing blisters or bumps in one, or several, areas. Hepatitis B – an infectious disease – will also cause these symptoms on the skin. Even tooth decay and dental health can play a role in these signs developing on the body. Many infectious diseases can cause the body to exhibit these types of symptoms of distress.
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Favorite Resource To Find A Dermatologist
Your primary care doctor may recommend that you visit a dermatologist instead of an allergist, depending on your symptoms and suspected triggers. If you dont currently have a dermatologist, visit this site from the American Academy of Dermatology. The Find a Dermatologist tool allows you to search by location or a specific doctors name. The results will show dermatologists that meet your search criteria. Click on the name to view more about the doctor, such as where theyre located, what they specialize in, and the qualifications they have.
How To Ease Itchy Rash
Once you know the underlying cause of your itchy rash all over body,you can look for an appropriate treatment option. You can take the following steps to improve your condition:
- Make sure to keep the rash cool and moist. You may even soak a clean cloth in ice water and put it on the rash a few times a day.
- Avoid direct exposure to sun because heat can cause itching.
- Try an oatmeal bath for relief.
- Do not scratch the area because scratching will make things worse. Keep your nails trimmed to avoid scaring.
- Wear breathable clothing to avoid making your rash worse.
- Use gentle soaps and use a mild soap to watch your clothes.
- Do a relaxation exercise daily, especially before going to bed. This will help manage stress and relax your muscles to ease your symptoms.
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Are Body Hives Dangerous
Body hives can be very serious if a hives treatment is not taken, and can cause fainting, breathing issues due to swelling and even death depending on the situation. In addition, if swelling of the tongue or lips begins, it is best to seek professional help immediately due to the possibility of anaphylactic shock or blockage of the wind pipe.
Favorite Online Community For Support
This site brings together people with chronic spontaneous urticaria, which is a term that describes chronic hives with no explanation for whats causing them. The site has information about the condition, videos from people sharing their experience with hives, and The Hive, which allows people to send virtual support for people battling the condition.
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5. Youre Wearing Too-Tight ClothesSome people will develop hives in areas where there is more pressure on the skin, such as on the bottom of their feet and underneath tightly-fitting clothing or underwear, says Brod. He recommends resisting the urge to scratchand wearing loose-fitting clothing.
6. You Have an Autoimmune DiseaseIf you still have hives after an extended period of time , an autoimmune disease may be to blame. Lupus or thyroid disease can cause hives, says Ploch, who adds that type 1 diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, and celiac disease could also be to blame. Attributing hives to an autoimmune disease is often a process of elimination, though, she says, so its important to check in with your doctor.
When To See A Doctor
In general, professional medical advice should be sought immediately if the symptoms are severe and also if mild symptoms are not receding even after a few days. There are some symptoms of rashes on the skin that constitute a medical emergency, and you should be able to recognize them properly:
- If a rash occurs suddenly and covers a significant portion of the body
- If you start taking a new medication and experience rashes on your skin
- If you experience a bout of flu before or after the onset of a rash that covers most of your skin
- If your eyes become inflamed and red along with the rashes on your body
- If you see rashes developing on your body and at the same time you are unable to stand without feeling weak or lightheaded
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7. You Ateor DrankSomething FunkyWe know its a total buzz kill, but alcohol and some foods can cause hives. We see a lot of allergic reactions from food and food additives, which is where things can get confusing because its not necessarily the food itself, says Ploch. Common culprits include shellfish, eggs, and nuts, while Ploch notes that azo food dyes in candy and the sulfites in wine and deli meat can cause hives, too. If hives are issue for you, its important to take a careful history of what you eat so that you can avoid those triggers in the future, says Ploch.
Symptoms May Vary From Person To Person
It is not uncommon for hives to look different from one person to the next. In fact, even in the same person, the rash may vary from one day to another, or with different episodes.
Even though the welts are raised, their surface is smooth . In some people, the welts may be bright red, whereas in others they may be paler and skin-colored. Some hives take on a circular appearance with a pale center and a distinctive red halo.
Other symptoms may include a burning or stinging sensation, and when pressed, the center of a red hive usually turns white – this is known as “blanching”. Hives can move around the skin, and may last an hour on one part of your body only to disappear and then come back again to a different area.
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Will Chronic Hives Go Away
Chronic hives can go away. A prospective cohort study found that 35% of participants with chronic hives had no symptoms after 1 year, and another 29% experienced a reduction in symptoms during this time.
Among individuals with idiopathic chronic hives, 48% experienced remission within 3 years. However, only 16% of those with physical hives experienced remission within 3 years.
What Are The Types Of Hives And Angioedema
There are different types of hives and angioedema, including:
- Acute: Hives or swelling that last for less than six weeks are considered acute, meaning they come on suddenly. Allergic reactions to certain foods or medications often cause acute hives and swelling.
- Chronic: When hives linger for more than six weeks, the condition is chronic. In 95% of chronic conditions, nobody knows what causes them, though it is thought to be autoimmune in nature.
- Physical: Some people develop hives and swelling in specific situations. Hives might pop up when youre in the cold, heat or sun. Some people react to vibrations or pressure, or exercise and sweating. Physical hives usually appear within an hour after exposure.
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What Do Hives Look Like
The most noticeable symptom associated with hives is the welts that appear on the skin. Welts may be red, but can also be the same color as your skin. They can be small and round, ring-shaped, or large and of random shape. Hives are itchy, and they tend to appear in batches on the affected part of the body. They can grow larger, change shape, and spread.
Hives may disappear or reappear over the course of the outbreak. Individual hives can last anywhere from half an hour to a day. Hives may turn white when pressed. Sometimes the hives may change shape or form together and create a larger, raised area.
Hives can occur in a variety of places on the body. Call 911 or seek medical attention immediately if you develop a hive outbreak around your throat or on your tongue or have trouble breathing along with hives.
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Are Any Tests Needed
Usually no tests are needed. The rash is very typical and is easily recognised as hives by doctors. In many cases you will know what caused the rash from the events leading up to it. For example if you have just been put on a new medicine, or if your skin came into contact with a nettle, or if you were stung by a bee.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Hives
Although hives can have many causes, they all get their start when immune cells in your body called mast cells are activated. In many cases, those mast cells release a chemical called histamine that can cause swelling, itching, and redness. Although not all hives are the result of histamine being released, the vast majority are, Dr. Elmariah says. Heres the real question, though: Whats causing those mast cells to react in the first place?
Thats a relatively easy question to answer if you have acute hives. We can generally identify about 50 percent of the triggers after taking a good history of the patient and getting the full story behind the incident, Dr. Friedman says.
Chronic hives, however, often have different outcomes, and unfortunately, although about 50 percent of hive cases will be resolved within a year of entering the chronic phase, some people will have hives their entire life. With chronic hives, we can rarely identify why theyre happening, and the longer somebody has hives, the less likely it is that theyll go away, says Friedman, adding that 20 percent can continue for longer than 10 years.
Nonallergic causes consist of bacterial and viral infections exercise stress pressure on or scratching the skin chemical contact exposure to sun, heat, or cold and autoimmune disorders like thyroid diseases and lupus, especially in the case of chronic hives.
Care Advice For Hives
When To See The Doctor
While taking some homecare measures will help a lot, you should go talk to your doctor if you notice no improvement within a few days. Also, talk to your doctor if:
- You notice additional symptoms such as fever, joint pain, breathlessness, body aches, swollen tongue, headache, and sore throat.
- You notice your rash become extensive.
- You have fluid-filled blisters and you notice signs of infection.
- You develop a rash after taking a certain medication or being stung by an insect.
- You experience severe pain.
What’s more, you should go see your doctor if you have itchy rash all over body with symptoms such as welling, bleeding blisters, and extensive peeling of skin. Seek immediately medical attention if your skin starts changing colors.
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When You Have Flare
Make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist, allergist, or primary care doctor. Most people who have hives are otherwise healthy, but its still helpful to see a doctor.A thorough medical exam can help rule out possible causes, such as an infection or medication, which could be causing your hives.Its also possible for a disease, such as a thyroid condition, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes to cause hives. If signs indicate that this may be the cause, medical testing can find or rule out these causes.While medications and medical conditions can cause hives, there are many other causes, including foods, insect bites, and pressure on the skin. Sometimes, its not possible to find the cause. If that happens, your dermatologist can still recommend lifestyle changes and prescribe medication that can help reduce your flare-ups.
Take photos of your hives. When your see your dermatologist, you may not have hives. Taking pictures can help your dermatologist make sure you have hives. Other skin conditions can look like hives.
Relieve the itch at home. Itch is common in people who have chronic hives. Here are some ways to get temporary relief:
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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