Hives are a skin reaction that causes itchy, red bumps that might burn or sting. This health condition is also referred to as urticaria. Just in case you think hives are only as a result of allergic reactions, know that heat can also cause them. They are called heat hives, or cholinergic urticaria.
For some people, an increase in temperature can produce the chemical histamine. This is just like what happens when your immune system fights allergies. What Histamine does is dilate your blood vessels and this results in swelling.
Furthermore, there are other potential triggers for hives. Some of these triggers are:
- food allergies
- insect bites
- skin scratches
Causes and Symptoms of Heat Hives
In this part of this article, let’s talk about the causes and symptoms of heat hives. If you notice you tend to have hives when your body temperature rises, it could be a sign that heat is a trigger for your hives.
A study on cholinergic urticaria was done in 2014. Ninety-two men in Korea took part in this study. Several aggravating factors for the condition were discovered and a few of them are:
- hot or spicy foods
- psychological stress
Again, the symptoms of heat hives are similar to hives caused by other triggers. These are red, itchy welts that can differ in size and range from less than half an inch up to several inches in diameter.
In a lot of cases, hives caused by heat appear within an hour after exposure.
Treatment and Prevention
In a lot of heat hive cases, they fade on their own within 24 hours. However, there are certain home remedies, prescription medications, and prevention techniques that can ease symptoms and alleviate flare-ups.
After finding out the specific causes of your symptoms and ruling out the chances of a more serious underlying condition, your doctor might recommend an antihistamine, such as:
- fexofenadine (Allegra)
- desloratadine (Clarinex)
- loratadine (Claritin)
Also, home remedies like aloe vera, calamine lotion, and an oatmeal bath. They can do the following:
- reduce swelling
- soothe your swelling
- reduce symptoms
Before these kinds of topical applications, try to check the ingredients to make sure that you aren’t allergic to any of them.
Furthermore, if Over-the-Counter (OTC) medication or home remedies don’t work, your doctor might suggest:
- histamine blockers
- anti-inflammatory medication
- drugs that suppress your immune system
Additionally, there are a few precautions you can take to help you prevent heat hives. Some of these precautions are:
- Try to keep cool while exercising.
- Prevent exposure to areas of high humidity.
- Avoid prolonged periods of direct sunlight exposure.
Heat Rash Versus Heat Hives
To begin with, heat hives have similar causes and symptoms with numerous forms of heat rash.
When perspiration is trapped under your skin by blocked pores, heat rash occurs. Humid weather, physical activity, or other factors that lead to a rise in the temperature of your body are some of the causes.
Although heat rashes tend to fade on their own, consider seeing your doctor for more severe or persistent cases. Your doctor can provide a better diagnosis and help you find out whether you’re experiencing hives or heat rash.