What are Hives? They are itchy, raised welts found on the skin you can also call Urticaria. Usually, they are red, pink, or flesh-colored, and sometimes can sting or hurt. Most of the time, allergic reactions to medication or food or a reaction to an irritant in the environment can cause Hives. In this article, We would majorly talk about types of hives.
Furthermore, in lots of cases, hives are an acute (temporary) problem that might be alleviated with allergy medications. Most rashes go away on their own. However, chronic (ongoing) cases, as well as hives accompanied by a severe allergic reaction, are larger medical concerns.
Causes of Hives
Usually, allergic reactions to something you encounter or swallow can cause hives. When you have allergic reactions, your body starts to release histamines into your blood. Wondering what Histamines are? They are chemicals your body produces in an attempt to defend itself against infection and other outside intruders. Unfortunately, the histamines can cause swelling, itching, and many of the symptoms that are experienced with hives in some people. In terms of allergens, factors like pollen, medications, food, animal dander, and insect bites can cause hives.
Furthermore, circumstances besides allergies might also cause Hives. It’s not unusual for people to experience hives because of stress, tight clothes, exercise, illnesses, or infections. Also, it is possible to develop hives because of excessive exposure to hot or cold temperatures or from irritation due to excessive sweating.
In addition, a lot of times, we can’t determine the actual cause of hives as there are several potential triggers.
Are You At Risk?
You’re probably wondering if you can get hives or not. Well, people who have allergies have higher chances of getting hives. Also, you might be at risk to develop hives if you are on medication or if you are exposed to things you may be allergic to like food or pollen unknowingly. Again, if you are already ill with an infection or a health condition, you might be more vulnerable to developing hives.
What Do Hives Look Like?
Wondering what hives look like? Don’t bother yourself too much, we’ll talk about it in this part of the article. One of the most noticeable symptoms with hives is the welts that appear on your skin. They might be red but can also have the same color as your skin. Again, they can be small and round, ring-shaped, or large and of random shape. Furthermore, hives are itchy and tend to appear in batches on the part of the body it affects. Also, they can grow larger, change shape, and spread.
Another thing about Hives is that they may disappear or reappear over the course of the outbreak. Individual hives can last between half an hour to a day. Hives might turn white when you press them. Sometimes, they may change shape or form together and create a larger, raised area.
Additionally, Hives can occur in different places on your body. If you develop a hive outbreak around your throat or on your tongue or have trouble breathing along with hives, seek medical attention immediately!!!
Types of Hives
In this part of the article, we’ll tell you about types of Hives, dig in!!!
1. Allergic Reactions
One of the most common causes of hives is allergic reactions. Hives can occur as a result of allergens you might be sensitive to like:
- foods (such as nuts, milk, and eggs)
- pet dander
- dust mites
- insect bites or stings
- medications (primarily antibiotics, cancer drugs, and ibuprofen)
Usually, mild cases of hives caused by allergies are treated with long- or short-term allergy medications and avoidance of the trigger.
Another type of Hive is Anaphylaxis. It is a severe, allergic reaction that is also life-threatening. In this health condition, breathing difficulties, nausea or vomiting, severe swelling, and dizziness usually accompany Hives.
If you suspect anaphylaxis, please seek medical help immediately.
3. Chronic Hives
Chronic hives are also types of hives. They’re ongoing cases that don’t necessarily have identifiable causes. They can also be called chronic urticaria. This condition is marked by recurring hives that can disrupt your lifestyle. According to the Mayo Clinic, they can last between a period of six weeks and several months or years.
Again, you might suspect chronic hives if you have welts that don’t go away in under six weeks. Although they’re not life-threatening, this form of hives can be uncomfortable and difficult to treat.
Furthermore, they might also be symptoms of an underlying health problem like:
- celiac disease
- type 1 diabetes
- rheumatoid arthritis
- thyroid disease
Next on our list of types of Hives is a form of acute hives called Dermatographism. This health condition is also called skin writing, dermographia, or dermatographic urticaria. It is a common, benign skin condition that is considered mild. Individuals who have this health condition develop welts or a localized hive-like reaction when they scratch their skin. Also, it can happen when you expose your skin to pressure or rubbing.
Again, excessive scratching or continuous pressure on the skin can cause it. Dermatographism usually clears up on its own in a short time frame without treatment.
5. Temperature-Induced Hives
Sometimes temperature changes can cause hives in people who are sensitive to such changes. Cold-induced hives might happen because of cold water or air exposure, while body heat from physical activity could cause exercise-induced hives. Exposure to sunlight or tanning beds might also result in solar hives in some people.
6. Infection-Induced Hives
Some hives can be caused by viral and bacterial infections. Some common bacterial infections causing hives are urinary tract infections and strep throat. Viruses that cause infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis, and colds usually cause hives.
You’re probably scared after reading all the types of Hives we’ve talked about. Well, there’s no need, I’ll tell you how you can deal with Hives in this part of the article.
The first thing you should do to get treatment is to find out if you actually have hives. In a lot of cases, your doctor will be able to figure out if you have hives from a physical exam. During the physical exam, the doctor will be on the lookout for signs of the welts that are associated with hives on your skin. Also, your doctor might perform blood tests or skin tests to determine the cause of your hives especially if they were because of an allergic reaction.
Again, you might not need prescription treatment if you’re experiencing a mild case of hives not related to allergies or other health conditions. In such circumstances, your doctor might suggest that you seek relief temporarily by:
- taking antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine
- avoiding irritating the area
- avoiding hot water, which may aggravate the hives
- taking a cool or lukewarm bath with colloidal oatmeal or baking soda
In addition, Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment by a physician.
Can You Prevent Hives?
Of course, you can! Making simple changes to your lifestyle might be able to help you prevent hives from reoccurring much later.
Furthermore, if you have allergies and you know which substances are likely to cause an allergic reaction, your doctor will suggest that you avoid any kind of exposure to these factors. Another option is Allergy shots. They could help you reduce the risk of experiencing hives again.
Additionally, if you have recently had a hives outbreak, avoid being in high-humidity areas or wearing tight clothing.
Even though hives can be itchy and uncomfortable, they are not usually severe and will disappear after some time. However, know that as some hives go away, new ones might pop up.
Again, mild cases of hives are considered harmless. They can be dangerous if you are having a serious allergic reaction and your throat is swelling. Immediate treatment for a severe case of hives is important for a good outlook.