hives

Hives: Causes and Treatments

In medical terminology, hives are called urticaria. It is a disease in which red itchy wheals of varying sizes and shapes appear on the skin, mostly on the elevated areas. According to the estimation by research, around 20% of the population suffers from hives at least once in their lives, and there are more female sufferers than male sufferers.

You must be wondering what the reasons for this skin condition are. To answer your query, the following are the causes, preventions, and fast cures for urticaria.

What Causes Urticaria?

There are two types of hives: short-term that is acute and long-term that is chronic. Both types have their own causes.

Short-Term Hives

  • Allergic reactions caused by eating fruits such as cheese, eggs, shellfish, and peanuts.
  • Allergic reactions to an environment that includes chemicals, dust mites, or pollen.
  • Infections as minor as the flu or as serious as HIV.
  • Emotional and mental stress.
  • Stings and bites from insects.
  • Side effectS of various medications such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and antibiotics.
  • Reaction to changes in the physical environment such as too much exposure to sunlight or pressure to the skin.

Long-Term Hives

Chronic urticaria is a result of an autoimmune reaction in which the body’s immune system starts attacking its own tissues. The autoimmune reaction is caused by lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Factors that trigger urticaria

Apart from the causes mentioned above, here are a few factors that can worsen your urticaria and must be avoided.

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Caffeine intake
  • Drinking orange juice and tea
  • Warm temperatures
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Wearing tight clothing for longer hours that exerts pressure on the skin
  • Exposure to water, cold or heat.

Getting Rid of Hives

  • An oatmeal bath immensely reduces the itching caused by the hives as it has nutrients that alter the pH balance of the skin. Grind a cup of oatmeal so that it becomes finely powdered and add into the bathtub filled with lukewarm water.
  • A perfect solution for all skin-related problems, aloe vera is quite useful in treating urticaria as well. Apply some aloe vera lotion on the areas that are affected by hives and you will notice how quickly it heals your skin.
  • Using castor oil is another way to have relief from itching and eventually get rid of hives. It has some natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • The frequent use of baking soda can alleviate hives. Make a smooth paste by adding a few drops of water to two tablespoons of baking soda and apply it on the affected areas of the skin.
  • As a cooling agent, calamine lotion helps reduce the pain and itching and is considered as an excellent treatment for hives. You can easily get it from your local pharmacy. Take a small clean piece of cotton, add a couple of drops of the lotion and apply it on the wheels.

Try these remedies for at least six weeks and if your condition does not improve, you must consult a professional dermatologist or a general practitioner who can help you find the appropriate specialist.