Hives (urticaria), also known as welts, is a common skin condition with itchy, pink to red bumps that appear and disappear anywhere on the body. An individual lesion of hives typically lasts a few hours before fading away, and new hives can appear as older areas disappear.
Hives can be triggered by many things, including:
Infections with viruses, bacteria, or fungi
Environmental allergies such as insect bites, pollen, mold, or animal dander
Physical exposures such as heat, cold, water, sunlight, or pressure
A medical condition such as gland diseases, blood diseases, or cancer
Food allergies, such as strawberries, eggs, nuts, or shellfish
Signs and Symptoms-
If you are experiencing mild hives, you might
When to Seek Medical Care-
If your child's hives make it difficult to breathe or swallow or if your child feels lightheaded, call an ambulance.
In other, non-urgent, situations, see your doctor if the hives do not improve with treatment or if they continue to appear for more than a few days.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe-
After confirming that you have hives, the doctor will work with you to discover the possible cause. The doctor will take a detailed medical history and may do blood tests, 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 the hives.
The most common medications fo
r hives include:
Sleep-causing (sedating) type-1 antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, or cetirizine
Non-sleep-causing (non-sedating) type-1 antihistamines such as loratadine, fexofenadine, or desloratadine
Type-2 antihistamines such as anitidine, cimetidine, or famotidine
Montelukast, zafirlukast, or zileuton
In rare situations, the doctor might prescribe a short course of oral corticosteroid pills.