Who Can Experience Hives?
Men and women of all ages can experience hives regardless of their race or ethnicity. In fact, around one in five people will develop hives at some point in their life – especially since hives can develop as a reaction to a huge variety of causes and factors.
Types of Hives
Though hives generally appear as red splotches of skin with raised sections that may or may not be itchy, warm, swollen, and/or painful, there are several diagnoses that can come from hives. These distinctions are key in treating the reaction to try and control future breakouts.
Acute urticaria refers to hives that appear suddenly as a reaction to allergens or infections. Typically, these hives will dissipate in a few hours or after the person takes an antihistamine medication. Acute urticaria, however, can last for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the cause and strength of reaction.
Chronic urticaria are hives that last for six weeks or longer. Though some cases of chronic urticaria can be caused by allergens and irritants, these hives can point to an autoimmune disorder, viral infections, and other serious conditions.
Physical urticaria are hives that are caused by physical circumstances, especially hot and cold temperatures or quick changes in temperature. Sunlight, sweat, and exercise can all cause physical urticaria to develop.
What Causes Hives
Like other allergic reactions, hives are most commonly caused by your body’s response to an irritant.
For hives to develop, the localized release of histamines leads your body to slow blood flow and allow fluid to pass outside of your vessels into nearby tissues. This causes the telltale swelling, itching, and redness that is typically seen in hives.
Treatment Options for Hives
When it comes to treating hives, taking antihistamines can be a useful first step in controlling the reaction. If you are someone who frequently experiences allergies and hives, taking an antihistamine medication on a regular basis (regardless of whether or not you’re actively having a reaction) is best.
Avoiding the things that trigger hives to develop is key, but it is not always possible since it’s hard to avoid common allergens or an allergen you don’t yet know about. For this reason, some people benefit from taking corticosteroids or biologic drugs to better control chronic cases of hives.
Leave your skincare to the experts. Hives are a serious and uncomfortable skin condition that should be treated by a dermatologist to best control this condition. If you would like to experience premier dermatological care to achieve beautiful and healthy skin, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Ip today.