Hives are known by different names like welts, urticaria, nettle rash or wheals. It is a kind of raised, red, itchy skin rash which is caused by some allergen.
Hives and Its Different Causes
Many studies have been carried out regarding what causes hives. Experts are of believe that chemicals and histamine released by the body from below the skin surface mainly causes hives. Chemicals and histamine cause inflammation and even results in accumulation of fluid under the skin. Even though in most cases what triggers this disorder is unknown but there are quite a few known triggers which results in hives like:
- Medications including antibiotics and aspirin.
- Different types of foods like chocolate, nuts, shellfish, food additives, wheat products, eggs and some citrus fruits.
- Infections like common cold, hepatitis B, glandular fever and influenza.
- Extreme temperatures.
- Intestinal parasites.
- Dust mites.
- Some pets.
- Sunlight exposure.
- Some plants.
- Some chemicals.
- Insect bites.
- Chronic illness like lupus or thyroid disease.
People who are willing to know what causes hives might be more concerned about the symptoms that are observed in such cases. Swellings also called wheals appear on skin like rash. The colour of the rash is usually red or pink and the shape varies from round to oval. The wheals are surrounded by red flare and happen to be quite itchy.
In many cases it has been observed that hives disappear after some time but new ones begin to appear. The hives can occur at some specific part within the body or different parts of the body. In most cases it has been observed that symptoms are present for eight to twelve hours and barely the symptoms are present for twenty four hours.
People who are infected with hives need to undergo diagnosis that is carried out by the doctor. Diagnosis is necessary to understand what causes hives in the patient or what triggers it. The doctor might ask different questions like when the symptoms began to appear, the medical history of the patient and various other questions. Skin diseases like hives can cause severe discomfort and hamper the day to day activities of a person. People who get diagnosed with hives generally do not require any medications however in case the symptoms are severe then some medications are prescribed by the doctor.
After assessing what causes hives in the patient, the doctor might recommend antihistamines however, it is necessary for the patient to make sure that antihistamines do not cause any problems. Some people feel drowsy after taking antihistamines which can be dangerous while driving car or other vehicles. Apart from that, the doctor might also recommend oral corticosteroids for patients suffering from severe symptoms. This drug is quite effective in keeping the symptoms under check. But care needs to be taken to make sure that this drug is not taken for more than five days. Excessive intake of this drug might further complicate the situation.