Hives are a reddish, raised areas of the skin that come in various shapes. They also can come in a wide range of sizes too. Some are only a few millimeters in diameter while others are several inches around or square like. They can be round like bumps or they can be in large patch. They usually form in what you might call a cluster. Hives can be anywhere on the body, such as the neck, face, back, stomach, arms, legs and even feet. The medical name for hives is uticaria.
The most annoying part of hives are that they are extremely itchy. As another website pointed out, “put the emphasis on itchy again!” A large breakout is very uncomfortable. Take special care of your babies and children because they can’t do it themselves.
It is estimated that around 5 to 20 percent (depending on which source you go by) of all people will develop hives during their life time. There are also chronic hives that last about six weeks or more. Eighty percent of those hives are for no apparent reason, meaning they cannot find a cause.
Common hives often move from place to place on the body, meaning you might get one or some on your neck, and within hours it is gone and they start to develop on other areas of the body and then a cycle of moving from place to place can start. Some of the largest occurrences of hives can materialize and then leave within two to twenty four hours. A breakout that starts at night can be gone by morning. They can keep coming back if not treated properly.
With that being said, if you breakout into hives, you need to see your doctor immediately. Also if you have any swelling of the tongue or throat, you should even go to the emergency room right away.
This brings us to the cause of hives. As I said 80 percent of hives are of unknown origin, but the other 20 percent are usually known to be caused by a certain allergy. Hives can be caused by something you eat or drink. It might not be the actual food you eat but perhaps even an additive in the food. I know of a child that is in our Sunday school class that cannot have red dye. He ate some candy once at church that had red dye in it and within minutes started breaking out on his face, neck and back.
A bee sting or bug bite can cause hives. Cats and other animals can cause a breakout. Allergies can be limitless. Even certain medications can cause hives. Other things include, soaps, detergents, perfumes, air fresheners, fabric softeners, cleaning solutions, pesticides, plants and the list goes on and on.
Hives are brought about by histamine and other compounds of the skin. A doctor will normally prescribe an antihistamine to counteract the hives. Hives are very common and sometimes will resolve on their own without an antihistamine, but you should always ask your doctor first. On the other hand, most breakouts do require treatment and medical attention.
Usually once you get to the root of the problem (if it’s possible) you will know what to do and be equipped properly with your defense. An example of this might be for very severe allergies some people might need to have an antihistimine with them at all times in case of an emergency. Your doctor will advise you of this.
The boy I mentioned in our Sunday school doesn’t take anything for the hives, unless they get really bad. Then he takes Benadryl which is a common medication for allergies. There are several other over the counter antihistamines as well as prescription regimens. They also have creams you can put on to help with itching as they can be very annoying. Your doctor is your best bet in finding out more information for your individual case.
Here are some other remedies including natural ones, for hives.
– Calamine lotion can be put directly on the hives.
– Milk of magnesia can be applied same as the calamine lotion.
– Aloe Vera gel can be put on repeatedly since it doesn’t dry crusty like the calmine and Mik of Magnesia.
– Baby oil, can also be put on repeatedly.
– Ice cubes help to numb the skin and take the swelling down.
– Hydrogen peroxide can also be put on as needed.
For a greater list of remedies and more information click here.