Hives: Information to Protect You and Your Family
With summer fast approaching kids and adults are spending more time outside, this means that allergies are starting flaring up. In addition to runny noses, and itchy eyes, hives are another affliction of the season. In an effort to help, we thought it best to offer some further information. Hives are a common result of allergic reactions, but since they can be alarming, it can help to learn more about them.
At one time or another we all experience a break out of hives on our skin. Usually they are no more than an itchy inconvenience, But, sometimes they can be a symptom of a more serious issue.
Uticaria is the technical term for hives and, surprisingly, they affect around 20% of the population. Common causes for hives are: allergies to foods and drugs, insect bites/stings, and infections. In extreme cases they can last for months, but usually their symptoms are short lived, and can be easily treated with antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Benadryl, and Allegra.
Hives are frequently complemented by angioedema, which is a swelling of deep tissue beneath the hive, giving the hives their puffy appearance. Angioedema is most prevalent when the hives are on the face, extremities, and genitals.
When hives are accompanied by difficult breathing, a tight/swollen throat, nausea and vomiting, cramps, or light headedness/passing out immediate medical help is advised. In these situations the individual is most likely exhibiting signs of a server allergic reaction – call a doctor immediately.
If you have more questions about hives and/or other types of rashes please feel free to consult with one of our physicians.