What Are Hives ( Urticaria) and Angioedema ?


Hives or Urticaria is an breakout of swollen, pale red bumps or plates (wheals) on the skin that appears suddenly – either as a result of the body’s reaction to certain allergens or for unknown reasons.

Hives normally cause itching. However, there can be stinging or burning too. They can appear lawyer in the body including the face, tongue, lips, ears or throat. Hives vary in sizes (from a pencil eraser to dinner plates). Moreover, may join to form larger areas known as plaques They can last for hours, or up to one day before fading.

Angioedema is similar to hives. However, the swelling occurs beneath the skin instead of on the surface. Angioedema is carried by deep swelling around the eyes and lips and sometimes of the genitals, hands, and feet it last longer than hives but the swelling usually goes away in less than 24 hours.

Rarely angioedema of the tongue, throat or lungs can block airways, which cause difficulty breathing, This may become life-threatening.


What Causes Hive and Angioedema?

Allergic hives and angioedema occur, in response to histamine blood plasma drop out of small blood vessels in the skin. Histamine is a chemical discharged from specific cells along the skin’s blood vessels.

Allergic reactions, chemicals in certain foods, insect stings, sunlight exposure, or medications can all cause histamine release. It frequently is improbable to find out precisely why hives have formed.

There are several different types of hives, including:

Acute Urticaria: Hives that remain less than six weeks. The most common causes are certain foods, medication, or infections, insect bites and internal diseases ma so be responsible.

The most well-known foods that cause hives are chocolate, nuts, milk, eggs, fish, tomatoes fresh berries. Fresh foods cause hives moe often than cooked foods. Certain foods additives and preservatives may also be to blame.
Medications that can cause hives and angioedema consists of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors – High blood pressure medications, or painkillers such as codeine.

Chronic urticaria and angioedema: Hives that persist more than six weeks. The explanation of this type of hives is usually more difficult to identify than those causing, acute urticaria. For most people with chronic Terra, the cause is not possible to determine. IN some cases., through, the cause may be thyroid disease, hepatitis, infection or cancer. Chronic urticaria and angioedema can attack other internal organs such as gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and muscles. Symptoms include diarrhea, shortness of breath, muscles soreness, and vomiting.


Physical urticaria – Hives that are triggered by direct physical stimulation of the skin — This can be heat, coldness, vibration, pressure, sun exposure, exercise, and sweating, The Hive commonly occurs right in the location where the skin was stimulated and rarely will appear in other places. Most physical urticaria hives will appear within on the hour after exposure.

Dermatographism: This a common form of physical urticaria where hives from after firmly stroking or scratching the skin. Thes hives can occur along with another form of urticaria.

How Are Hives and Angioedema Diagnosed?
Your physician will ask you many questions different questions to find out what the possible cause of hives or angioedema. Because there are not any specific test for hives or related swelling of angioedema – the type of testing will depend on a thorough examination and evaluation of your medical history by your primary care physician and dermatologist.

A skin test can be performed to determine the substance which you are allergic. A routine blood test is conducted to determine if a system-wide illness exists.

How are Hives and Angioedema Treated?
The best treatment for hives and angioedema is first to identify what is causing the breakouts and remove this trigger. However, this is not easy. Antihistamines are typically prescribed by your physician to help provide relief from symptoms. Antihistamines work best if taken on a regular schedule to prevent hives from forming in the first place.

Chronic hives can be treated with antihistamines or a combination of different drugs. When Antihistamines do not provide, needed relief oral corticosteroids may be recommended. A biologic medication omalizumab (Xolair) was also approved to treat chronic hives in people who are at least 12 years of age.

For serious hive or angioedema outbreaks, a dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) or a cortisone drugs may be required.

How Can you Manage Hives?


During the time you are waiting for hive and swelling to subside, here are a few tips:

  • Try to work and sleep in a cool area
  • Apply wet clothes or cool compresses to the areas affected.
  • Wear loose-fitted lightweight clothing.
  • Make a cool bath to soak in and inlcude :Baking soda, Uncooked oatmeal or Colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno and others)

When should You Call a Doctor
If you have an episode of Hives or angioedema swelling occur with any of the following symptoms, you should reach out to your physician right away:

  1. Wheezing
  2. Swelling of the tongue lips or face
  3. Tightness in the chest
  4. Difficulty breathing
  5. Dizziness.