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What is Urticaria?

Urticaria is the scientific term for the condition otherwise known as hives. It is a skin condition that takes the form of raised bumps that are red, itchy, and swollen. Most times, urticaria is caused by an allergic reaction that subsides when the allergen is removed. Some people suffer from a chronic form of the condition, which is caused by viral or bacterial infections. Nonetheless, a cure for urticaria may be possible.

Causes of Urticaria or Hives

  • Foods like nuts, eggs, and seafood
  • Medications
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Latex
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Plants like poison ivy
  • Food dyes
  • Stress
  • Physical contact like pressure and vibration
  • Chronic bacterial or viral Infections
  • Symptoms of Urticaria or Hives

  • Raised bumps
  • Redness
  • Itch
  • Swelling
  • The rash may be localized or spread throughout the body depending on how and why it developed. An allergic reaction from contact would be localized to the area of contact. One spread throughout the body may be due to ingestion or intravenous contact with an allergen. Anaphylactic shock is a serious complication that may accompany the later example.

    Diagnosis of Urticaria or Hives

    The above symptoms may point to an urticaria diagnosis. A blood or allergy test may be conducted by your health care professional to pinpoint the origin.

    Treatment of Urticaria or Hives

    Removing yourself from the allergen is the best bet if your urticaria is allergy based. Washing the affected area with water to flush away the allergen is also a good idea. Anti-histamines can be used to lessen the symptoms. In a particularly severe reaction adrenaline (epinephrine) is administered.

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