Approximately 20% of the people will get hives.
Unless there are recurring problems with hives, there is no need to worry about hives. Hives is medically known as urticaria.
Hives are formed by histamines and other compounds released from mast cells.
These histamines, which are released from the mast cells, cause the leaking of the fluid from the blood vessels.
This leakage leads to swelling of the skin. Hives can form anywhere in the body, but usually in the palms and soles of the feet.
There are different types of hives, which include:
Acute:Acute urticaria (hives) is sometimes due to allergies. They generally show up in a few minutes after exposure to any allergen and lasts for a few hours to few weeks.
The common causes of acute urticaria include consumption of shellfish, eggs, fish, nuts, dye, derivatives of acids, etc., and medicines such as Amaryl, aspirin, penicillin, sulfonamides, etc. Bee stings can also cause hives.
Chronic: Chronic urticaria mostly is due to autoimmune disease or related to other autoimmune conditions such as thyroid disease.
When the hives persist for more than six weeks, then it is considered to be chronic urticaria. In some severe chronic cases of hives, the reaction lasts almost twenty years. Visually, there will be no difference between acute and chronic urticaria. Depending on the length of the episode, it can be referred as acute or chronic.
Physical urticaria. It refers to hives induced by external physical influences. Aquagenic (reaction to water), cholinergic (reaction to body heat), dermatographic (reaction when the skin is scratched), vibration (reaction to vibration), heat, cold, adrenergic (reaction to adrenaline and non-adrenaline), etc are some of the physical urticaria symptoms.
Is it possible to prevent recurring hives?
Approximately 20% of the people will suffer from recurring hives. Those people who are suffering from recurrent problems with hives need to take necessary precautions. You can prevent recurring hives by following:
- Avoiding food that triggers hives is a key to prevent recurrence of hives.
- Avoid insect bites by wearing long sleeved clothes and long pants when you are at outdoors. This prevents the outbreak of hives.
- Avoid tight fitting clothes and stay away from hot shower after the hives are gone away, since it can cause the hives to come back.
- Keep a track of foods that you are allergic to and foods that are safe for your body, so that you can avoid taking allergic foods.
- Try to know the ingredients before you buy anything and also when you are eating outside.
- Allergy test is quite helpful to prevent hives.
In case if you do not know what is the cause of hives, it is better for you to follow a diary of what you eat, what medications you take, what you do the whole day, and what products you use, so that it will be easy to identify what is triggering to cause outbreak of hives.
Even after taking appropriate measures if the hives persists, thorough medical evaluation is necessary to determine the triggering factors.