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Hives are red and sometimes itchy bumps on your skin. An allergic reaction to a drug or food usually causes them. Allergic reactions cause your body to release chemicals that can make your skin swell up in hives. People who have other allergies are more likely to get hives than other people. Other causes include infections and stress.

Hives are very common. They usually go away on their own, but if you have a serious case, you might need medicine or a shot. In rare cases, hives can cause a dangerous swelling in your airways, making it hard to breathe - which is a medical emergency.

Symptoms of Hives

The following features are indicative of Hives:
  • welts
  • itching
  • angioedema

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Common Causes of Hives

The following are the most common causes of Hives:
  • use of pain relieving medications
  • allergies to shellfish, nuts, eggs, wheat, soy
  • parasitic infection, such as blastocystosis and strongyloidiasis
  • exposure of the skin to extreme cold

Other Causes of Hives

The following are the less common causes of Hives:
  • exposure to sunlight
  • excessive physical activities
  • alcohol consumption
  • high pressure on the skin

Risk Factors for Hives

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hives:
  • being women
  • young adult

Prevention of Hives

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hives. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid known triggers such as foods that may cause hives

Occurrence of Hives

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Hives cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Hives most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Hives can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hives

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hives:
  • Blood test: To diagnose hives
  • Allergy test: To find out the causes of hives

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hives

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hives:
  • Dermatologist
  • Allergist

Complications of Hives if untreated

Yes, Hives causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hives is left untreated:
  • difficulty breathing
  • serious allergic reaction

Self-care for Hives

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hives:
  • Take comfortably cool bath: Cool the affected area with a shower
  • Wear loose and smooth-textured cotton clothing: Wear light and loose clothes to avoid skin irritation
  • avoid known triggers

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Hives

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Hives:
  • Acupuncture: Help treating hives

Time for Treatment of Hives

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Hives to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

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Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hives.

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