What are hives?

Hives or urticaria is a skin condition in form of raised, red bumps on your skin that can be itchy. It appears on the surface of your skin. Sometimes they are called welts. Hives are common. You can get them at any age. You may get them once in your lifetime or repeatedly.

How bad is my hives?

Mild: Urticarial lesions covering <10% BSA; topical intervention indicated

Moderate: Urticarial lesions covering 10 -30% BSA; oral intervention indicated

Severe: Urticarial lesions covering 30% BSA; IV intervention indicated

How to manage mild hives?
  • If you know the various causes, try to avoid triggers.
  • Avoid  tight clothes for long periods
  • Take a break when you are stressed or overtired
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes
  • Apply an anti-itch cream
  • Cover the area with a cold cloth
  • Take a hot bath or shower in cases of cold-induced hives
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and exercise
How to manage moderate and severe hives?

A severe case may cause swelling in the throat, face, tongue, or wheezing. This makes it difficult to breathe or swallow. Seek medical help if it covers a large part of the skin. You may need a shot of epinephrine or steroids.

What are the causes?
  • Pollen
  • Animal dander
  • Insect bites
  • Medicines
  • Food, such as shellfish, fish, nuts, eggs, and milk
  • Certain materials, such as wool or latex

Other causes include:

  • Stress
  • Hay fever
  • Infection or illness
  • Fatigue (Tiredness)
  • Tight clothing
  • Quick change in body temperature
  • Extreme weather change

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