Being able to recognize urticaria / hives symptoms is the best way to treat this skin condition. Since it looks a lot like other skin rashes, you should be familiar with the signs before administering any medication.
Signs and Indicators
Urticaria often appears suddenly. Parts of the skin are filled with red, swollen patches. These patches are accompanied by itching. In some cases, a burning sensation is felt. In some instances, the symptoms of urticaria are more severe.
Along with reddish, itchy skin, the patient may have trouble breathing, throat swelling and have a hard time swallowing. More severe signs include dizziness, faintness or even an irregular heartbeat. If you experience any of the more severe symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately.
The most common cause of urticaria is an allergic reaction to something. It could be due to food like fish, eggs or nuts. The skin infection may also be caused by insect bites, jelly fish or pet dander.
People with sensitive skin might develop the condition if they wear tight fitting apparel. Some jewelry material may cause it too. In very rare cases, urticaria is hereditary. People exposed to extreme heat or cold or constantly changing weather may develop urticaria as well.
Coming into contact with water or sweat may trigger an allergic reaction. Viral infections, stress and even exercise have also been suggested as possible causes.
Treating Hives Symptoms
The usual way of managing the symptoms is to take antihistamines, including but not limited to cetirizine, diphenhydramine and hydroxyzine. These are to be taken according to the dosage prescribed by the doctor.
Other medications that have proven to be effective are ranitidine and cimetidine. These are H2-receptor antagonists that deal with the symptoms in a prophylactical manner. The doctor may also suggest taking the medication with an H1 antagonist.
Other Forms of Treatment
It has also been shown that psychological treatments help in reducing symptoms. These would include stress management. How this works is not yet clear, but the fact that stress can induce urticaria shows there is a link between the two. Other drugs that may be given are Tricyclic antidepressants and oral corticosteroids.
These two drug types are controversial due to the numerous side effects that often manifest. Today, corticosteroids are prescribed only for severe cases and not for the long term.
These are harder to manage as they are often idiopathic (i.e., have no known cause). Chronic cases usually appear suddenly. The rashes can also dissipate even without applying treatment.
Because of their sporadic nature, the usual medications given may not work. The drugs usually need a couple of days to become effective. By this time, the disease may have disappeared. The best recourse is to monitor the diet and note what was eaten prior to the rash emergence.
There are many ways to deal with the disease, but it all starts when you know what the hives symptoms are. Recognizing the signs is the first step to getting the right hives treatment.
Sheena is a free lancer writer and content builder of www.folkremedy.net