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Hives ( Urticaria ) : Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prevention, treatment, General Home Care and Home Remedies of the Hives ( Urticaria )

Urticaria is also known as hives rash. It is an allergic reaction, which produces pale raised areas of skin surrounded by blotchy red patches .

Hives are an allergic reaction. Unfortunately reaction can be anything, including cold, heat, and even emotional tension. Unless you already have a good idea what is causing hives or if a new drug had just been taken, the doctor is unlikely to be able to determine the cause. Most often, a search for a cause is fruitless.

Hives are raised, red, itchy, often fluid-filled patches of skin (wheals or welts) that may appear and disap­pear at random. They range in size from less than 0.6 to 2.5 cm (0.25 to 1 inch) or more, and they may last a few minutes or a few days.

A single hive commonly develops after an insect sting. Multiple hives often develop in response to a drug, food, or infection.

Most people have only one attack of hives lasting form a period of minutes to weeks.

Symptoms of Hives / Urticaria

Hives is characterized spots or patches raised above the surface whitish on the top, and surrounded by reddish borders. They appear in groups on different parts of the body, change their locality sometimes are diffused over the entire surface. The eruption is attended with intolerable itching and burning, and often by gastric disturbance. It usually appears suddenly, and after, tormenting the patient a few hours as suddenly as it came. Occasionally, however, it lasts several days, and in some cases assumes a chronic character.

Causes of Hives / Urticaria

Here is a list of things that are mentioned to be the most common causes of hives:


Eggs milk




Shell -fish





Insect bites

Freshwater fish

Other possible causes of hives include

Plant aller­gies,

Inhaled allergens,



and exposure to heat, cold, sunlight,

or pressure of clothing

Diagnosis of Hives

If the patient is suffering a systematic reaction with difficulty breathing or dizziness, injections or adrenalin and other drugs may be given. In the more usual case of hives alone, the doctor any do two things:

First, the doctor can prescribe an antihistamine or use adrenalin injections to relieve swelling and itching. Secondly, the doctor can review the history of the reaction to try to find an offending agent and advise you the as above. Most often the cause of hives goes undetected, and they stop occurring without any therapy.

Prevention and Treatment of the Hives ( Urticaria )

The best way to stop the itch of hives is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Hives are a form of allergic reaction and sometimes the first manifestation of a severe reaction. If facial swelling or shortness of breath follows your hives, get help immediately.

Otherwise for hives alone, look for any changes in your environment; drugs, soaps, perfumes, foods, pets or anything new to you after the first eruption. Remember also that in as many as two thirds of all cases, there is no clear cause. Occasionally hives can be a clue to a more serious illness so consult your doctor first if your hives are not going away and you can't find the cause before you try some of the treatments listed below.

For some, bathing in lukewarm water in Domboro's solution is soothing but perhaps impractical. Diphenhydramine is available over the counter and can be useful but sedating. Prescription antihistamines are helpful and less sedating although more costly.

In addition, some of the newer non-prescription ulcer medications can also be useful. Oral steroids are helpful in quieting an initial severe attack but are not safe for long-term use. Keep in mind that scratching doesn't help and can make things worse. So look for the cause, see your doctor if you have any questions, and try the simplest treatments first.

General Home care of the Hives ( Urticaria )

•  Determine whether there has been any pattern to the appearance of the hives? Do they appear after meals? After exposure to cold? During a particular season of the year? If there seem to be likely possibilities, eliminate these and see what happens.

•  If the reaction is related to food, the patient may be put on diet consisting only of lamb and rice until completely free of hives.

•  Avoid the substance that causes hives.

•  Apply cool water compresses to help relieve itching.

•  Take an oral antihistamine (such as Benadryl) to treat the hives and relieve itching. Once the hives have disappeared, decrease the dose of the medica­tion slowly over 5 o 7 days.

Home Remedies of the Hives ( Urticaria )

  • The use of turmeric is helpful in hives. The patient should take two teaspoons of turmeric powder mixed with a cup of water daily.
  • Alum and Red Ochre are considered valuable in hives. An equal quantity of alum and red ochre should be ground together and the powder rubbed on the weals.
  • This leafy vegetable has also been found useful in relieving itching in hives. About 7 gm of mint and 25 gm of brown sugar should be boiled together in about 175 ml of water and drunk. This will relieve the itching.
  • The use of salt is beneficial in the treatment of Hives when it is accompanied by digestive disorders. In such a condition, about twelve grams of salt should be dissolved in water and taken by the patient. The throat should be tickled to induce vomiting. This will give relief and help in curing eruptions.
  • The use of rose water in vinegar is useful when there is severe itching on the eruption. About 35 ml of rose water and 25 ml of vinegar should be mixed and the mixture applied locally to the affected part. This will give immediate relief

When to call the doctor?

Seek emergency ser­vices if spreading hives occur with dizziness, wheezing, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, or swelling of the tongue, lips, or face.

If hives develop soon after you take a new drug.

If hives persist for several days despite home treatment.

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