Hives, also referred to as urticaria, is a prevalent inflammation condition in Southlake, manifesting as pinkish to reddish welts on the skin. Typical symptoms encompass skin inflammation, itching, and swelling. Some individuals might notice swelling around their eyes or lips. In uncommon severe situations, there might be breathing difficulties due to the swelling of the throat. Urticaria generally arises from an overstimulated immune system, stemming from an allergic reaction or an internal issue that has a slow onset.
Hives can be classified into two primary types, “acute urticaria” and “chronic urticaria,” based on the duration of the symptoms. Acute urticaria refers to hives that disappear in under six weeks and often result from an allergic reaction. Various allergens, like specific foods (notably shellfish and nuts), medications, infections, and other environmental triggers, are linked to hives. On the other hand, chronic urticaria persists beyond six weeks. Pinpointing the cause of chronic hives can be challenging, with most being idiopathic (of unknown origin). Some recent research indicates that chronic urticaria might be autoimmune, where the immune system remains in a heightened state. The exact reason remains unidentified. The recurring nature of chronic urticaria can be both annoying and incapacitating.
Numerous factors can induce hives, making it sometimes tricky to determine the exact trigger. Here are both common and less common environmental elements leading to repeated hives episodes:
– Medication-related urticaria: Almost all drugs can trigger an allergic reaction causing hives. Frequently, antibiotics and NSAIDs (e.g., Aspirin, Ibuprofen) are culprits.
– Food-triggered urticaria: Hives are often induced by allergens like shellfish and nuts, but other foods might be involved too.
– Heat-related urticaria: Continual heat exposure can cause hives. Typically, lesions show up within minutes and can persist for hours, usually staying restricted to the exposed regions.
– Cold-triggered urticaria: This type, more common among younger adults, is initiated by very cold conditions. Some might develop hives on their face or hands post cold exposure.
– Cholinergic urticaria: This prevalent form of hives can arise post-exercise, after exposure to heat, or any activity increasing body temperature. It mostly looks like tiny itchy red spots.
– Solar Urticaria: Exposure to sunlight can lead to this type of hives, which manifests soon after and can last for hours.
– Pressure-triggered urticaria: Hives can form due to skin pressure or vibration, either immediately post-exposure or after some hours.
– Dermatographic urticaria: This form arises when the skin is scratched or rubbed. It’s a prevalent chronic hives variant.
– Infection-triggered urticaria: Some infections, be it viral or bacterial, can initiate hives.
– Aquagenic urticaria: An extremely rare hives type, it emerges when the skin contacts water.
Addressing urticaria usually depends on its cause. For acute cases, oral antihistamines and allergen avoidance usually help. For intense flare-ups, systemic corticosteroids might be administered. Creams with corticosteroids and menthol-infused moisturizers are known to mitigate inflammation and offer relief. Keeping a record of potential triggers is also advised.
Managing chronic urticaria can be intricate. Even with thorough examination, discerning the root cause can be elusive. If standard treatments don’t suffice, immunosuppressant drugs might be needed.
Your skin’s characteristics and symptoms will guide our physician in devising an optimal treatment strategy.