Allergies

What is Urticaria?

ellergy-skinUrticaria is an allergic reaction of immune system which is developed like the skin rashes due to environmental allergens. Skin is the most essential organ of immunity which acts like a defense barrier to certain factors considered as toxic whether external or internal. Usually chronic hives don’t result in complications and must not be a major concern because it is an allergic reaction triggered by something which would otherwise be non-toxic. This articles focuses on the causes, symptoms and treatments of urticaria.

Symptoms of Urticaria:

  • Raised warm itchy bumps on the skin is the most common symptom of urticaria.
  • Non contagious rashes appear suddenly on any body part which lasts for a few hours.
  • Symptoms may aggravate during night and sleep deprivation worsens the condition.
  • Breathlessness and shock are other symptoms of urticaria.
  • Swelling of tongue and lips are serious conditions which need immediate medical attention.

Causes of Urticaria:

The major causes of urticaria include:

  • Viruses may cause hives
  • Physical stimulus such as pressure or tight clothing
  • Increase in body temperature because of exercise or heat
  • Extreme hot or cold climate
  • Wasp sting and insect bite
  • Animal fur, synthetic material and cosmetics
  • Altered immunity and stress may be inter related causes
  • Inhaling certain air borne allergens such as mold, pollen and dust
  • Newly introduced medications or certain foods can cause allergic reaction. Foods may include gluten, eggs, berries, tomatoes, dairy products, seafood or nuts.
  • Health conditions like lupus and hepatitis may trigger skin allergies.
  • Hereditary causes of this condition can be observed in the childhood and must be diagnosed and treated.

Tips to Prevent Urticaria:

Following are some simple to prevent urticaria:

  • Cold water shower
  • Systemic illness must be excluded
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Avoid heavy physical exercises
  • Warm clothing and sunscreens can be used in cold and solar urticaria respectively
  • Reduce stress by yoga and meditation
  • Identify and eliminate exposing yourself to environmental factors
  • Anti-allergics such as H1-antihistamines must be preferred because of its non drowsy effect
  • Epinephrine and steroids can be used in serious conditions for suppressing immune reaction. In acute attacks, you can use steroids but are not suggested for prolonged use.
  • Aloe vera gel, lacto calamine application and milk of magnesia can be applied topically
  • Anti-oxidants and dietary supplements must be included in diet for increasing the immunity

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