Hives: Manifestation, causes & treatment.

Hives: Manifestation, causes & treatment.

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Drastic variations in the environmental conditions have diversified the ailments of the skin. As we all know that skin is the largest organ of our body, it is obviously susceptible to numerous skin disorders.  Suffering from itchiness, redness, or irritation of skin? Well, you should consult a dermatologist to avoid its further expansion. Moreover, we are here to help you gain some basic knowledge on one of the common skin disorders named, Hives. The symptoms of Hives are itchiness, red or skin-colored welts, or painful swelling. If you are undergoing any of the above symptoms, this is the right place you have come to get all the information related to the changes you need to make in your lifestyle.

There are several layers of our skin and the skin conditions may arise in any of these layers. Nearly, all changes in our skin, from simple skin irritation to diagnosed medical conditions, comes under rash. Urticaria, also known as hives, is a type of skin rash triggered by a reaction to food, medicine, or other irritants. Being the most common skin disorder in India, more than 10 million people suffer from this. It is self-diagnosable which gets resolved within days to weeks.


Swollen, pale red bumps or plaques, itching, or sometimes burn or sting sensation on the skin are the common symptoms of hives. Face, lips, tongue, throat, or ears are usually affected by this allergic reaction. Its size varies from a small pencil eraser to a larger dinner plate.

When the swelling occurs beneath the skin instead of on the surface, it is angioedema which is similar to a hive. It lasts longer than hives. Angioedema of the throat, or lungs can be life-threatening as it causes difficulty in breathing.


When histamine or blood plasma leaks out of the blood vessels in the skin, angioedema or allergic hive formation occurs. There can be various causes of histamine release like an allergic reaction, insect stings, chemicals in foods, sunlight exposure, or any medication.


  1. Acute urticaria: This lasts less than six weeks, caused by insect bites, foods, medications.
  2. Chronic urticaria: It lasts more than six weeks, caused due to thyroid disease, hepatitis, infection, or cancer.
  3. Physical urticaria: Caused by direct physical stimulation of the skin like cold, heat, sun exposure, sweating, and exercise. It appears after one hour of exposure.
  4. Dermatographism: Firmly stroking or scratching the skin can be the reason.

Home Remedies

  1. Oatmeal bath: Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that help in the soothing of hives. By soaking in the oatmeal bath for 15 minutes can be useful in treating hives.
  2. Aloe vera: As we know that aloe vera treats sunburns, it can be used for soothing hives as well. By rubbing it on the affected area can be beneficial.
  3. Cold Compress: Heat causes hives. So, a cold compress for 10 minutes can relieve skin irritation.
  4. Calamine lotion: Using a cloth to apply calamine lotion on the skin can be beneficial in the treatment of hives.

Doctor’s Consultation

Doctor’s consultation is mandatory if angioedema or hives occurs in the form of any of the underneath symptoms:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Wheezing
  3. Difficulty in breathing
  4. Chest tightness


Antihistamines provide relief from the symptom if taken on a regular schedule. Oral corticosteroids are prescribed by the dermatologists in cases of chronic hives.

Foods to eat

A person suffering from the symptoms of hives should have low-histamine food like:

  • Fresh meat
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Vegetables
  • Dairy products except for yogurt and cheese
  • Fresh fishes like salmon, cod, and trout

Foods to Avoid

Histamine-rich foods should be avoided in case of hives. The following things should be avoided in the day-to-day diet:

Fruits like strawberries and cherries

Alcoholic beverages

Fast food

Spinach, tomatoes, and eggplant

Seasonings like chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, and vinegar

The skin is responsible to perform numerous vital functions like protecting the body from microbes, controlling the body temperature, and transmitting sensations such as touch, heat, and cold. Due to the changes in lifestyle, we have seen extensive growth in the diseases amongst the population. It is safer to visit a doctor when we find any abnormalities in the functioning of our body. After all, health is the real wealth. 

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