Hives are a red, raised, itchy skin rash that can be triggered by an allergic reaction, which causes the body to release a protein called histamine. This causes our capillaries to leak fluid, which can accumulate in the skin and cause a rash.
Anyone with a family history of hives, as well as those who have experienced a previous allergic reaction, has a greater risk or developing hives. Allergies, food additives and preservatives, infections and certain medications can also trigger hives.
A rash appears on the skin with small swollen bumps, called as wheals, that are usually pink or red. They are oval or round, and range from a few millimeters in diameter to a several inches. They can be extremely itchy.
They usually occur in batches, and frequently appear on the face or the arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes.
In most cases, no medical treatment is needed for hives because its symptoms are usually mild and short-lived. If symptoms are more severe, or if the condition persists, you can take antihistamines to block the effects of histamines and reduce the rash. In severe cases requiring medical attention, your doctor may prescribe a high-dose oral corticosteroid to suppress your immune system and stop the hives.
The best way to prevent hives is to avoid known triggers, such as certain foods, medications or extreme temperatures.
*Results may vary by individual