What Are Chronic Hives?
Chronic hives are almost always idiosyncratic, which means unfortunately you will probably never find out just what is causing them. The best advice I can give you (and I have gotten them on occasion in the last few years) is to avoid stress whenever possible. If you notice a few hives do not dwell on them, one of the causes of hive proliferation is actually the anxiety brought on by thinking about hives. (it sounds silly I know, but it is true). Another thing to look out for is caffeine and heat, both can exaserbate the problem.
More About Chronic Autoimune Hives
As a last resort anti-histamines, especially diphenhydramine, can be a god-send. Systemic delivery (oral dosages) work wonders but can cause a good amount of sedation. There also exists OTC gels and creams with the same active ingredient that also work, but if you get it chronically you may end up using these up very quickly.
A hive, or wheal, is a circular, red, spongy lesion that evolves and changes over minutes to hours. It is usually surrounded by an area of redness called a flare. Hive can vary in size from a few millimeters to giant hive covering a whole extremity. They usually go away on their own, but if you have a serious case, you might need medicine or a shot. In rare cases, allergic reactions can cause a dangerous swelling in your airways, making it hard to breathe – which is a medical emergency.
When you have an allergic reaction to a substance, histamine and other chemicals are released into your bloodstream, causing itching, swelling, and other symptoms. They are a common reaction, especially in people with other allergies like hay fever.
When swelling or welts occur around the face, especially the lips and eyes, it is called angioedema. Swelling from angioedema can also occur around your hands, feet, and throat.
Many substances can trigger it:
- Shellfish, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, and other foods
- Animal dander (especially cats)
- Insect bites
Hive may also develop from:
- Infections like mononucleosis or illness (including lupus, otherautoimmune diseases, and leukemia)
- Emotional stress
- Extreme cold or sun exposure
- Excessive perspiration
How to avoid it?
- Avoid exposure to substances that give you allergic reactions.
- Don’t wear tight-fitting clothing and avoid hot baths or showers just after an episode of hive. These can both cause the hive to return.
- Anaphylaxis (airway is swollen, making breathing difficult)
- Life-threatening airway obstruction, if swelling occurs in the throat
Learn more about Hives, here:
- Who Is Affected by Hives?
- Powerful Hives Remedy
- Hives: Diagnosis, Treatments and Outcome
- Hives and Angioedema
- Help with Hives
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