Hives: Causes and Treatment for This Itchy Problem
Hives are usually brought on because a person has been exposed to an allergen. An allergen can be any substance. The primary cause of hives is from something one inhales or ingests (foods or medicines). The most common foods that can trigger hives are fish, nuts, tomatoes and chocolate. The most common medicines are antibiotics, codeine, penicillin, sulfa and aspirin. But they can be caused by insect bites, lotions, perfumes, make-up, laundry detergents, wearing new clothes without washing, soaps, pollen, cat dander, food additives, change in temperatures, emotional distress (nervousness) It is not commonly known but sometimes hives will occur with a viral infection, too.
The bad thing is that sometimes a person will experience a rough spell involving hives and never know the cause.
Hives usually begin by what appears as a rash. This rash begins to itch and the skin begins to become reddish in color. Then these white, raised bumps begins to appear. They are circular in type or wheel shape. They are usually small in size, but are known to connect to other hives and thus appearing to be quite larger.
About 15% of the people who have hives on a more frequent basis could be predisposed to them by heredity. They may also suffer from hay-fever, asthma, eczema and migraine headaches. These symptoms usually appear after being around an allergen substance. If you suffer from regular hives, talk to your family and see what they are allergic, too. Chances are, you are prone to the same allergen.
If you can not pin point the cause of your hives and they reappear, you should see a doctor. You may want to have a scratch test done to find out just what your allergies are. This is usually done now, by applying a taped patch onto your skin (usually or on the back). This tape paper has several little circles on it. These circles are traces of things that can cause allergies. If your skin becomes itchy or red where one of these circles laid against your skin, you are allergic to that substance.
It isn’t commonly known but hives can occur when one is suffering from a low grade viral infection (stomach virus) or a fungal infection of the feet, yeast infection, bladder, kidney infection or even a tooth abscess or blocked sinus. An imbalance with ones thyroid can also cause hives. In fact. one in four hundred people who are suffering from hives is doing so because of their thyroid. A simple blood test can prove if the thyroid is at fault.
But knowing the causes doesn’t help while you are itching. The first step you should take is trying antihistamines. Benedryl, is the leading medicine for hives and allergies. But other antihistamines such as Atarax, Seldane and Tagament are also popular choices. If your hives are severe, see a doctor. If your hives begins to spread to your face around your mouth or even in your mouth, you should definitely see your doctor. Hives inside the mouth are dangerous. They can cause your throat to swell. Do not treat this lightly.
Other tips that I found helpful is:
Wear loose clothing (silk feels especially nice)
Apply anti-itch creams or calamine lotion
Try to stay cool, avoid exercise
Take a bath in oatmeal (you can buy prepared bath packages like Aveeno, this is made of oatmeal)
And what helped me the most: Solarcaine. Yes, I am talking about the stuff you put on after you get a sun burn. But you don’t have to buy that exact brand. Any brand will do as long as it has lidocaine in it. The Solarcaine helps cool the skin and helps the itch. I bought it in spray formula (for others to apply to my back where I could not reach) and in gel. The gel formula is my favorite. Apply it with a cotton ball and you can massage it into your skin, this helps you scratch the itch properly.
One more note, when you are itchy be careful. If you scratch to much or too hard, you could cause scarring. Although, scarring does not happen often. I still think it is a good idea to be careful of your more delicate skin, like your face.
But the best thing that helps hives is time. Remember they generally don’t last long and with time they will soon be an itchy memory.