Hives (Urticaria) Treatment

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    Küçükbakkalköy neighborhood. Merdivenköy Yolu neighborhood. No:12/1 Ataşehir / İstanbul

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      Frequently Asked Questions on Hives (Urticaria) Treatment

      Hives are red or flesh-colored raised bands, rashes, spots or map-like spots that have a habit of changing shape or moving from one part of the body to another, usually flaring up suddenly. This condition, medically known as urticaria, manifests itself with itchy, red and raised rashes on the skin. These rashes can appear anywhere on the body and can vary in size from a small spot to the size of the palm of your hand. Sometimes these blisters can merge and cover larger areas of skin.


      The most typical feature of hives is that they appear quickly and usually disappear within a few hours. You may think, "I woke up in the morning and it wasn't there, but in the evening it suddenly appeared". However, sometimes the rash can last for several days or longer. The triggers of hives are very varied and can be caused by allergic reactions, certain foods, medicines, stress or physical stimulation. Some people get hives occasionally, while in others it can become chronic. Chronic hives usually last for more than six weeks and the cause is not fully understood.

      Hives, or urticaria, can sometimes be a condition that makes you think "Why is my skin reacting so dramatically?". In fact, the causes of hives are quite varied and everyone's condition can be different. This skin reaction can be triggered by the body's hypersensitivity to certain substances or situations. One of the most common causes is allergic reactions. Although most people assume that hives are caused by allergies, more than 75% of hives in adults may not be allergy-related. Things such as blood transfusions, fruits, chocolate, eggs, fish, nuts, shellfish, foods such as soy or wheat, food additives such as tartrazine or MSG, insect stings and bites or jelly fish stings, latex, medicines (such as antibiotics, aspirin and ibuprofen) pet dander, plants, pollen can cause hives. Hives can also be caused by environmental factors, bacteria, viruses, anxiety or stress.

      Hives, or urticaria, can occur in various forms. There are two main types: acute and chronic. Acute hives are usually caused by an allergic reaction and last less than six weeks. So, if you say, "After I ate that dinner last night, I suddenly got rashes on my skin", this could be acute hives.


      Chronic hives, on the other hand, last longer than six weeks and sometimes there is no clear underlying cause. If you say, "I've had these rashes on my skin almost every day for months, but I can't figure out why," this could be a typical example of chronic hives.


      Other types of hives include physical urticaria. This type is triggered by a physical impact on the skin. For example, rubbing against the skin, pressure, cold or sunlight. Each type of hives has its own characteristics and triggers. Therefore, if you are constantly experiencing hives, it is important to consult a doctor to understand which type you are dealing with and to determine the appropriate treatment.

      Hives are characterized by some typical symptoms that make you say "Something is happening on my skin". The most common symptom is an itchy, red and raised rash on the skin. The size and shape of these rashes can vary; sometimes they are small, round spots, sometimes they are larger and spread in various shapes like a map. Sometimes they can even merge and cover large areas.


      Another characteristic of these rashes is that they appear quickly and disappear within a few hours. However, in some cases, the rash may persist for several days or longer. Another symptom of hives is blanching when pressure is applied to the rash area. Sometimes hives are not limited to skin symptoms but can also show signs of a more severe allergic reaction. In this case, more serious symptoms such as wheezing, swelling of the lips or throat and even anaphylaxis can occur.

      Diagnosis of hives often begins with a detailed evaluation by your doctor, who will often ask you what these changes in my skin mean. Usually, your doctor will first talk to you about your symptoms, trying to understand when they started, how long they lasted and, perhaps most importantly, the changes that have occurred in your life. 


      Your doctor will also ask if you have been exposed to any substances that can trigger allergic reactions. This could be specific foods you eat, medicines you take or environmental factors. Additional tests, such as blood tests or skin tests, are sometimes needed to diagnose hives, especially to rule out an underlying allergy or other health problem.


      If the cause of your hives is not clear from the initial examination, your doctor may recommend further investigations and tests. "It may take some time to figure out exactly what is causing it," he or she may say. The underlying causes of hives can be varied and sometimes complex, so it is important to be patient and cooperate with your doctor to make the correct diagnosis.

      The most common treatment is antihistamine medication to relieve symptoms. These medications are very effective in reducing itching and redness of the skin.  If it is possible to find a specific underlying cause of hives, treatment will be directed in that direction. For example, if you are allergic to a certain food, avoid that food; if you have an allergic reaction to a medicine, change the medicine. However, sometimes the cause of hives is not clear, in which case treatment focuses on managing the symptoms.


      In cases of chronic hives, more comprehensive treatment approaches may be needed. Sometimes your doctor may increase the dose of antihistamines or recommend different types of medication. Stress management and lifestyle changes can also help relieve the symptoms of hives.

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