Not all allergies result in sneezing and watery eyes. Sometimes allergies cause inflammation in the body, resulting in patches of redness and welts on the skin. Hives, as this outbreak of rash is commonly known, are a frustrating and uncomfortable side effect of exposure to some forms of allergen, though sometimes hives can develop for no known reason at all.
Hives are itchy, they are ugly, and they tend to show up at the most inopportune times. They can derail your day, causing you to feel incredibly uncomfortable trying to go about your business, and sometimes even developing on your face or neck. For some people, hives come and go on their own, only affecting them for a couple of hours before subsiding. But for others, hives can become chronic—lasting six weeks or even longer without going away.
What Causes Hives?
For some people hives are predictable. Exposure to a food you know you shouldn’t eat, use of an irritating lotion or perfume, or even wearing certain types of materials could lead to you being covered in hives. They can develop where your skin is exposed to the irritant, or in the case of dietary allergies, anywhere at all. But in some circumstances, hives will develop for no known reason at all. Sometimes they develop as a reaction to stress or fear, sometimes out of fatigue, and sometimes for no perceivable reason whatsoever.
Whatever the environmental cause, hives are the result of swelling beneath the skin. This swelling is the same reason that some people will experience severe swelling of their lips, throat, hands, or other areas of the body after being exposed to something they are allergic to, but are not typically perceived as being severe because they are not likely to impede on one’s ability to eat, sleep, or breathe.
When the itchy patches do develop on your body, you want to find ways to try to ease the itchiness and swelling as quickly as possible.
You can treat hives at home by:
- Using over-the-counter anti-histamine medications like Benadryl
- Using over-the-counter medicated ointments
- Turning to soothing lotions and baby powder to reduce itching
- Taking a bath
In most cases, hives will subside after 24 hours without any intervention. If you have never had hives before, or if your hives persist after 24 hours, then it is recommended that you speak to a dermatologist about your condition before seeking any additional treatments. At Avail Dermatology, we’re here to help. Contact us at 770-251-5111 today to set up a consultation.