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Hives are itchy red or pink bumps on your skin. It varies in shapes and sizes and can occurs anywhere on the body. They are harmless and will go away on their own.

But sometimes hives are signs of serious allergic reaction that needs immediate medical attention. The fancy name for hives is Urticaria.

Doctors may refer to urticaria as:

  • acute urticaria – if the rash disappears completely within six weeks
  • chronic urticaria –the rash comes and goes for more than six weeks

Why We Get Hives? 

You can get hives for many reasons. When you are expose to something that triggers Urticaria your body releases more histamine. Histamine causes the blood vessels in the surface of your skin to open up and swell. Histamine is release for various reasons such as:

There are triggers that can make the symptoms worse. These include:

  • Heat or cold exposure
  • Stress

Who’s affected by Hives?

Hives is common among children, people with allergic history and women between ages 30-60.

How Can I Prevent Hives?

Hives aren’t usually serious. Kids get hives when they have virus infection like colds and flu.  If you know what triggers your allergy, just avoid them. Prevention is better than cure.

What is the treatment for hives?

The rash disappears within 24-48 hours. If it is just mild, you can do the following to reduce the symptoms:

  • Take a cool bath to ease the itch
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Do not scratch the affected area
  • Do not eat foods that triggers your allergy
  • Anti-itch lotion will help soothe the itchiness.

Doctors can diagnose hives by hearing your story and by looking at you. Your doctor will suggest you to take medications if you have hives often and if the reaction is serious.

  • Antihistamines- It blocks the action of histamines. Loratadine (Claritin) and Cetirizine are antihistamine drug that can treat hives and other skin allergies. They are available without prescriptions from pharmacies.