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What causes hives and how dangerous can they be? A nurse practitioner explains

Every year, about 20% of Americans will get hives—those itchy, red bumps or welts that can appear after a day in the garden, taking medication, being bitten by a bug or for no apparent reason at all. Patricia A. MacCulloch, a nurse practitioner and professor of nursingShe is a teacher who teaches about hives among other things. She gives some insight into this annoying condition which can sometimes be a sign for a life-threatening emergency.

What causes hives?

Hives is a term that describes a medical condition called urticariaA skin disorder caused by an allergic reaction.

Hives can appear at any age. The appearance of hives may vary depending on your skin color. Hives can often be seen in people with brown skin. same color as your skinYour natural skin color may be slightly darker or lighter than it is. People with pale complexions may develop pink- and red-colored itches. Hives can occur in many places. itch, burn and stingYou may feel warm to your touch. Blanching can also occur when hives are pressed on. This causes the discoloration to disappear, and then return as soon as the pressure is released. Hives can stay, spread, or emerge on other parts of the skin.

Hives can be caused by a variety of factors, including certain foods, medications and plants, pollen, animals dander, insect bites, pesticides, and chemicals found in the garden. Hives can also be caused by emotional stress. For example, tight clothing while exercising or a lack of sleep. illnesses or infection.

Why are hives itchy, bumpy, and itchy?

Merriam-Webster defines a hive as “a place swarming with activity.”This is how I practice professional nursing. Hives are a body’s immune system “swarming in activity” when it tries to manage an allergy attack. An allergen is a substance that can trigger an allergic response. Whether the allergen is encountered directly on the skin surface—as is the case with a latex allergy—or ingested in the form of a food or medication, the body’s immune response includes the activation of histamines.

Histamines, chemicals produced by white blood cells in the body to combat allergens, are substances called histamines. Histamine is released into the bloodstream when it comes in contact with allergens. This will cause swelling, reddening, and itching of the blood vessels near the skin’s surface. The body’s response to histamine is trying to dilute the offending allergen.

How long can hives last?

Hives can appear and disappear in a matter of hours or can last for days to weeks. They can recur depending upon future allergic reactions and immune responses. Hives that last for more than six months are considered chronic. Hives are quite common. However, it is important that you investigate the cause and consider the potential risks.

Sometimes, hives can be a sign of a more severe immune reaction. anaphylaxisIt is also known as a medical emergency. Anaphylaxis could be a potential life-threateningAn allergic reaction is a sudden, weak pulse, a drop in blood pressure, and tightening the airway that can affect breathing. Common immune system triggers associated with hives and anaphylaxis include foods such as nuts, medications like antibiotics and blood pressure lowering agents, insect venom from bees and or mosquitoes and allergic reactions from latex materials—just to name a few.

Contact your primary healthcare provider immediately if you develop hives. He can collect a detailed health history and perform a physical exam. You can take steps to reduce your exposure after the allergen has been identified.

What are the main treatments for hives

Antihistamines, a type over-the-counter medication, are used to treat mild itching and swelling. You can take antihistamines by mouth such as loratadine, Clairin, or diphenhydramine, Benadryl. applied directly on the skin surface. A cool moist compress can be used to reduce swelling and provide comfort. You may also need to consider the following: oral and topical steroids, an anti-inflammatory agent that is more powerful to reduce the body’s inflammation response and manage allergic symptoms.

It is important to discuss hives with a healthcare provider if you or someone you know is experiencing it. This will help to reduce the risk of future allergic reactions.


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