What Is Urticaria?
Urticaria (more commonly known as “hives”) is a skin disease which appears in the form of blisters or irritations of red color which are bring about itching in the affected area. The symptoms can appear at any spot on the body, male or female (although women usually are slightly more vulnerable to the disease). Their shape and size varies, however, they usually extend from some millimeters to some inches in diameter. An interesting fact is that the signs of the spots are not stable and they also have the tendency to change size within a days’ time, meaning that they can disappear from the area you first spot them and appear in an other place (this is known as “ordinary urticaria”; we ‘ll talk about it later). As anyone can easily realize, urticaria can be extremely annoying and affect an individual’s appearance in a great extend. And, due to the fact that almost a quarter of the planet’s population is likely to have urticaria at some point of their life, the urticaria treatment is undoubtedly of major importance.
Before we get to array a number of helpful medical advice which would help you deal with urticaria, we will make a brief presentation of the most common forms of the disease as well as its causes.
Urticaria Types and Urticaria Causes
Generally, hives are caused by the release of histamine from the mast cells, which brings about fluid leak from the blood vessels; eventually, the skin starts swelling and in these areas causing irritation.
Ordinary Urticaria is characterized from the fact that the symptoms appear in a sudden and intense way, itching and swelling, only to fade during a day’s time span like they never existed and, sometimes, they come back later! They also appear in random areas, disappear and then appear elsewhere. In most cases, there is no specific reason for their appearance and this situation can last from days to 6-8 weeks.
Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria describes this specific kind of the disease when the symptoms insist and last for a time span greater than two months while the cause is either not known or can be attributed to viral infections, allergic reactions or recently taken medications.
Another common type of this dermal disorder is Physical Urticaria. This is distinguished by the formation of red and itchy bumps and it is attributed to
the clothes which comes to an intense contact with the skin.
Finally, Solar Urticaria is characterized by the appearance of erythema and wheal and is triggered, as the name reveals, by long-term exposure to sunlight. The best solar urticaria treament to force the symptoms fade away is to stop exposing your body to the sun!
Although the exact way of Urticaria treatment varies according to the type of the disease, the passe-partout is the use of antihistamines. This kind of medication aids in compensating for the leak of histamine which, as we mentioned previously, is the main cause of the majority of Urticaria types. Therefore, antihistamines like Diphenhydramine, Loratadine, Hydroxyzine (like Vistaril or Atarax), Cetirizine (such as Zyrtec) as well as Cyproheptadine and Fexofenadine (with the last two requiring prescription) are the most appropriate solutions. The bad aspect of these forms of medications is a feeling of numbness and dizziness which comes as a side-effect. A more effective way of treatment include the use of steroids which, however, are dangerous when applied for a long time. Furthermore, a point that should not be neglected is that in most cases (Ordinary/Solar Urticaria), in which the disease goes away on its own, the target of the urticaria treatment is merely the decrepitude of the annoying symptoms; therefore, the use of creams and lotions is recommended for this purpose.