1. What do you mean by hives?
Hives are allergic skin rashes which can be triggered by certain foods, medications or other irritants. They are also known as urticaria and they may last for a few hours to even few days.
2. How do hives appear?
Hives appear as skin rash with red, raised, and severe itchy bumps. They can appear anywhere on the body and can look like tiny little spots, blotches, or large connected bumps. Hives appear when the body reacts to an allergen and releases histamine which causes inflammation and fluid to accumulate under the skin.
3. What are the causes of hives?
There are many causes of hives which include
- Medications like codeine, aspirin, ibuprofen, penicillin, vaccines
- Certain foods like shellfish, nuts, eggs, wheat and soy
- Infection like parasitic infection
4. How is hives diagnosed?
Medical history and physical examination is required to diagnose the allergen responsible for hives. Other tests include
skin tests to determine the allergen. Blood tests like complete blood count and IgE may also be done.
5. What are the complications of hives?
A rare complication of hives is a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis which is a life threatening condition. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing, swelling of lips, eyelids and tongue. Emergency care is required as it is a potentially fatal condition.