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1. What do you mean by hives?
A sudden outbreak of plaques (wheals), or pale, swollen, red bumps on the skin is termed as hives (also called urticaria). It tends to cause burning, itching or stinging sensations. They result from a reaction of the body to specific allergens.
2. How do hives appear?
Hives are characterised by the appearance of welts or raised red bumps anywhere on the body. They resemble either large connected bumps, or tiny little spots, or blotches.
3. What are the causes of hives?
The cause of hives could be:
• Blood transfusions
• Thyroid disorders
• Infection (bacterial or viral)
• Underlying medical conditions
• Medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, penicillin, naproxen)
• Immune-related diseases
• Cancer (lymphoma)
• Environmental factors(water, sunlight, stress, heat, cold,etc.)
• Allergens (latex, insect stings, pollen)
• Foodstuffs (milk, eggs, fish, nuts)
4. How is hives diagnosed?
Hives are diagnosed in the following way:
• Medical history analysis by the physician for diagnosing the causes
• Physical examination of the affected area by the physician
• Allergy skin test.
• Blood tests (for specific proteins)
5. What are the complications of hives?
Complications of hives include severe angioedema, which can prove to be life-threatening in cases where swelling of your throat or tongue may lead to the blockage of your airway and breathlessness.