One in every six people will experience at least one attack of hives at some point in their lives.
Hives can be triggered by a number of different factors. Allergy often can trigger hives as well as infections, medications, insect stings and food allergy may also trigger hives. Other conditions, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or problems with the thyroid gland, can also bring on an attack of hives in susceptible people.
Symptoms of hives include:
- Raised circular weals appear that look like mosquito bites.
- The wheals are red on the outer rim and white in the centre.
- Localised itching is present.
- An individual weal has a lifespan of around 24 hours or less.
- The weals appear in batches or clusters.
One batch fades away as a new batch appears.
The rash may last for days or weeks.
Allergens that commonly cause hives
In around one-third of cases, the cause of hives is unknown. Some factors known to cause hives include:
- Medications – such as antibiotics, aspirin and codeine
- Foods – such as shellfish, eggs, nuts, peanuts, chocolate, cheese, tomatoes, soy products and strawberries
- Some food additives
- Infections – including bacterial, viral or parasitic
- Certain underlying medical conditions
- Emotional stress, certain plants
- Sunshine heat and cold temperatures
- Exercise and sweating
- Bee and wasp stings.
Diagnosis of hives
Hives can be commonly mistaken for insect bites or some other types of skin rashes. Diagnosis methods can include:
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
- Allergy tests, such as skin prick tests
- Elimination diet, under medical supervision, to identify the allergen.
Once the allergen has been correctly identified, sinusitis symptoms can be effectively managed and treated in a number of ways. Depending on the allergen, severity and frequency, there are many available treatment options from avoiding triggers, medication to desensitisation. Our doctors will discuss with you in more details.
The most important step in allergy management is correctly identifying the cause
Allergy Doctors provide professional, proven and accessible solutions to your allergy problems.