Urticaria, commonly known as hives, appears as pink itchy bumps on the skin. The rash can appear anywhere, usually lasting a few hours before disappearing without leaving any marks. They can sometimes be associated with swelling of the eyelids and lips.
Common causes of hives include infections, medications or foods. Other triggers are heat, cold, pressure, exercise or stress.
Most urticarial episodes do not cause symptoms for more than a few weeks. However if it lasts for more than 6 weeks, blood tests are recommended to exclude any underlying medical causes.
TREATMENT & CARE FOR URTICARIA
- Blood tests are performed to exclude any underlying causes or triggers.
- Avoidance of known triggers can prevent the flare of urticaria.
- Anti-histamines are the mainstay of treatment in most cases of chronic urticaria.
- In severe cases, oral medicines or biologics such as omalizumab injections (Xolair) are also available for treatment.