What is Urticaria?
Urticaria is one of the most common skin problems. It is also known as hives or nettle rash in which wheals (raised eruptions surrounded by erythema) appear on the skin along with severe itching, stinging and burning. There are numerous types of Urticaria.
Urticaria, also known as Hives, affects around 20 percent of people at some time during their lives. This problem can be triggered by several substances or situations. It generally starts as an itchy patch of skin that evolves into swollen red welts. The itching can get aggregated with scratching, alcoholic beverages, exercise and emotional stress.
There are two types of Urticaria – short-lived (acute) and long-term (chronic). Though none of them is normally life-threatening, but any swelling in the throat or any other symptom that cause breathing problems needs an immediate emergency care.
What are the causes of Urticaria?
Wheals mainly result of the release of chemical mediators from tissue mast cells and circulating basophils. These chemical mediators generally include histamine, cytokines, and platelet-activating factor. These mediators activate sensory nerves and lead to dilation of blood vessels and leakage of fluid into surrounding tissues.
Apart from it, there are many other factors, that can possibly cause Urticaria. These include:
- Certain food items, particularly peanuts, eggs, nuts and shellfish
- Some medications, like antibiotics, aspirin and ibuprofen
- Insect stings or bites
- Physical stimuli, like pressure, exercise, cold, heat or sun exposure
- Blood transfusions
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Certain plants, like poison oak and poison ivy
What are the signs and symptoms of Urticaria?
The symptoms of Urticaria can last anywhere from minutes to months or in some cases it lasts even for years. Though Urticaria resembles bug bites, but they are different in number of ways:
- Urticaria or hives can appear on any area of the body. These can move around, change their shape, disappear and reappear over short periods of time.
- Wheals (red or skin coloured bumps with clear edges) generally appear suddenly and go away rapidly.
- Upon pressing, a red hive turns into white in colour. This process is known as “blanching.”
How is Urticaria diagnosed?
In some cases of Urticaria, a proper investigation of the situation by the physician is needed because there are several possible causes. The doctor will ask about your and your family’s medical history, substances to which you are exposed at home and at workplace, exposure to pets or other animals and any medications you’ve recently taken. The doctor might conduct some skin tests, blood tests and urine tests to discover the cause of your problem. After analysing your tests doctor may recommend you to be away from certain allergic food items, medications, etc. However, the cause of chronic hives is mostly difficult to identify.
What is the treatment for Urticaria?
The main treatment of all types of Urticaria in adults as well as in children is with an oral second-generation antihistamine. Antihistamine works by blocking the effect of histamine, a chemical in the skin that mainly leads to allergy symptoms. Antihistamines are stopped when the acute Urticaria get settled down. The mostly used
What is the Homeopathic treatment for Urticaria?
Homeopathy plays a very significant role in the treatment of acute, recurring and chronic forms of Urticaria. Homeopathic remedies stimulate the body’s own healing system and lead to long-term cure in Urticaria. These medicines can be taken along with symptomatic anti-allergic medication under the supervision of an expert.
Some of the most commonly used homeopathic medicines for Urticaria:
• Apis mellifica : This homeopathic remedy is mainly recommend to those who experiences red, inflamed, raised patches of skin. These patches also burn and sting like a bee sting.
• Belladonna: People requiring this homeopathic medicine generally find themselves with a very red and hot face.
• Arsenicum album: this is one of the best homeopathic remedies when the eruptions are clearly worse at night and are generally accompanied by restlessness.
• Urtica urens : This homeopathic remedy is ideal for those who experience itching and burning of skin as if the skin was scorched along with plenty of raised, red blotches.