What are Hives?
A skin reaction that leads to red or white coloured itchy welts is known as hives. The welts can vary in size and they appear and fade constantly as the reaction progresses in its course.
A condition in which the welts last for over 6 weeks or reappear over months or years is known as chronic hives. Although these hives pose no threat to a person’s life but, they can cause irritation and interfere in your routine activities like sleep.
What are the Symptoms?
Chronic hives usually include the following signs and symptoms:
- Red or white welts can be seen on the face, trunk, arms, or legs
- Welts can vary in size, shape, and appearance. They may fade or re-appear as the reaction progresses
- Severe itching
- Swelling leading to pain or burning, especially in parts like throat, around eyes, cheeks, lips, hands, feet, and genitals
What are the Causes of Chronic Hives?
When cells release histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream, welts can be seen. The reason of this reaction cannot be deciphered by doctors most times. However, the reasons of skin reaction can be:
- Pain medications
- Insect bite
- Heat or cold
- Pressure on the skin
What are the Risk Factors?
There are certain factors that increase the risk of developing of chronic hives. These factors include:
- Females, women are affected by the reaction twice as often as men
- Being a young adult
What is the Prognosis for Chronic Hives?
Chronic urticaria comes and goes away. You may see rashes on most days and there can be days when there are no rashes on the skin. The severity of the condition varies from person to person. In almost half of the cases the symptoms go away within 3-5 years after its first occurrence.
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Read more on Hives (Urticaria).