Hives is a skin reaction that causes raised, red, itchy welts, called wheals or swellings, in sizes ranging from small spots to large blotches several inches in diameter.
· Raised red or white welts of various sizes that can cover large areas of skin;
· Welts that cure while new welts erupt, making it seem as if the condition ‘moves’;
· Itching, which may be severe;
· Burning or stinging may occur rarely in the affected area.
· Try to identify and avoid substances that either irritate your skin or may cause an allergic reaction. These can include foods, medications, pollen, pet dander, latex and insect stings;
· Use an over-the-counter antihistamine. A non-prescription oral antihistamine, such as loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others) may help relieve itching;
· Apply cool, wet compresses;
· Take a comfortably cool bath;
· Wear loose, smooth-textured cotton clothing. Avoid clothing that is rough, tight, scratchy, or made from wool. This will help you avoid irritation.
When to See a Doctor:
· Your hives does not respond to treatment;
· You have severe discomfort;
· Your symptoms continue for more than a few days.
Seek Emergency Care If:
· You feel lightheaded;
· You have severe chest tightness or trouble breathing;
· You feel your throat is swelling.