Hives (urticaria) is a widespread in Germany hypersensitivity reaction of the skin. The disease shows symptoms such as redness, hives, as well as a severe itching. The causes and triggers of hives are diverse: be can they sparked among others by certain medications and foods, but also by pressure, heat and cold. In the treatment of hives is the search for the cause in the first place. Until it is found, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms.
Hives - a widespread rash
The hives - urticaria also called - includes atopic dermatitis and psoriasis to skin diseases most common in Central Europe. It is estimated that between 20 and 25 percent of the Germans at least once in their lives suffer from hives. The name derives (urtica) from the Latin word for nettle, because the symptoms are similar to skin reactions that occur after contact with a nettle.
The case of hives, the symptoms are caused by the neurotransmitter histamine. This is released by an incorrect reaction of the immune system on a really safe trigger in large quantities. Histamine increases the permeability of the blood vessels of the skin in the body and it comes to water retention in the DermIS - the hives.
Hives: Causes and triggers
The causes for the releases of the histamine are manifold, an allergy behind the complaints is about ten percent of the time. These can consist, for example, against certain foods or against drugs. In addition, virus diseases, infections with parasites, internal diseases, auto-immune diseases and infections in the nose ear neck-possible causes of hives can be.
In addition, hives can be triggered also by the following external stimuli:
Also psychological factors to can have an influence on the hives. It's considered to be relatively sure that stress can adversely affect an already existing hives. Whether stress as the sole cause of skin disease in question is still uncertain.
Hives is not contagious or hereditary, by the way. Only a special form of cold hives can be passed to the next generation. However, this form occurs extremely rarely.
Hives: typical symptoms
Typical symptoms of hives is a red rash, usually very itchy. The itching is often very stressful for those involved, because it is difficult to concentrate on other things and therefore also poor sleep. Characteristic is the feeling of those affected to be able to counteract the itching by pinching or pressure with your finger nails. This is different from other skin diseases such as Atopic Dermatitis, where sufferers more likely to attempt to relieve the itch by scratching hives.
In addition to itching, red swellings on the skin – are the so-called hives - another typical symptom of hives. The hives are sometimes stressful for those involved, because it can be disfiguring. They appear often initially as pinkish to red small surveys, which become larger over time.
The hives can occur only on certain body parts or to the entire body. Hiking this hives is especially typical for hives: disappear in one place and reappear in another.
Swelling in the revenge as life-threatening symptom
It often result in hives to swelling and water retention in subcutaneous tissue, the so called angioedema. In the rare case, also mucous membranes in the mouth, the throat and the throat of the swelling can be affected. This can cause life-threatening breathing problems. Sufferers have always an allergy emergency kit with them. In it, a liquid antihistamine, a liquid cortisone preparation, as well as a syringe of adrenaline should be included.
The individual symptoms of hives can occur very quickly - within a few minutes after contact with the shutter - or only after a few hours. Usually the symptoms subside 24 hours again after at the latest, in some cases, the hives are back after half an hour. During a burst of the nettle rash, the symptoms may occur but again after a short break. A batch of hives can last several days or even weeks.
Hives in children
Not only adults, but also children can be affected by hives. However, the skin disease occurs rather rarely in children. Adults are mainly affected above all by chronic hives.
Also in children, hives shows the typical symptoms such as red welts and severe itching. In babies and toddlers a hives thrust stops frequently just a few days, then the disease will disappear by itself. Otherwise a child or a dermatologist should be consulted, to determine the cause of the complaints.
Most frequently, an expired virus infection behind the hives is in small children. But also an allergy to certain foods or medications, as well as heat can cause unpleasant symptoms.
Hives and pregnancy
During pregnancy, the hives symptoms improve frequently, because the immune system is dampened. Some women also report a worsening of the disease. Also a hives can be triggered by the strong hormonal changes during pregnancy also for the first time.
Stronger gradients of disease in pregnant women can be problematic, since many medications against hives during pregnancy is not allowed.
Different types of hives
Hives is a very complex disease, different subtypes are distinguished:
- Spontaneous hives
- Physical hives
- Cholinergische hives
- How to contact with hives
When these subtypes, the hives is divided according to their duration or the trigger of the disease. Learn more about the different types of hives on the next page of the book.