Urticaria is a common skin ailment also known as hives. It is characterized by pale red or white ring like patches surrounded by red outline on the skin that is itchy and causes irritation. The hives were skin rash can disappear within 24 hours only to reappear again. Urticaria affects the arms, buttocks, thighs, legs and stomach. Severe cases can also affect the eyes, scalp and respiratory tract lining.
There are two major types of urticaria. These are referred to as acute urticaria and chronic urticaria. Chronic attacks of urticaria can last for several years. The acute form generally will only last three months. The triggers of this skin condition are various and can include allergic reactions from food, chemicals, changes in hormones and stress. The triggers can cause a chemical called histamine to be released from the skin cells which then causes red patches to form on the skin.
Conventional urticaria treatment normally involves the use of antihistamines and steroids. Several antihistamines can be bought over the counter without a prescription such as Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton. These medications can be taken up to three times a day for relieve itchiness and swelling. Some prescription antihistamines that are used include hydroxzine and cypropheptadine. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness however and it may be necessary to only be taken at bedtime. Allegra and Exzal are also used which cause less drowsiness. H2 blockers are another type of antihistamines that can be used. These include Zantac and Tagamet. It should be noted that taking antihistamines is not a cure for urticaria. They only suppress the symptoms. Your medical doctor will individualize treatment plans according to your individual needs and clinical responses.
Using steroids like prednisone can be used to treat urticaria and will cause the symptoms to disappear quickly. However, steroids can not be used for prolonged periods of time. This is because steroids used for prolonged periods of time can cause damage to the body. Oral steroids are used to treat severe cases of hives on a short-term basis only. Their usefulness is limited because most cases of urticaria last longer than the amount of time steroids can be used safely.
Certain prescription creams and lotions are also used to treat urticaria. Topical creams and lotions help numb the nerve endings and reduce itching. Active ingredients in these creams and lotions include camphor, menthol, diphenhydramine and paramoxine.
There are alternative methods to treating Urticaria. One method is called lipotherapy or mesotherapy. It involves injecting certain pharmaceutical agents into the middle layer of the skin where the hive attacks are severe. The substances usually injected are vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, enzymes and medication. However, although effective, this treatment option is very expensive. Homeopathic treatments are also used as well as various home remedies. It also helps to build your immune system by eating a nutritious diet.
Urticaria is difficult to treat and take a long time. Avoiding substances that are known to cause an allergic reaction is critical. This includes certain foods, chemicals and medications that you may be allergic too. Lowering stress levels is also beneficial because stress can be a trigger for utricaria as well. Antifungal agents are also used to treat hives to clear up any underlying skin infections. When undergoing urticaria treatment the patient should also avoid smoking, the use of alcohol. You should not eat processed foods or foods with additives and preservatives. Foods to add to your diet when you have hives include seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Avoid any foods that cause an allergic reaction for you.
Pregnant or nursing women should not use over the counter urtica treatment without consulting with their medical doctor. Patients who have epilepsy, kidney disorders, liver disease and heart disease should also discuss treatment with their medical doctor before taking over the counter or prescription medications for the treatment of hives.