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For many, allergic reactions cause symptoms like a runny nose or watery eyes. Others experience hives, a common skin reaction involving red, itchy, rash-like marks. Hives usually go away on their own within a few days to a week. But for some, hives become a chronic, or long-term, issue.
Axar.az reports citing CNN.
If you develop hives and they last longer than six weeks, you may have a condition known as chronic hives. Also called chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU), this condition causes unpleasant symptoms that may interfere with your daily activities. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available, and if one doesn’t work, your doctor can help you find effective relief using other methods.
What are chronic hives?
Chronic hives, or CIU, are hives that don’t go away after six weeks or longer and frequently reoccur. Like acute, or short-term, hives, chronic hives cause itchy red welts on the surface of the skin. Some hives may even connect, forming larger, more uncomfortable welts.
Most people experience multiple symptoms when living with chronic hives. Your symptoms may include:
What causes chronic hives?
Unfortunately, the exact cause of chronic hives is unknown. However, doctors do know that hives seem to form in response to certain triggers. These triggers may be allergens in the environment, or they may be related to other factors like the consumption of alcohol or certain foods. Hives may be triggered by:
In all cases, the red welts that appear after exposure to a trigger form because certain cells release a chemical called histamine into the bloodstream. Histamine causes itching, redness, and swelling.
How are chronic hives diagnosed?
To diagnose your condition, your doctor will ask you several questions about your past medical history, current health, and any known allergies you may have. Additionally, your doctor may suggest keeping a food, activity, and medication diary for a week or two. This diary can help determine potential triggers, especially if you keep careful notes about what you eat and do, and whether those choices resulted in hives. Your doctor may also recommend blood or skin tests to see if any underlying causes may contribute to hives.
What are my treatment options?
Many people find relief from the symptoms of chronic hives by taking antihistamine medication once every day. Your doctor may recommend a non-drowsy antihistamine to help block cells from releasing histamine into your bloodstream.
For some, antihistamines by themselves aren’t enough to control chronic hives. Fortunately, other medications may help relieve symptoms. In addition to an antihistamine, your doctor may suggest:
Your specific treatment will depend on the severity of your hives, your past medical history, and any other medical conditions you may have.
2019.07.02 / 17:21