Hives on left arm only: Hives Causes, Picture, & Treatment
Hives Causes, Picture, & Treatment
Urticaria, also known as hives, is an outbreak of pale red bumps or welts on the skin that appear suddenly. The swelling that often comes with hives is called angioedema.
Allergic reactions, chemicals in certain foods, insect stings, sunlight, and medications can cause hives. It’s often impossible to find out exactly why hives have formed.
What Causes Hives?
There are several types of hives, including:
Acute urticaria. These are hives that last less than 6 weeks. The most common causes are foods, medications, and infections. Insect bites and diseases may also be responsible.
The most common foods that cause hives are nuts, chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries, and milk. Fresh foods cause hives more often than cooked foods. Certain food additives and preservatives may also be to blame.
Drugs that can cause hives include aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, high blood pressure drugs (especially ACE inhibitors), or painkillers such as codeine.
Chronic urticaria. These are hives that last more than 6 weeks. The cause is usually harder to identify than those causing acute urticaria. For most people with chronic urticaria, the cause is impossible to find. In some cases, though, the cause may be thyroid disease, hepatitis, infection, or cancer.
Chronic urticaria can also affect organs such as the lungs, muscles, and gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include shortness of breath, muscle soreness, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Physical urticaria. These hives are caused by something that stimulates the skin — for example, cold, heat, sun exposure, vibration, pressure, sweating, or exercise. The hives usually occur right where the skin was stimulated and rarely appear elsewhere. Most of the hives appear within 1 hour.
Dermatographism. This is a common form of physical urticaria where hives form after firmly stroking or scratching the skin. These hives can also occur along with other forms of urticaria.
The Link to Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a painful or itchy rash you get after your skin touches something you’re allergic to (allergic contact dermatitis) or that’s otherwise irritating to your skin (irritant contact dermatitis). It’s not the same as hives. But sometimes people with contact dermatitis also get hives after they come into contact with an allergen.
How Are Hives Diagnosed?
Your doctor will need to ask many questions in an attempt to find the possible cause of hives. Since there are no specific tests for hives — or the associated swelling of angioedema — testing will depend on your medical history and a thorough exam by your doctor.
Your doctor may do skin tests to find out what you’re allergic to. Or they may test your blood to see if you have an illness.
How Are Hives Treated?
The best treatment for hives is to find and remove the trigger, but this is not an easy task. Antihistamines are usually prescribed by your doctor to provide relief from symptoms. Antihistamines work best if taken on a regular schedule to prevent hives from forming in the first place.
Chronic hives may be treated with antihistamines or a combination of medications. When antihistamines don’t provide relief, oral steroids may be prescribed. A biologic drug, omalizumab (Xolair), is also approved to treat chronic hives in people at least 12 years old.
For severe hives, you might need an injection of epinephrine or a cortisone medication.
How Can Hives Be Managed?
While you’re waiting for hives and swelling to disappear, here are some tips:
- Apply cool compresses or wet cloths to the affected areas.
- Try to work and sleep in a cool room.
- Wear loose-fitting lightweight clothes.
When Should I Call the Doctor About Hives?
If you have hives with any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right away:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, or face
Angioedema: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Types
Angioedema is swelling beneath your skin. It can happen at many points on your body, including your:
- Larynx (your voice box)
- Uvula (the little piece of skin that hangs from the back of your throat)
- Legs or feet
It can also happen around your genitals and in your intestines. It’s common to get hives at the same time.
The swelling feels like large, thick, firm welts and can cause redness, pain, or warmth in the swollen areas. If it’s in your lower intestine, it can bring stomach pain. Angioedema can be dangerous if swelling is in your throat or tongue. That can make it hard to breathe. If this happens, you should get medical help right away.
Types and Causes
There are four types of angioedema, and they all have different causes.
Allergic angioedema: This is the most common kind. Your allergic reaction can be to foods, like:
It could also be to:
Drug-induced angioedema: Some medicines can trigger angioedema. They include:
Certain blood pressure medicines called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors can also cause flare-ups that can happen quickly. Even if you’ve been taking ACE inhibitors for a long time, sudden reactions can still happen.
Hereditary angioedema (HAE): This is rare. It happens when your body doesn’t make enough of a blood protein called C1 esterase inhibitor. That lets fluid from your blood move into other tissues, which brings swelling.
You’ll usually have your first bout of this before you turn 12 years old. You may pass the condition on to your children.
There’s another very rare type called acquired angioedema that has the same symptoms as HAE. It’s different because it doesn’t happen until you’re older than 40. It usually happens when you have a weakened immune system. Unlike HAE, you can’t pass it on to your children.
Idiopathic angioedema: Idiopathic means there isn’t a known cause for your swelling. Possible culprits can include:
Allergic and drug-induced angioedema usually happen within an hour of exposure to your trigger. Hereditary and acquired types usually happen over many hours, but it can feel much faster if you wake up and suddenly discover swelling.
Who Gets It?
You may have a higher chance of angioedema if:
- You’ve had hives, allergic reactions, or if you’ve had angioedema before.
- You have lupus, lymphoma, thyroid disease, hepatitis, HIV, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, or have had a blood transfusion.
- You have a family history of hives or angioedema.
- You have asthma and take NSAIDs.
- You take ACE inhibitors. This is especially true if you’re a woman or African-American, or if you take angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).
- You’ve had recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA ) therapy for a stroke.
To find out what type of angioedema you have, your doctor will examine you and talk about your symptoms. They may do blood tests to get more details.
Angioedema usually gets better on its own within a few days. If you do need treatment, it can include:
- Medicines to ease swelling and inflammation, like antihistamines and oral corticosteroids
- Drugs to slow down your immune system if antihistamines and corticosteroids don’t work
- Other medicines that ease pain and swelling, like leukotriene antagonists (a group of anti-inflammatory medicines that aren’t steroids)
- Blood protein controllers if you have hereditary angioedema
If your angioedema is drug-induced, your doctor will usually switch you to another medicine that you can handle better.
For a serious attack, you may need a shot of epinephrine (a type of adrenaline). For repeated strong attacks, you may need to carry a pen-like device so you can inject yourself with epinephrine in an emergency.
You can avoid allergic episodes if you stay away from foods, medications, or other conditions that trigger angioedema. If you don’t know what’s causing your episodes, try to keep a diary to track foods, symptoms, and situations tied to your symptoms.
Your doctor might suggest you take antihistamines every day instead of just when you need them. This can help get rid of episodes, make them happen less often, or be less dangerous. You also won’t have to wait for the medicine to start working when you need relief.
Arm Rash – Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
Rash is a symptom that causes the affected area of skin to turn red and blotchy and to swell. A rash may cause spots that are bumpy, scaly, flaky, or filled with pus. Rashes can vary in location, pattern and extent and may occur in any area of the body. An arm rash can have a variety of causes, and it may indicate something occurring around the arm itself or suggest a systemic (body-wide) condition.
Contact dermatitis (skin inflammation) is caused by an adverse reaction to something that touches the skin, including chemicals found in detergent, soap or a fragrance. For example, you may develop a rash on your arm when you wear a shirt that was washed with a particular detergent or treated with a chemical. Metal, such as jewelry, can also cause arm rash. Other forms of contact dermatitis include exposure to certain plants, such as poison oak or ivy, an animal bite, or an insect sting. Lyme disease is caused by tick bite and can first appear as a circle with a bull’s-eye pattern, then progress to a rash. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is another tick-borne condition that may start with a rash on the arms and legs, followed by fever and other flu-like symptoms.
Allergies to food and medications are potentially serious sources of rash. Peanuts, shellfish, strawberries and avocados are just some of the foods that can trigger allergic reactions. These foods may cause mild reactions; however, in some cases, reactions could develop into potentially life-threatening conditions characterized by vomiting, difficulty breathing, or swelling. Allergic purpura is a serious, often life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause a skin rash but can also affect the joints, gastrointestinal tract, and kidneys.
Rashes may also be associated with skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis and impetigo. Some of these are chronic skin conditions that may flare up for a time, then resolve. Other causes for rash include autoimmune disorders that occur when the body is attacked by its own immune system, which normally serves to protect it from foreign invaders (antigens). Many viruses that occur during flu season, or those associated with childhood diseases, such as chickenpox or measles, can produce rash.
Rashes can be caused by an allergic reaction to food, medications, lotions or detergents. These reactions can range from mild to potentially life threatening, especially if swelling and constriction of breathing occurs, which could indicate anaphylaxis.
Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if a rash is accompanied by any serious symptoms, including swelling of the face, swelling or constriction of the throat, difficulty breathing, fainting, change in level of consciousness or alertness, pale skin, or purple rash.
Seek prompt medical care if a rash is persistent and causes you concern.
Help With Hives (for Kids)
What Are Hives?
Hives are pink or red bumps or slightly raised patches of skin. Sometimes, they have a pale center. Hives usually itch, but they also can burn or sting.
Hives can happen anywhere on the body. They can be tiny or as big as a dinner plate. The spots also might look like rings or groups of rings joined together in clusters.
Hives can change locations in a matter of hours. A bunch of hives might be on a person’s face, then go away. Later, more may appear on the person’s arms.
Hives are common and usually harmless. But occasionally they’re a sign of a serious allergic reaction. So, always tell your mom or dad if you get them.
The medical term for hives is urticaria (say: ur-tuh-KAR-ee-uh). When a person is exposed to something that can trigger hives, certain cells in the body release histamine (say: HIS-tuh-meen) and other substances. This causes fluid to leak from the small blood vessels under the skin. When this fluid collects under the skin, it forms the blotches, which we call hives.
Why Do I Get Hives?
People can get hives for lots of different reasons (though sometimes, the cause is not known).
One common reason for getting hives is an allergic reaction. Some common allergic triggers are certain foods (like milk, wheat, eggs, shellfish, berries, and nuts), medicines (such as antibiotics), and insect stings or bites.
Other causes of hives are not related to allergies and these can include:
- exposure to the cold (like diving into a cold pool)
- sun exposure
- nervousness or stress
- infections caused by viruses
No matter what the cause, a case of hives can last for a few minutes, a few hours, or even days.
What Will the Doctor Do?
Doctors usually can diagnose hives just by looking at you and hearing your story about what happened. The doctor can try to help figure out what might be causing your hives, although often the cause will remain a mystery. If you’re getting hives a lot, or your reaction was serious, your doctor might send you to another doctor who specializes in allergies.
Sometimes, doctors will suggest you take a type of medicine called an antihistamine to relieve the itchiness. In many cases, hives clear up on their own without any medication or doctor visits.
Less often, hives can be a sign of a more serious allergic reaction that can affect breathing and other body functions. In these cases, the person needs immediate medical care.
Some people who know they have serious allergies carry a special medicine to use in an emergency. This medicine, called epinephrine, is given by a shot. Usually, a nurse gives you a shot, but because some allergic reactions can happen really fast, many adults and kids carry this emergency shot with them and know how to use it, just in case they ever need it in a hurry.
Can I Prevent Hives?
Yes and no. The answer is “yes” if you know what causes your hive. If you know something causes you trouble, you can try to avoid it. If you get hives when you’re nervous, relaxation breathing exercises may help. But if you don’t know why you get hives, it’s tough to prevent them.
Some kids get hives when they have a virus, such as a bad cold or stomach flu. Other than washing your hands regularly, there’s not much you can do to avoid getting sick occasionally.
The good news is that hives usually aren’t serious and you might even grow out of them. Who wouldn’t want to give hives the heave-ho?
Hives | Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What are hives?
Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE
When you have hives (urticaria), you have an itchy rash caused by tiny amounts of fluid that leak from blood vessels just under the skin surface.
A trigger causes cells in the skin to release chemicals such as histamine. The chemicals cause fluid to leak from tiny blood vessels under the skin surface. The fluid pools to form weals. The chemicals also cause the blood vessels to open wide (dilate) which causes the flare around the weals. It is not known what the trigger is in about half of cases.
Some known triggers include:
- A physical stimulus. Where this is the case the condition is called inducible urticaria. In this type of hives, a rash appears when the skin is physically stimulated (for example, by heat, cold or pressure).
- Allergies – for example:
- Food allergies such as allergies to nuts, strawberries, citrus fruit, egg, food additives, spices, chocolate, or shellfish. Sometimes you can develop an allergy to a food even if you have eaten it without any problem many times before.
- Allergies to insect bites and stings.
- Allergies to medicines such as penicillin, aspirin, anti-inflammatory painkillers, etc.
- A viral infection such as a cold or flu can trigger an urticarial rash in some people. (You react to the virus.) A mild viral infection which causes few other symptoms is probably a common trigger of an urticarial rash that develops without an apparent cause.
- Skin contact with some substances causes a local area of contact hives in some people. For example, chemicals, latex, cosmetics, plants, ointments, nettle stings, etc.
Pine tree contact:
What can urticaria look like?
The inducible type of hives is triggered by a physical stimulus and can be either acute or chronic. Physical causes can result in repeated episodes of acute hives, or a persisting long-term condition.
Hives can be classed as follows:
- Acute – if it develops suddenly and lasts less than six weeks. Most cases last 24-48 hours. In some cases the rash only lasts a few hours. About 1 in 6 people will have at least one bout of hives in their lives. It can affect anyone at any age. Some people have recurring bouts of acute hives.
- Chronic – if it persists longer than six weeks. This is uncommon.
Hives can be triggered by a number of different physical causes. The reason why a rash appears in affected people is not clear. The physical stimulus somehow causes a release of histamine and other chemicals, which causes the rash.
The main types of inducible urticaria include the following:
Dermatographism (also known as dermographism and dermatographia) means skin writing. People with this condition develop the rash on areas of skin that have been firmly stroked. (Because of this, you could ‘write’ on someone’s skin by applying firm pressure with a finger or other object. The rash follows the line of the writing on the skin.) The affected area of skin is usually very itchy but in some mild cases it does not itch much. Although any part of the skin can be affected, the palms, soles of the feet, genital skin and scalp are less commonly affected. Dermatographism is more prone to occur when you are hot. For example, it may develop more easily when you rub yourself firmly with a towel after a hot shower. The rash tends to last less than an hour. In many cases the pressure needed to be applied to cause the rash is quite firm. However, some people develop dermatographism with just light pressure.
Up to 1 in 20 people will develop dermatographism at some stage of life. It most commonly first develops in early adult life. In most cases, the condition tends to improve gradually over a few years and it goes or becomes less severe. However, in some cases the condition remains troublesome for many years.
Cholinergic hives are quite common. The condition is caused by sweating and is sometimes called heat bumps. The hives rash is quite distinct as the weals are very small (2-3 mm) with a red flare around each one. The rash appears within a few minutes of sweating and tends to be worst on the chest, back and arms. The rash lasts from 30 minutes to an hour or more before fading away. Some people become slightly wheezy and short of breath for the duration of the rash.
The sweating that triggers the rash may be due to exercise, heat, high temperature (fever), emotion or eating spicy food. It can be a real nuisance when trying to exercise. In severe cases, hundreds of tiny weals develop when you run or do other types of exercise. Sometimes the tiny weals join together to form larger ones. Cholinergic hives most commonly first develop in early adult life. In many cases the condition tends to improve after a few years and it goes or becomes less severe. However, in some cases the condition remains troublesome for many years.
Cold hives are quite an uncommon condition. An urticarial rash develops after being exposed to cold, including rain, cold winds and cold water. It may be the cold that triggers the rash, or the re-warming of the skin after coming in from the cold. The rash affects the chilled parts of the skin. If a large area of skin has been chilled, the rash can be very extensive. For example, swimming in cold water may cause a widespread and severe rash over most of the body that can make you dizzy and faint. (For this reason, if you are known to develop cold hives, you should never go swimming alone.)
Delayed pressure hives
Delayed pressure hives are uncommon. The condition can develop alone but it commonly affects people who also have chronic hives. In this type of hives the rash develops 4-6 hours after the affected area of skin has had deep prolonged pressure applied. For example, after wearing a tight seatbelt, or wearing a tight watch strap, or after gripping a tool such as a screwdriver for a reasonable period of time. The rash can be painful and tends to last several hours, or even a day or so.
This is a rare condition in which an urticarial rash develops on skin exposed to sunlight.
Water contact (aquagenic) hives
In this rare condition, an urticarial rash develops on skin exposed to water of any temperature.
In this rare condition, the rash comes up after using vibrating tools.
What are the symptoms?
An itchy rash is the main symptom of hives (urticaria). The rash can affect any area of skin. Small raised areas called weals develop on the skin. The weals look like mild blisters and are itchy. Each weal is white or red and is usually surrounded by a small red area of skin which is called a flare. The weals are commonly 1-2 cm across but can vary in size. There may be just a few but sometimes many develop over various parts of the body. Sometimes weals that are next to each other join together to form larger ones. The weals can be any shape but are often round.
As a weal fades, the surrounding flare remains for a while. This makes the affected area of skin look blotchy and red. The blotches then fade gradually and the skin returns to normal. Each weal usually lasts less than 24 hours. However, as some fade away, others may appear. It can then seem as if the rash is moving around the body. The rash may clear completely only to return a few hours or days later.
- Most people with acute hives do not feel ill; however, the appearance of the rash and the itch can be troublesome.
- In some cases a condition called angio-oedema develops at the same time as hives. In this condition some fluid also leaks into deeper tissues under the skin, which causes the tissues to swell. See separate leaflet called Angio-oedema for more details:
- The swelling of angio-oedema can occur anywhere in the body but most commonly affects the eyelids, lips and genitals.
- Sometimes the tongue and throat are affected and become swollen. The swelling sometimes becomes bad enough to cause difficulty breathing.
- Symptoms of angio-oedema tend to last longer than urticarial weals. It may take up to three days for the swollen areas to subside and go.
- A variation called vasculitic hives occurs in a small number of cases. In this condition the weals last more than 24 hours, they are often painful, may become dark red and may leave a red mark on the skin when the weal goes. Technically, this type of rash is not urticaria.
Are any tests needed?
Usually no tests are needed. The rash is very typical and is easily recognised as hives by doctors. In many cases you will know what caused the rash from the events leading up to it. For example if you have just been put on a new medicine, or if your skin came into contact with a nettle, or if you were stung by a bee.
A symptom diary
A symptom diary may be helpful in working out if there is a specific trigger or cause. If your diary shows you only develop the rash on days when you eat a certain food, for example, it may be obvious what the cause is. A diary might also show if the rash relates to stress, exercise or sunlight. It may help rule out certain causes.
Skin-prick allergy tests
In some cases if it appears to be related to an allergy, tests such as skin-prick allergy tests may be helpful. Tiny quantities of substances which might cause an allergy are placed on your skin in a special order. If the skin reacts, you may be allergic to that substance.
In other cases, blood tests for allergy may be useful. In some people, blood tests may help to point to a cause. These may be general blood tests, or blood tests to look for specific proteins produced by your immune system, called autoantibodies. Where these are found, it is likely that it is your own immune system over-reacting which is causing the rash.
In some people, ‘exclusion’ or ‘challenge’ tests may be needed. For example, testing to see if cold or pressure always causes the rash, or excluding certain foods from the diet to see if that stops the rash from coming back.
Occasionally, if urticarial vasculitis is suspected, a sample of the skin may be taken (a skin biopsy) for further analysis.
Often no treatment is necessary, as the rash commonly goes within 24-48 hours. A cool bath or shower may ease the itch. Calamine lotion or menthol 1% in aqueous cream can help with itching, although if it is left on for too long the itch may come back. These can be bought without a prescription.
Once you know what causes the rash, it may be possible to avoid situations that trigger it. For example, dermatographism can often be prevented by avoiding firm pressure against the skin as much as possible. In mild cases, no additional treatment may be needed.
Various other factors may make symptoms worse (but are not the main trigger). The following are tips that some people have found helpful; however, there is little proof that they work in everybody:
- Try avoiding tight clothes if weals occur at sites of local pressure. For example, under belts, under tight-fitting shoes, etc.
- Try keeping cool, as hives may tend to flare up in warmer conditions. In particular, keep the bedroom cool at night.
- For some people alcohol, hot baths, strong sunlight, and emotion make symptoms worse. If you think any of these are making symptoms worse then it may be helpful to try to avoid them.
- See a doctor if you think a medicine is making symptoms worse, as a change in medication may be an option. Some medicines that may be triggers include aspirin, anti-inflammatory painkillers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
Many types of hives are helped by taking antihistamine medicines. (However, these medicines may not help some cases of delayed pressure hives.) Antihistamines block the action of histamine which is involved in causing hives. The most commonly used antihistamines for hives are cetirizine, fexofenadine and loratadine. These do not usually cause drowsiness. Your doctor may advise doses which are higher than the usual recommended dose in order to control the rash. If the itch is making it difficult to sleep, sometimes an antihistamine which makes you sleepy can also be taken at night. Examples of antihistamines used in this way include chlorphenamine or hydroxyzine.
Antihistamines can be bought over the counter, without a prescription. However, if you need to take them for more than a few days, or on a regular basis, it is best to see your doctor for further advice. Do not take more than the recommended dose without discussing it with your doctor. Antihistamines are not usually advised in pregnancy.
Some people take antihistamines now and then when a rash flares up. If you take an antihistamine as soon as the rash appears, the rash tends to fade more quickly than it would do normally. If the rash recurs frequently then your doctor may advise a regular dose of an antihistamine to prevent the rash from occurring. If you have cholinergic urticaria and know that you get a rash on exercise, a dose of an antihistamine just before you do exercise may help to prevent or limit a flare-up of the rash.
Unlike most other types of hives, those caused by a physical stimulus are not usually helped by steroids. Occasionally for severe flare-ups of hives, a course of prednisolone tablets taken for a week may be helpful.
If you have a severe episode of hives then you may be referred to a specialist. Skin specialists (called dermatologists) or allergy specialists (called immunologists) may be able to help. In particular, if angio-oedema or anaphylaxis occurred at the same time, you would be referred or admitted to hospital. This is to reverse the reaction quickly. It is also to confirm the diagnosis and, where possible, to identify a cause. For example, if a nut allergy is suspected to have caused a severe episode then this can confirmed by tests. You may then be given advice on how to avoid the cause and on what to do if it should occur again.
Occasionally other treatments may be used, such as a tablet called montelukast, which is usually used for asthma. This may be particularly useful in delayed pressure urticaria, where antihistamines often do not help. Omalizumab is a newer medication which acts against autoantibodies produced by the body’s own immune system. It has to be given by injection once a month. This has been shown to be effective for some types of inducible urticaria in some studies. In the UK the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) so far has not recommended its use for this particular type of hives.
Treatment with ultraviolet light (phototherapy) can cause an improvement in symptoms but, unfortunately, this may only last for a few months.
Are hives serious?
Usually not. The rash is itchy but normally fades within a day or so and causes no harm. Most people with hives (acute urticaria) do not feel too unwell unless they have a cold or flu that is triggering the rash. The cause of the rash is not known in more than half of cases and it is commonly a one-off event.
However, hives may be more serious in the following situations:
- Food allergy. If a food allergy is the cause then the rash is likely to return each time you eat the particular food. This is more often a nuisance than serious.
- Severe allergies. People who have a severe allergic reaction to peanuts, insect stings, etc, often have an urticarial rash as one of the symptoms. This is in addition to other symptoms such as severe angio-oedema, breathing difficulties, collapse, etc. A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Note: most people with acute urticaria feel well and do not have anaphylaxis.
What is the outlook?
Inducible urticaria most commonly occurs in healthy young adults. You can have two or more different types of hives at the same time. As a rule, hives triggered by physical stimuli tend to improve and become less troublesome with time (often going, or being much less troublesome, after 2-5 years).
Acute hives usually last less than six weeks. Most cases last 24-48 hours and in some cases the rash only lasts a few hours.
Persistent hives tend to come and go. You may have times when the rash appears on most days, and then times when the rash may go away for a while. The severity of the rash and itch varies from person to person. Some things such as heat, cold, menstrual periods, stress, or emotion may make the rash flare up worse than usual.
- Symptoms may go away completely after a few months; however, the condition lasts several years in some cases.
- In about half of cases, symptoms go within 3-5 years after the condition first starts.
- In about 1 in 5 cases the symptoms persist on and off for more than 10 years.
Urticaria (Hives) in Children | Cedars-Sinai
Not what you’re looking for?
What is hives in children?
Hives (urticaria) is a sudden outbreak
of red, itchy, and swollen areas on the skin. This condition often happens as an
allergic reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain medicines. In some cases
the cause is not known. Hives can vary in size from one-half inch to several inches in
size. Hives can show up all over the body or just on one part of the body.
What causes hives in a
Causes of hives in children include food, medicines, and other triggers. Common causes
- Anticonvulsant medicines
Other types of hives include:
Dermatographism. These hives are caused by scratching the skin, constant
stroking of the skin, or wearing tight-fitting clothes that rub the skin.
- Cold-induced hives. These hives are caused by exposure to cold air or water.
Exercise-induced urticaria. These allergic hives occur because of physical
- Solar hives. These hives are caused by exposure to sunlight or light bulb light.
hives. These are hives that come back with no known cause.
Which children are at risk for
Anyone can get hives. But children with allergies are at a greater risk.
What are the symptoms of hives in
These are the most common signs of hives in children:
pink, or red swollen areas on the skin
can appear alone, in a group, or over a large part of the body
- Hives can go away within 24 hours in one spot but may come back in another spot
How is hives diagnosed in a
Hives can be diagnosed by your child’s
healthcare provider. Your child will first complete a full health history and physical
How is hives treated in a
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general
health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
best treatment is for your child to stay away from known triggers. If the hives were
caused by a medicine, your child should strictly stay away from that medicine.
child’s healthcare provider may also prescribe:
- Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine or hydroxyzine
antihistamines that won’t make your child drowsy, such as cetirizine or
your child is having trouble breathing, the healthcare provider might use a shot of
epinephrine. This helps decrease the swelling and itching. Your child’s provider may
show you how to use an emergency kit that has epinephrine. This can be kept near your
child in case of future episodes. Discuss this with your child’s provider.
When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
If your child’s symptoms get worse or he or she has new symptoms, talk with your child’s healthcare provider.
Key points about hives in
- Hives is
a problem in which red, itchy, and swollen areas show up on the skin.
of hives include food, medicines, and other triggers.
- Treatment includes antihistamines and a shot of epinephrine, if breathing is
away from known triggers of hives is important.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.
Not what you’re looking for?
What Are Hives? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
“A hive lesion doesn’t usually last much longer than 24 hours, whereas things like bug bites, which are easily confused with hives, can last several days,” Friedman says. That means you might wake up with a hive one morning — and that one specific hive may be completely gone by the next morning, Friedman says. “And they often appear without any warning.”
Hives also move around, and they don’t necessarily care what body part they inhabit. Even your scalp, soles of your feet, and palms of your hands can get hives. “If you see one moving a lot, that signals a hive,” Friedman says.
RELATED: How to Identify Common Bug Bites and Stings
Acute hives last less than six weeks, while chronic hives last more than six weeks. That doesn’t mean you’re covered in hives every day during these time periods, but it does mean that during these time frames, the hives come and go either erratically or sometimes on a more consistent basis, says Anthony M. Rossi, MD, an assistant attending dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Fortunately, although they might itch a lot, hives don’t leave any marks on the skin once they disappear, regardless of whether you’ve treated them or not.
Hives are neither contagious nor, in most cases, dangerous. There are, however, a few exceptions that should prompt emergency care.
The first is a condition called angioedema, which involves swelling of the tissue beneath the skin. That can lead to swelling in the tongue, lips, throat, hands, feet, and even the inside of the abdomen. As a result, people could have stomach cramps or worse, difficulty breathing. People with hives can have angioedema, but note that “just because you have hives doesn’t mean you’ll get angioedema,” Dr. Rossi says.
When hives are accompanied by swelling and breathing becomes difficult, seek emergency care right away.
Hives may also be the result of a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, Rossi says. If you experience difficulty breathing; swelling of your lips, tongue, or eyelids; dizziness; abdominal pain; or nausea or vomiting in conjunction with hives, seek help immediately.
90,000 photos with a description “- Yandex.Cu
Most people experience a rash on their hands for the first time in early childhood. Perhaps many remember how, without listening to their mother, they did not wear gloves or mittens in cold weather.
As a result, they developed a small red rash on their hands in the form of red dots, which itched and ached. People called this rash “chicks”, the medical name is simple dermatitis. And everyone knows that if you hold your hands warm, dry for a few minutes, lubricate them with baby cream, then the symptoms of this ailment passed quickly enough.
Adults can also experience skin rashes caused by dermatitis. The two most common are atopic and contact. Both of these dermatitis can cause an itchy rash on the hands (see photo).
Causes of a rash on the hands
Hand rashes can be caused by many reasons. The most common ones are as follows:
- hormonal imbalance;
- allergic diseases;
- vitamin deficiency;
- consequences after insect bites;
- chronic depression and stress;
- diseases of the digestive system;
- fungal infection, in this case additional signs may indicate a problem: cracks and blisters between the fingers, severe itching.
90,013 bacterial infections;
The most common skin diseases are atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis, a description of which can be found below. Both of these conditions are characterized by the appearance of a rash on the hands.
A rash in the form of red dots on the fingers and hands may indicate a lack of vitamins and, above all, ascorbic acid, the lack of which leads to increased fragility of the capillaries.
The problem is easily solved – add to the daily diet: fresh herbs, flaxseed oil, fish and drink a vitamin-mineral complex to completely eliminate vitamin deficiency.
Bites from ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, ants, bed bugs and some other insects leave behind a rash in the form of red dots that itches and can be painful.
In people prone to allergies, such rashes can persist for a long time, causing discomfort, and when combing these elements, there is a risk of infection.
Red dots on the hands that itch can be the cause of any infectious disease.Typical pathologies leading to the appearance of a rash include:
- scarlet fever;
Therefore, if your hands are covered with red dots and other symptoms of the disease are present, you should immediately consult an infectious disease doctor.
The occurrence of contact dermatitis is associated with skin contact with an irritant (allergen).One of its varieties is contact with aggressive household chemicals, which are used without the use of gloves.
The main symptom of contact dermatitis is the appearance of a rash on the hands. To avoid irritation from rubber, it is recommended to wear light cotton gloves under rubber gloves. Local antiallergic drugs (for example, fenistil-gel), hormonal ointments (loratadine) help to get rid of the rash.
If you are allergic to certain foods or medicines, skin manifestations may appear on the hands (more often at the bend of the elbows) and present as a small rash in the form of red dots.Most often, this reaction is observed when used:
90,013 citrus fruits;
The most allergenic medicines are:
- arsenic preparations, etc.
Atopic dermatitis is treated by dermatologists and allergists.The disease, a small and unpleasant rash on the hands, requires systemic intake of antihistamines:
Application of antiallergic ointments and creams. In more severe cases, injection of drugs, hormone therapy may be required.
Vascular and blood pathologies
The cause of a rash of this nature is most often a decrease in the number of platelets in the blood or a change in vascular permeability.Rashes are manifested by small subcutaneous hemorrhages in the wrist. Also, bruises of different sizes may appear on the body. The general condition and well-being of a person, as a rule, is not disturbed.
It can also signal itself with a red rash on the hands. Rashes usually do not bother the patient: with
they do not itch, do not cause pain. The rash appears suddenly, then also suddenly disappears, then reappears.
This “behavior” of the rash is associated with the multiplication of the pathogen (pale spirochete) in the patient’s blood. This rash must be dealt with by a specialist. The patient needs treatment with specific drugs under the supervision of a venereologist.
Red dots on the fingers that itch
Among all diseases in which red dots appear on the fingers under the skin, scabies deserves special attention. With it, if you look closely, in addition to the fact that there are red dots under the skin on the hands, moves can be noticeable.It is in them that the female lays eggs.
Scabies can be contracted anywhere, especially in public transport and when shaking hands. Increased skin moisture, which is observed in the hot season, contributes to infection.
How to treat a red dot rash on your hands
By themselves, red dots are not a disease, most often it is one of the symptoms. The reasons for their appearance in adults can be very different, both in the nature of origin and in the severity of the disease.Treatment can be carried out only after determining the nature of the appearance of the rash. Each type of disease requires an individual approach.
After the diagnosis has been established and the course of therapy has been carried out, in order to avoid the occurrence of relapses, it is advisable to observe the following rules:
- avoidance of contact with plants, objects that may cause allergies;
- Refuse to eat foods that are not suitable for you;
- Regularly conduct personal hygiene using soaps and shower gels that contain a minimum amount of fragrances and artificial colors;
- Wiping hands with wet sanitary napkins after contact with money, travel by public transport.
Hand allergies: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment
Often, when we see rashes, cracks or redness on our hands, we believe that this is a hand allergy. This is partly true. It is reactions to external stimuli that lead to this state.
However, doctors most often call an allergic rash on the hands dermatitis.This term covers eczematous diseases that appear on the outside and inside of the palms. Therefore, it is more correct to identify such a rash as eczema.
In addition to it, there are many other infectious, traumatic and autoimmune diseases, accompanied by itching and rashes.
The most common allergic eczema, which affects not only adults, but also children’s hands. Eczema is a chronic inflammation of the skin that reflects the body’s internal problems.
In contrast, contact dermatitis is a violent or moderate reaction to external stimuli, without involving the response of the immune system. Sometimes contact dermatitis can occur after a person uses a cleanser or new lotion.
But allergy provides for an active reaction of the immune system to the usual substances with which we are in contact. For example, house dust.
But people can refer to the terms “dermatitis”, “eczema” and “allergy” for the same condition, which manifests itself, for example, a rash or redness of the skin.
Who has allergies most often?
Allergy to the skin of the hands most often occurs in people who, by virtue of their profession, are forced to do cleaning, cooking, metalworking, hairdressing, dyeing. That is, a rash occurs upon contact with an irritant, when the epidermis of the hands is constantly dry out, injured, and exposed to chemicals.
According to the American Dermatological Association (AAD), this rash appears within 4 to 48 hours after exposure to an irritant.In this case, even anaphylaxis can occur.
It begins with small blisters, similar to urticaria, very quickly develops into laryngeal edema and blocks the airways. In such cases, you must immediately call an ambulance.
Factors that provoke allergies on the palms
There are seven main factors that can lead to the appearance of allergic rashes on the hands and other unpleasant manifestations.
Can cause itching, redness or even hives on the hands.In addition to the rash, a person with a food allergy has the following symptoms:
- itchy mouth,
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing,
Cold weather can cause dry skin, flaking and itching. The same reaction can occur from taking medications to which you are allergic.
This is a fungal infection that responds well to treatment.It looks like a rash, localized in a semicircle. There can only be bubbles on the palms.
In addition to them, the following symptoms appear:
- dry and rough skin,
It can develop not only on the palms, but also on other parts of the body. This disease is of a genetic nature. But it can also be caused by trauma, other skin conditions, or infections.
Psoriasis manifests itself as:
- dry flaky skin,
- blisters or rough skin on affected areas,
- painful cracks.
A highly contagious enterovirus infection that is common in children. In the form of a red rash, allergies occur on the hands and feet (soles), and also affects the baby’s oral cavity.
In this case, the following are also observed:
- high temperature,
- sore throat,
- blisters on the tongue,
- loss of appetite.
If these signs appear, you should immediately consult a doctor.
With this disease, an allergy on the hands also appears: the bubbles are poured out in groups and are very painful. A rash can appear on the toes and soles of the feet. There is no cure for this disease.
Another skin infection common in children. In this disease, allergies in the hands of a child can emigrate to the face and neck, and also affect those who care for him.
Hand allergies: how they are diagnosed
All these diseases are easily diagnosed and classified by a dermatologist based on the history and examination of patients.In this case, the following factors are taken into account:
- acute or chronic course of the disease;
- The presence of a rash on other parts of the body.
90,013 past histories of skin diseases and allergies;
Chronic patients may require skin and molecular allergy tests to identify contact allergens. As well as a puncture biopsy and skin scraping for examination under a microscope.
All these manipulations are necessary to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of hand allergy.
Thorough skin care at work and at home is an essential part of preventive measures. Namely:
- Wearing gloves while working on contact with irritants. Harsh chemicals dry out the skin and cause more inflammation.
- Use of warm dry gloves and gloves during the cold season to prevent cold allergies.
- Application of emollient creams after each hand wash and before bed.
- Use of antibacterial and glycerin soaps.
- Hand washing with warm water only.
- Limiting the number of wet jobs and washing.
Steroid creams or ointments are used to reduce inflammation. For eczema, it is better to use calcineurin inhibitors. Both those and others will be able to choose the right doctor for you.
Severe bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, therefore it is important to be constantly monitored by a dermatologist and / or allergist.
Severe flare-ups of allergic reactions are treated with systemic steroids such as prednisone. If it doesn’t work, the allergist will prescribe other medications for you.
In order to prevent serious systemic diseases, it is better to minimize contact with allergens. If the profession is associated with irritants that cause you an allergic reaction, it is better to change the working conditions or profession in general.
90,000 People often confuse a cold allergy with a common cold – Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Many people do not even suspect that they suffer from hay fever (allergy to cold), attributing painful symptoms to a common cold.
Meanwhile, if every time on a frosty day you have a stuffy nose and watery eyes, a cough begins, there is every reason to suspect that this is precisely an allergic reaction to a low temperature.
Even more often, allergy to cold manifests itself as urticaria. In a patient at sub-zero temperatures, first open areas of the skin begin to itch (face, hands, ears, mucous membrane of the lips), and over time, the rest of the body, edema and dense rashes of pink or whitish color appear.
Of course, the body can just react to a sudden change in temperature. But if the redness and itching do not go away after 20-30 minutes and the discomfort persists for at least 48 hours, most likely it is a cold allergy. Moreover, it can manifest itself not only from frost, but also from strong winds, when in contact with cold water, under the influence of an air conditioner, in drafts, in damp weather, when moving from a cold room to a warm one, if you are on a summer day after a hot sun move into the shade or out of the water after swimming.An allergic reaction can occur even if you drank something cold or ate ice cream (lips swell and itch).
But the doctors did not believe
The nature of such an unusual reaction of the organism to cold is still not completely clear. For a long time, doctors did not even want to recognize the very concept of “cold allergy”. Indeed, there is no allergen as such. There is only a physical factor – cold, which provokes a painful reaction of the body. Therefore, hay fever was eventually attributed to the group of pseudo-allergies.
Suffers from a cold allergy quite a large number of people, most often women (in 70% of cases). Even the critical age of the first manifestation of this insidious disease has been found out – 25-30 years.
Pollinosis is usually preceded by:
diseases of the digestive tract;
diseases of the biliary tract;
diseases of the liver or pancreas;
Manifestations of allergy to cold can also be triggered by a genetic predisposition, taking antibiotics, helminths, persistent foci of infections (caries, chronic tonsillitis, etc.).etc.).
Allergies are different
Urticaria is the most common and simplest type of cold allergy. Most often, the face, hands and feet, popliteal region and inner thighs are affected. The damp cold is especially troublesome.
What should we do if cold winters are an inevitable condition for living in Russia?
Heat is the main salvation. If you get wet, be sure to change your clothes, but keep in mind that woolen and synthetic fabrics increase the manifestations of allergies, clothes that are directly adjacent to the skin should ideally be cotton or linen.
Hot tea or coffee will also help.
As a rule, antihistamines cannot be avoided.
Before going outside, apply a thin layer of any greasy cream on your face and hands – it will partially protect the skin from the effects of cold. In addition to urticaria, hay fever can manifest itself in more complex forms:
Cold dermatitis – redness, peeling and itching of the skin, in severe cases, its extensive edema. To overcome it, you must take the same measures as with urticaria.
Pseudo-allergic cold rhinitis (rhinitis) exhausts a person with endless sneezing, congestion, or, conversely, runny nasal discharge. Drops, of course, help at first, but with frequent use, there is not just addiction, but a negative effect on the mucous membrane. You can’t sit in the warmth all day. This means that acupressure and a warm shelter remain.
Cold cheilitis is manifested by edema and inflammation of the lip tissue, they become dry, covered with small scales, sometimes even sores.It is easier to prevent these manifestations than to cure them. Before going out in the cold, be sure to lubricate your lips with hygienic lipstick.
Pseudoallergic conjunctivitis causes profuse lacrimation and burning in the eyes in cold weather. They redden, itch, and symptoms disappear in a warm room. At the time of an exacerbation, you will have to give up makeup and contact lenses. But sunglasses come in handy.
Cold migraine can occur due to sudden spasm of the cerebral vessels during frost.Allergy to cold is manifested by severe headaches, blood pressure may drop. Sometimes a cold migraine turns into trigeminal neuralgia. Therefore, do not risk it, be sure to wear a hat in the cold.
Cold radiculitis occurs due to inflammation of the roots, provoked by cold. Those who are susceptible to this ailment should always carefully insulate themselves. But if you are still frozen, you urgently need to take a warm bath and rub your lower back with a warming ointment.
Cold asthma is one of the most severe manifestations.It is expressed in attacks of suffocation and shortness of breath in the cold. If these phenomena do not immediately disappear in the warmth, you cannot do without a pulmonologist. When outdoors, cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or mitten. Breathe only through your nose – never with your mouth!
Strengthen your immunity, temper yourself, try to be less outside. Do not freeze. The diet should include foods rich in fatty acids: fatty fish, vegetable oils, seeds.
Since allergy to cold often occurs against the background of chronic diseases and stresses, it is worth identifying and treating them, of course, only by consulting a doctor.
To find out if you are susceptible to hay fever, place a small piece of ice on your wrist and hold it for 20 minutes. If you experience itching and rashes while cooling or warming up, you are susceptible to cold allergies.
By the way, it should be borne in mind that, like other types of allergies, in the absence of targeted treatment, it appears more and more often in the future. When doing the test, remember that it will only detect cold urticaria.Research on other forms of hay fever should be carried out in laboratory conditions.
Numbness of hands and tingling of hands
The usual feeling of slight numbness or showing in the hand arises after a long stay of the hand in a motionless position, may appear with prolonged pressure on the hand, on the armpit region – as a variant of the wedding night syndrome. After a while, the sensations are restored and this does not cause much concern. When to the numbness is added weakness in the arm, pain in the neck, blanching of the arm, skin rash, etc.the item is a reason for consulting a doctor, it is necessary to exclude local or systemic diseases.
It is necessary to find out how numbness, tingling is manifested, what is it connected with, how long it lasts and what is accompanied by it. It is important to distinguish between local disorders, such as tunnel syndromes, radicular syndrome of cervical osteochondrosis or herniated intervertebral discs, the consequences of trauma from systemic diseases in which the entire body suffers, and manifestations in the form of numbness and tingling of the hands are only symptoms of a general disease.Such systemic diseases are diabetes, hypothyroidism, polyneuropathy (as a result of alcohol abuse), metabolic disorders in the body, and vitamin deficiency. It can also be a manifestation of allergies to drugs, insect bites, food and odors.
The most dangerous process, starting with numbness in one hand, is a stroke – an acute violation of cerebral circulation, when numbness can be accompanied by weakness in the arm, general weakness, headache, speech and coordination disorders can occur.Numbness in the left hand can be a manifestation of another serious illness – myocardial infarction.
The clinic “Eleos” uses effective methods of treatment and rehabilitation of both spinal diseases and systemic diseases. A neurologist, therapist, cardiologist will be able to quickly conduct an examination, establish a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. Clinic “Eleos” will provide you with comprehensive diagnostics, an individual approach to each patient, effective treatment and offer comfortable conditions for staying in the clinic.
Diagnosis and treatment of urticaria in adults and children
Treatment of urticaria is one of the mandatory measures that is necessary for this disease. This condition is one of the most difficult allergic diagnoses, which should only be treated by a high-level specialist. In the clinic “SANMEDEXPERT” you can get advice from experienced allergists and save yourself from unpleasant ailments. The disease has this name due to the fact that skin rashes are similar to burns from nettles.
Urticaria is a common pathology. There are people who have it repeatedly throughout their lives. Epidemiological studies show that 35% of people have at least 1 episode of the disease. If it is not treated, then after 1.5 months it can pass into a chronic form.
One of the main and pronounced symptoms is the appearance of red blisters on the skin of a sick person. In appearance, they may resemble animal bites.If there are a lot of blisters, then they can merge together, occupying a large area of the skin. As a rule, these rashes are symmetrical, that is, if they appear on the right hand, they will most likely appear in the same place on the left hand.
Urticaria symptoms include the following (general and local):
- sleep disturbance;
Despite the fact that skin rashes preferably appear symmetrically, they often spread throughout the body in a chaotic manner.They can appear on any part of the skin. This presents certain diagnostic difficulties. Blisters can range in size from 1 to 15 centimeters. In the event that timely treatment is abandoned, complications cannot be avoided, which may manifest themselves with the following symptoms:
The disease can occur in people of different ages. But as practice shows, the treatment of urticaria in adults is much easier, and the disease goes away much faster than in children.
Urticaria has two forms: chronic and acute. If we talk about the first type of the disease, then on average its duration is 5 years. But there are also rare cases when urticaria persisted for 20 years or more. The acute form of the disease usually lasts no more than six weeks.
The causes of urticaria include contact with the following substances:
- animal hair;
- food products.
All the reasons against which the disease develops can be caused by external and internal factors. External causes include chemical, mechanical, and physical causes. Internal factors are associated with damage to the nervous system and diseases of internal organs. Doctors have carried out repeated studies that have proven that the provoking factors of development are the following (listed in descending order, taking into account the frequency of occurrence):
- autoimmune processes;
- cold or sun;
- infectious diseases;
- food allergy;
- inflammatory processes.
Diagnostics and treatment
Diagnosis of the disease consists in examining the patient and making an anamnesis. After the patient detects hives, the doctor should conduct a skin test to determine the blood antibodies. After identifying the diagnosis, you need to start treatment immediately and then listen to all the doctor’s recommendations. The diagnosis of this disease should be dealt with by an allergist or immunologist.
In order to establish the correct diagnosis, you need to conduct a comprehensive examination.This will help distinguish urticaria from similar diseases, which include:
Do not forget about adherence to the diet, as relapse manifests itself upon contact with allergenic foods. It is advisable for the patient to recommend drinking plenty of fluids for the accelerated elimination of the allergen from the body. Sometimes a specialist can treat urticaria in children and adults without medication, but if the symptoms of the disease do not go away, you need to start a complex treatment with pharmacological drugs.