Urticaria often called hives is when someone experiences itchy bumps or welts that are red and raised. It is more prevalent in today’s society then individuals realize. Urticaria can be broken down into two main kinds: acute (lasting less than 6 weeks) or chronic (lasting longer than 6 weeks). There are a variety of causes for both acute and chronic urticarial.
Acute urticaria may last less than one day, but can last up to six weeks. Common triggers for acute urticaria can include exposure to heat or cold, animals, foods, insect bites, physical activity, medications, latex, and last, but not least, pollens. When acute urticaria occurs in younger children, it is most likely due to some sort of a viral infection, and will usually resolve on its own within six weeks. Antibiotics will not help resolve urticarial in these instances, as they are due to a virus not bacteria.
The main difference between acute and chronic urticaria is the length of time symptoms are present and the causes. Chronic urticaria last greater than six weeks. Frequently, the cause of chronic urticaria remains unknown. However, the most common causes of it are vitamin D deficiency, autoimmune disease (such as thyroid disorders), infection, or even malignancy.
To minimize urticaria symptoms you can wear loose fitting clothing, avoid known trigger or irritants, and utilize non-sedating antihistamines appropriately. You may also consider applying hypoallergenic creams to the affected area in a downward motion instead of scratching, as that can actually worsen urticaria.
If you are experiencing urticarial or have any questions, please contact Rocky Mountain Allergy at 801-775-9800.