Hives is a name for a particular type of skin rash. The condition is characterized by raised bumps that are itchy and light red in color. It can be either acute or chronic in nature, with the former lasting less than six weeks. Urticaria is another name that is used for this medical condition.
The characteristic symptom in hives is the rash that appears. However, other symptoms may appear, especially due to any underlying medical conditions that led to the appearance of the urticaria. For instance, if the medical reason behind the hives is hypothyroidism, then additional symptoms related to that might be noticed.
Different medical reasons can cause hives to show up. Certain medications may lead some people to have allergic reactions that include such a rash. Some foods also produce such a response in individuals with allergies to them. Nuts, shellfish, soy, wheat, and eggs are some of the possibilities. Certain bacteria might also cause hives in a patient. One of these is Streptococcus. Other possible causes also exist, including certain reactions, such as to heat, cold, vibration, and direct sunlight, amongst others.
As previously mentioned, there are both acute and chronic forms of this condition. The main distinction is the time length, with the chronic form lasting for periods of greater than six weeks. There is no general difference in terms of the physical appearance between chronic and acute.
Diagnosis and treatment
A doctor or other professional is the one who makes a diagnosis of hives. Differential diagnoses may be considered. For instance, angioedema is a similar issue. Reactions to things such as poison ivy are also not considered to be urticaria.
Treatment for hives is also selected by someone who is qualified to offer such information. The chronic type may be more difficult to manage. Knowing what trigger's a patient's outbreaks is one part of the management process, so that the person can attempt to avoid those if possible. However, in many cases, the symptoms do not have a known cause, so avoiding triggers becomes more complicated. Some patients may be treated with antihistamines or other medications, however, do not attempt to choose this or any other treatment without getting advice from a professional.
Read about other medical signs that appear in hypothyroidism, or look into general symptoms of thyroid problems. You can also return to the home page to browse other details on thyroid problems.