All About Urticaria Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Urticaria or hives are red bumps that appear on the skin and are caused by allergic reactions. The reaction happens when the immune system has contact with allergens. Urticaria causes itchiness, swelling, and discomfort, and sometimes they join together and cause larger urticaria, which are better known as plaques.

Most of the time, urticaria disappears without any treatment. However, your healthcare provider may recommend some medications and home remedies to make you feel better. So, let’s learn about the causes, symptoms, and urticaria treatment from this blog.

Symptoms of Urticaria

The urticaria symptoms vary from person to person, depending upon the situation. The common symptoms of acute urticaria are –

  • Red bumps or raised welts on the skin.
  • Itchiness and swelling under the skin. The swelling causes angioedema (puffiness) on the skin.
  • Moreover, painful swellings may appear on the eyes, lips, and inside the throat.

The chronic urticaria symptoms are –

Disappearance and reappearance of bumps frequently for a long time, including months or years.
In this type of urticaria, hives change their shapes and sizes.

Urticaria Causes

There are numerous causes that invoke urticaria to grow on your skin. The causes are –

  • Allergic reaction is the most common cause of urticaria. Foods, medication, drinks, and foreign particles cause these allergic reactions.
  • Allergy to any of the above-stated factors is one of the primary causes of urticarial allergic reactions. The hives are formed due to histamine, a chemical released from our body’s immune cells. These cells are known as mast cells.
  • Also, urticarial rash causes include physical pressure, stress, and infection.
    The cause of chronic urticaria is unknown. However, it may appear due to infections from the bacteria and viruses. It may result from other medical conditions, such as – lupus. Lupus is a disease that causes immune system disorder.

Urticaria Treatment

These are the urticarial rash treatment in case of mild symptoms –

OTC Antihistamines: These are the best medications for the urticaria treatment. They work as the suppressor of the histamine that causes urticaria. The common antihistamine medications are Claritin (loratadine), Allegra (fexofenadine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), and Xyzal (levocetirizine). Moreover, doctors may prescribe Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for the treatment. This drug helps to maintain a healthy sleep at night if itching disrupts your sleep. So, it’s better to avoid this medication in the daytime.

H2 Blockers: H2 blockers are the additional medications used with antihistamines. The actual term for this medication is the Histamine H2- receptor antagonist. They help to narrow the blood vessels of the skin. It further helps to relieve the swelling and redness. You can buy the H2 blockers like Pepcid and Tagamet over the counter. But beware that they form side effects like dizziness, headache, etc.

Corticosteroids: Your dermatologist may prescribe corticosteroids in case, the antihistamines can’t improve the urticaria symptoms. These steroids suppress the immune system and reduce the symptoms. The most common corticosteroid is Prednisone. It’s delivered by pill or injection.

Anti-Inflammatory Antibiotics: Though these medications don’t work for everyone, doctors may prescribe them according to the severity of the symptoms. Azulfidine (sulfasalazine) and Aczone (dapsone) are the common anti-inflammatory antibiotics.

Leukotriene Modifiers: These drugs reduce the production of leukotrienes. The healthcare provider prescribes this medication in case of chronic urticaria. Singulair and Accolate are the commonly known leukotriene modifiers.

Doxepin: Doxepin is a powerful antihistamine. It’s used to treat chronic urticaria. It’s a tricyclic antidepressant which should be used with caution in a person with a history of mental illness. So, it should be used under the supervision of a doctor.

Xolair: It’s an injectable drug that is used for asthma patients. However, it becomes helpful for chronic idiopathic urticaria treatment in case other treatments fail. It’s a monoclonal antibody which blocks the protein that causes allergic reactions.


Urticaria Treatment At Home

You can try these home remedies in case you have mild urticaria symptoms –

  • Wet And Cold Compress: Soak a cloth with ice water and apply it directly to the affected area. Also, you can use a cooling bath as a cold compression.
  • Stay Cool: You should maintain your body temperature by taking a shower and staying in an air-conditioned room.
  • Choose Your Clothes Wisely: Wear cotton and lightweight synthetic clothes like rayon. Try to avoid linen, wool, denim, or other clothes that cause skin irritation.
  • Colloidal Oatmeal: Take a cooling bath with the colloidal oatmeal. It reduces swelling and itchiness and softens the skin.
  • Mind-Body Therapies: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation reduce stress and anxiety, which causes urticaria.

Urticaria is an outcome of interaction with the allergens. Generally, they develop within one or two days. There are different treatments for urticaria. Antihistamines are the best medications for urticaria treatment. Also, home remedies and therapies can improve the urticaria.

However, chronic urticaria takes a longer time to heal. So, in this case, the healthcare provider must ensure the treatment is working effectively.

HK Vitals


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