What do hives look like? There are two main descriptions for this itchy style of rash, but both are known to be irritating at best, downright uncomfortable and painful at worst. In either case, irritated areas of the skin include the face, back, chest, abdomen and extremities requiring over-the-counter or prescribed medication or natural remedies to promote hives relief.
An outbreak of hives can appear as a raised or slightly swollen area of the skin. This reaction will appear in a round or oval shape; the size of the wheal can vary. This area is usually red, and the outer rim of the wheal will be outlined in an even deeper red color.
Hives may also present themselves as a large patch covering an area of the body. Whereas the wheals may occur as spots individual from each other, the rash may appear as one large patch of irritated skin covering a significant portion of the affected area.
Symptoms of Hives
Both wheals and rashes produce itching, stinging or burning sensations and may cover multiple areas of the body concurrently with raised and irritated skin. Hives are triggered by several factors, including allergies and stress and may be the result of an underlying medical condition.
A condition similar to hives, known as angioedema, presents itself as welts beneath the skin causing pain and itching. The breakout concentrates on the face resulting in swelling around the lip and eye areas. The outbreak can affect the throat lining creating difficulty in breathing. Angioedema may be hereditary in families.
Over the counter medicine, such as Benadryl and Alavert, and prescribed medications, including Vistaril, Clarinex and Allegra ,can ease the swelling, discoloration and itching caused by hives. Both OTC and prescription drugs may produce side effects.
In more chronic cases or sufferers of angioedema, a prescription for an oral corticosteroid drug may be required.
Hives can occur at any time, reoccur repeatedly and last for an indeterminate length of time. If experiencing symptoms of hives or angioedema, see your physician for a proper diagnosis before taking over-the-counter medication.
The most common symptoms of hives become obvious, both to the person suffering from the skin condition and anyone with a clear view of that person's skin.
What causes hives? The outbreak of hives is based on several factors, with allergic reactions and stress topping the list. Allergies to food products, dust, pets in the home and pollen in our everyday environment are just a few of the substances that can trigger a reaction that requires hive relief medication.