Red and swollen rash? Then you might have hives.
Hives are a very common skin reaction that 15-20% of us will experience at some point in our lives. Most people who suffer from hives only get it once, while others can get it repeatedly. Acute hives occur most frequently in childhood and in young adults under the age of 30. Children typically have allergic or viral hives, but adults typically have non-allergic hives.
Hives appear at contiguous, slightly elevated and red areas on the whole body. The individual rashes disappear again within 24 hours, but are often replaced immediately by new rashes. Hives can be caused by allergies or, for example, cold heat or pressure. Medications can also cause hives. In some people you never find the cause.
Hives are not contagious. Hives are a reaction to an internal or external influence.
What can I do myself?
Treatment of hives should always be done in consultation with a doctor. However, around 2 out of 3 rashes with hives disappear without treatment. A doctor may also prescribe antihistamines, which are the most common form of treatment for acute hives.
In many cases, the cause of the rash remains uncertain, and you should try to avoid situations and conditions that trigger the hives if possible. Try to keep a diary of what you do in the hours before a seizure.
Once the rash has occurred, it can also help to cool the rash with a damp towel, and go in loose and comfortable clothes.
What can Eyr help with?
- Assess eczema and type
- Start treatment if necessary
- Write a prescription or renew regular medications
- Follow up with ongoing consultations
- Adjust and re-evaluate treatment space
- Refer to a dermatologist if needed
If hives occur on the face with swollen eyelids, lips and tongue or you have a poor general condition, you should see a doctor immediately. If you also have difficulty breathing, call 113 in Norway or 112 in Denmark. This is because swollen lips and tongue as well as difficulty breathing can be a sign of a more serious skin rash, so-called angioedema.
Reference: Norwegian Medical Handbook, NEL
Edited by Sol Malm Hagen, doctor
Medical quality assured by Dr. Theresa Franck, specialist in general medicine.