Hives present distinctly, with raised reddish bumps known as wheals on the skin. Getting help with hives often entails managing these wheals. However, since hives are triggered by a variety of factors, treatment can also involve taking steps to prevent the triggering mechanisms.
The factors that have been implicated in triggering hives include various physical stimuli, severe stress, viral and bacterial infections and allergens. The allergens could include food items like chocolate, eggs and shellfish and non-nutritional factors like pet dander and bee stings. Hives patients who avoid the triggers to which they are sensitive are well on the way to reducing the frequency with which they succumb to hives.
Sometimes consciously avoiding the triggers of hives is not enough. This is because people can be exposed to hives triggers without their knowledge. A man might inadvertently eat food to which he was allergic because the friend hosting him forgot to disclose its ingredients in full. Similarly, a woman allergic to cats might be exposed to pet dander when she walks into a room that a cat inhabited until recently.
For both of these individuals, educating the individuals around them about their allergies is important. However, this does not always work. Hence, it is important for them to have the appropriate medication on hand in case all else fails and they need help with hives. Many people have actually saved their lives by doing this: hives patients who typically develop severe allergic responses to peanuts and bee stings, for instance, make a point of carrying their epinephrine injections with them wherever they go. If they start to go into anaphylactic shock when exposed to allergens, the immediate injection of this epinephrine can save their lives.
Help With Hives’ Symptoms
As is indicated above, the treatment of hives largely involves the management of symptoms. Various kinds of medication are taken to help with hives in this way. They include antihistamines, some of which cause considerable drowsiness. Corticosteroids also help with hives, but only in the short term. Their long-term use results in the development of negative side effects. Additionally, patients’ resistance to infection may be compromised. A further complication associated with the long-term use of corticosteroids is that, once the treatment ends, it takes the body a long time to adjust to functioning without it.
The use of topical treatment for hives is also typical. The creams used can be obtained over the counter. They tend to work by numbing the nerve endings, thus providing significant relief from the itching.