Viral Hives

Hives is a skin rash characterized by pale red, itchy wheals or bumps, usually caused by certain allergic reactions; however, there are many non-allergic causes as well. Viral hives is caused by a viral infection. Some viral infections, such as an acute viral infection can cause acute hives. This type of viral hives does not last more than a few hours. If the hives rash persists for more than six weeks and appears more than twice a week, it is chronic hives. Chronic hives usually have an idiopathic or unknown cause.

Some cases of hives also have an autoimmune cause; that is, they are caused by the patient's own defense mechanism. There is a small number of hives cases that are caused by other factors, which  include friction, pressure, temperature extremes, exercise, and sunlight.

Hepatitis has a close relationship to hives due to different viral infections. Acute hives is frequently observed in the prodromic stage of hepatitis A as well as hepatitis B and sometimes in hepatitis C as well.  Hives is considered one of the pre-icteric symptoms of viral hepatitis and is related to immune-complex deposits. Therefore, hives can also be associated with some other common disorders, such as arthritis and headache. However, there are many patients with viral hepatitis who do not show any signs of acute or any other form of hives.

The case of chronic hives is different and quite confusing. There is no convincing evidence in which the hepatitis virus causes chronic hives. A recent controlled study revealed that there is no link between chronic hives and hepatitis C. In the case of hepatitis B, not much data is available, and there is still a need for additional research. Systematic hepatitis virus investigations in patients suffering from chronic hives are usually quite expensive. Hepatitis B or C can occasionally induce hives vasculitis, but this is probably related more to vasculitis than to true hives.

Viral Hives in Children

Up to 25% of children suffer from hives at some time during their childhood. Among those who suffer from this skin problem, 80% develop hives in response to a viral infection. In children, the human immunodeficiency virus, cold, mononucleosis, and hepatitis A, B, and C can cause viral hives.

You can find many medicines and antihistamines to treat viral hives. However, there are certain home remedies that reduce suffering, such as applying ice or cold compresses. Applying aloe vera gel or vitamin E oil on the affected area also reduces itching.


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