Facts about Hives
Hives are extremely itchy raised red or white welts on the skin. The size varies from small goose-bumps to large swellings that cover large areas of the body. They may be present for only a few minutes, or persist for several days. They usually go away on their own but may recur regularly if the cause is not identified. Their scientific name is urticaria.
What causes Hives
Allergens that most commonly provoke hives include foods such as strawberries, fish or nuts, drugs such as penicillin and aspirin, and various food additives, emulsifiers, flavourings or preservatives. To pinpoint the cause of a food allergy, it may be helpful to keep a diary to record the link between the foods eaten and the allergic reactions such as hives or sneezing.
Some people develop hives in response to stress, insect bites, extreme temperatures, or even pressure on the skin (e.g. from tight clothes). The materials in the clothes such as wool or animal furs can also cause hives, as can the substances in the materials such as dust mites, dyes, preservative chemicals and soap residues. Soaps, skin treatments and make up products can also cause hives and rashes.
Infectious organisms such as Hepatitis B virus, Epstein-Barr virus (the cause of glandular fever), the fungus Candida and a variety of bacteria have also been associated with hives. In cases such as these, the sufferer must be treated for the infectious organisms as well as the hives.
Natural therapies for Hives
Lifestyle factors that lead to Hives
The most important course of action against hives is to identify the irritating substances and reduce contacts with them as much as possible. This is often easier said than done, as most people with allergies are allergic to more than one substance. Keeping a diary of foods consumed and products worn along with resulting reactions can be very useful in identifying and eliminating irritants from one’s life.As well, take steps to reduce stress, anxiety and tension in your life and work to improve your overall health. For this, adequate rest and sensible levels of exercise are essential. Meditation can also reduce the effects of stress.
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