Category Archives: Severe Hives

Hives and Antihistamines

As we mentioned in previous posts, hives, also known as urticaria and angioedema, usually go away on their own.  However, antihistimines can be used to ease the swelling of hives and prevent further breakouts of hives.  Why do antihistimines work? First, let’s define how antihistamines work and then let’s look at it in a simple example.  In fact, let’s use a full out example of how to retrace your steps, find the cause, and then find the cure for your hives breakout.

First, let’s learn about antihistamines… When your body senses a threat your immune system sends off signals.  These signals trigger chemical reactions that involve hormones and antibodies.  When it’s all said and done, your body releases a chemical called histamine from your cells.  The histamine causes the reactions to the allergies such as swelling of the skin and the itching sensation you feel.  Contrary to what some people will have you believe, antihistamines don’t actually block the histamine itself.  Instead, the antihistamines block the histamine receptors so you won’t have the symptoms anymore.

antihistamines for hives

The truth is that sometimes antihistamines work with hives and sometimes they don’t.  For some people they will work for a while and then suddenly stop.  Doctors and physicians often prescribe steroids to treat hives when antihistamine treatments fail to get rid of the hives.  Now let’s move on to a good example…

Let’s say you break out in hives after a big meal.  You should look back at each thing you ate.  You can then start eliminating food items that have never caused you problems before… so you had a cheeseburger, fries, and a strawberry shortcake for dessert.  You’ve eaten cheeseburgers and fries hundreds of times with no problems so you can eliminate them.  But it’s been quite a while since you had strawberry shortcake.  AHA!  Strawberries contain a chemical that can cause body cells to release histamine.  That histamine that gets released can cause an allergic reaction that leads to the forming of hives.  To counter the histamine you naturally need an antihistamine.

So to cure the hives you take an antihistamine.  To keep from irrating the skin welts avoid hot water, cold temperatures, exposure to too much sunlight, and tight clothes.  Your hives should disappear in no time!  For more hives information read the previous posts.

What Are Hives?

What Are Hives?

Now that we’ve shown you multiple pictures of hives all over the human body, let’s define exactly what hives are.  Hives are almost always an allergic reaction.  Usually, the allergic reaction is a reaction to either food that has been consumed, a drink that has been drank, or a medicine that has been taken.  When someone breaks out in hives they typically get red welts (or welps, however you want to say it) on their bodies and they can occur most anywhere on the body.  The surface of the skin gets red and itchy.  The skin is elevated above the normal skin where the hives are present.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about hives.  I hope you find this information valuable.

What Causes Hives?

As I mentioned, hives can be caused by food, drink, or medicine.  But other things can cause hives as well, including pollen, cat dander, other animal dander, and insect bites.

What Foods Trigger Hives

Many different foods can trigger hives in different people.  Foods that most often trigger hives are nuts, milk, eggs, and shellfish.

What Else Can Cause a Person to Break Out in Hives?

Infections can cause hives, certain illnesses can cause hives, such as lupus and leukemia to name a couple, excessive sweating can cause hives, too much sun exposure can cause hives, too much stress or emotional issues can trigger them, and so can extreme cold.

What are the Symptoms of Hives?

Symptoms associated with hives are “wheals” which is the term used for the red welts which typically have well defined edges to them, swelling of the skin’s surface, and itching.

What are the Treatments for Hives?

Antihistamines are usually used to treat hives breakouts.  Some people take loratadine or cetirizine to treat their hives, but the most popular and most effective antihistimine to take is Diphenhydramine, although it tends to make many people drowsy, so don’t take it and then drive.

To avoid irritation wear loose fitting clothes and take cool showers.

Are Hives Dangerous?

Generally hives are not dangerous.  They usually go away on their own.  They are one of those things that look way worse than they actually are.  So if you break out in hives or if your child breaks out in hives do not panic.  They will likely clear up sooner than you’d think.

 Are Hives Contagious?

Fortunately, hives are NOT contagious.  Hives will not spread to other people if they are touched.

Pictures of Hives on the Body

There are many skin conditions out there, but the one that always baffled me was hives.  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “breaking out in hives“.  Well, I’ve broken out in hives before and let me tell you from my own personal experience that it is no fun at all.  This blog will be devoted to everything about hives on all parts of the body.  We will dive into the causes of hives as well as prevention of hives and treatment of hives.  There are also many home remedies for hives and we will be discussing that as well.

But for now, I just want to show you what hives actually look like, so you can distinguish hives from other skin conditions.  Here are some pictures of hives on the hand, leg, neck, back and other parts of the body.  I’ll be posting more hives photos later.  If you’d like to submit some pictures of your own hives please do so and I will put them on the site.

Pictures of Hives

First of all, this is what hives look like.  This is a closeup picture.  You can see how the welps go off in different directions.  It’s really different than other skin conditions.

picture of hives

Here’s a picture of severe body hives.
This person has hives all over th body including up his neck and all over his face.

severe body hives

Here is another picture of chronic hives. This is another closeup.  You can see the random patterns from the hives spots.

chronic hives picture

Here’s another picture of more body hives.  This time they are all over the person’s back, almost completely covering the entire back.

body hives

Here is a picture of mild facial hives,

facial hives

and here’s another pic of hives on the face.

hives on face

Here’s a picture of severe hives on the arm,

hives on the arm

and hives on the elbow

hives on the elbow

and hives on the hand.

hives on hands

Here’s a pic of a hives breakout on the leg.

hives on the legs

I will be posting more pictures of other body parts with hives breakouts soon, so please check back often for updates.