SUNDAY, Feb. 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) — When you break out in hives, you want relief fast.
This common skin reaction is characterized by itchy bumps or raised, swollen patches. Fortunately, hives are usually harmless and short-lived, says a Chicago dermatologist.
“A single hive tends to last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Most hives go away within 24 hours,” Dr. Danilo Del Campo said in a press release from the American Academy of Dermatology.
Several factors, including sunlight, stress, and an allergic reaction to foods or medications, can cause hives, also called hives.
Although anyone can get hives, black women, people with eczema, and smokers are at increased risk.
If you have darker skin, the hives are often the same color or slightly darker or lighter. If you have lighter skin, the hives will appear red or pink.
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Del Campo offered these tips for relieving hives:
- Relieve itching with a cool, damp washcloth, anti-itch cream or lotion, or colloidal oatmeal baths.
- Try not to scratch, which further irritates your skin. Keeping fingernails short can reduce scratching.
- Bathe in lukewarm water. Do not rub the itchy skin with a washcloth, loofah, or mesh sponge. It is best to apply soap or cleanser by gently putting it on your skin with your hands.
- Use a fragrance-free cleanser rather than a fragrance-free cleanser. An unscented product contains fragrance that has been covered over so you cannot smell it. Because an unscented product contains perfume, it can still irritate your skin.
- Wearing loose 100% cotton clothing can reduce skin irritation.
- If you have hives often or if they last a long time, write them down in a diary. This can help you identify what triggers your hives, so you can take steps to prevent them.
“If your hives don’t go away after following these tips, talk to a board-certified dermatologist,” Del Campo says.
Get immediate medical attention or go to the nearest emergency room if you have hives with any of the following: problems swallowing, feeling lightheaded or fainting, swelling in the mouth or throat, rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
To learn more about hives, go to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, press release, February 11, 2022
This article was originally published on consumer.healthday.com.