What is Urticarea(Hives)?
Urticaria also called nettle-rash or hives or wheals in a common language, simply means itching with rash. Medically, urticaria may be defined as skin eruption, which is allergic (or non-allergic) in origin and is characterized by profound itching, red circular or irregularly shaped eruptions on any part of the body. Urticaria is an allergic or non-allergic immunological disease, shown on the skin. Characteristically the skin eruptions are erythematous, raised above the skin level, with intense itching and usually worsened by itching an with slight local warmth. These eruptions can remain on the body for variable period, anywhere between few seconds to even hours. They have tendency to disappear and reappear. They tend to disappear without leaving behind any trace. Swelling deeper in the skin that may accompany hives is called angioedema. This swelling may be seen on the hands and feet, as well as the lips or eyes, that can be as dramatic as it is brief.
When there is an allergic reaction the body releases a protein called histamine. When histamine is released our capillaries (tiny blood vessels) leak fluid. The fluid accumulates in the skin and causes a rash.
Urticaria can be triggered by:
- Allergens: A number of food allergens, environmental allergens, etc. can trigger Urticaria; however reactions may vary in different individuals
- Foods: Some of the common culprits are fish, crabs, oysters, shell fish, prawns, milk, cheese, eggs, nuts, chocolates, citrus fruits, spices, yeast, food additives and preservatives like tartazine, berries, wheat, tomatoes, pineapple, strawberries, alcohol, etc.
- Environmental: Pollen, dander, fungi, house-dust are few of the common reasons
- Insect bites and stings.
- Infections: Parasitic worm infestations such as round worms, tapeworms, etc; bacterial infections, etc can also cause Urticaria
- Contact with an irritant, such as nettles, chemicals or latex.
- Certain medications – such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), used to treat pain, ACE inhibitors, used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Extremes of temperatures.
- Solar Urticaria – results from exposure to sun .
- Water on the skin
- Pressure on the skin such as that caused by tight clothes may lead to pressure Urticaria
- Physical exertion, exercise, hot shower, perspiration may trigger Cholinergic Urticaria
- Direct physical stimulation of the skin by vibrations, firmly stroking or scratching the skin, etc.
- Abnormal functioning of the immune system (auto-immunity) – has been considered to be a trigger for chronic Urticaria. Other auto-immune systemic illness such as thyroid disorders, systemic lupus erythematosus, etc. may be linked to Urticaria
- Idiopathic – In about 80% of chronic Urticaria cases, the cause is unknown
Symptoms of Urticarea:
It can happen that one moment you’re fine and dandy, and the next, covered in itching, burning patches that look like bug bites. Maybe this has happened to you before, or maybe this is your first time experiencing it, but for those who have no idea, here’s how to tell your symptoms mean urticaria. Most commonly, you can experience raised red and white patches or hives which are
- Irregular, Eruptions can be as small as dots or as large as coins
- The rashes may have a central clearing
- Intensely itchy – may lead to disturbance at work, sleeplessness, irritability, restlessness, impatience, etc.
- Can be associated with burning and stinging sensation.
- Eruptions and may fade in a few minutes to an hour in one place only to pop up in another.
- Rubbing or scratching these hives is known to aggravate your condition and even leave you with scars.
Other symptoms may include a fever, digestive problems and prostration, with the disorder lasting from a day or two to a week. Recurring attacks may take place at different intervals. Other signs you should look out for are hypotension, flushing, headaches, dizziness, respiratory distress, swelling, fluid retention, tongue swelling or facial swelling. Some sufferers experience so much severe swelling that they are unable to see, or if they can, are unable to recognize the object.
Homoeopathy for Urticarea:
It is evident that numerous factors such as genetics, systemic, emotional, physical and environmental factors trigger urticaria by destabilization of the immune system. A remedy in Homeopathy selected after carefully reviewing all such factors is known as a ‘constitutional remedy’ and is capable of helping the individual systemically. As established earlier, urticaria is nothing but an external expression of internal, immunological disturbance, it also implies that the treatment of urticaria should also be based on the inner level consideration. It just can not be a symptomatic eradication of the urticaria rash. The homeopathic treatment is precisely organized on a similar philosophy We often resort to prescribing remedies which have an influence on and can treat the patient in following way
- Correct Immune dysfunction
- Increase resistance to the allergen
- Corrects Emotional imbalance
- Revives broken down immunity
- Relieve itching & wheals
Relieve associated allergen responsible conditions e.g. Allergic Asthma
Seek medical advice urgently if you have any of the following symptoms:
marked swelling, especially in the face, eyes, lips or tongue
wheezing, tight chest or difficulty breathing or swallowing