Urticaria, Hives-Urticaria Overview

What Is Urticaria

chronic urticaria

Urticaria is the medical term used to describe a skin condition more commonly known as Hives. Uticaria or Hives normally manifest as? wheal’s (welts), red lesions with a red “flare” at the borders & appear on the skin,?the rash?can occur anywhere on the body, however it is quite rare to have hives on the bottom of your feet.

In many cases, the urticarial wheal’s go away within 2-24 hours and are not considered serious. It is estimated that 15% of all people will develop urticaria at some point in their lives. Urticaria usually falls into two categories the most common of which is acute hives which often disappear almost as soon as they arrive, the other more serious form of the condition is chronic hives/ urticaria.

The chronic version of the condition can plague a sufferer for years in some cases, but is determined as chronic after a six week period. Of those with chronic hives, some 80% are idiopathic, the medical term which means that no cause, allergic or otherwise, can be determined.

In hives, a chemical called histamine is released from the cells in the skin. This causes fluid from blood vessels underneath the surface of your skin to leak out. This results in the raised patches (wheal’s) that you see on the surface of your skin. The histamine also causes the wheal’s to itch.

If urticaria affects the deeper layers of skin, it can cause even larger swellings, called angioedema or giant urticaria. Urticaria and angioedema can occur together or separately.

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