What Are Hives Or Urticaria
Hives or urticaria are a type of rash consisting of itchy, swollen, red ;welts. The itching may be mild or severe. Foods, medications, infections, exercise, scratching, alcoholic beverages, emotional stress and many other factors may worsen hives. The condition affects an estimated;20 percent of the population;at one time or another in their lives.
Your Diet Might Be The Cause Of Your Skin Rash
Theres a growing awareness that the food you eat affects every part of your health. If you have a food allergy, you may be prone to skin rashes. Research studies found that your diet can set off eczema. Eczema is a word used to describe a group of skin conditions that cause inflammation, itchiness, red, dry, or bumpiness of your skin.
Most of the time, eczema refers to a condition called atopic dermatitis. If you eat food youre allergic to your body goes into overdrive. Your immune systems overreaction releases mast cell chemicals that cause a hypersensitive reaction like histamines.
A reaction can happen minutes or hours after eating the food. Some delayed reactions occur as long as a couple of days later.
What Are The Symptoms
The raised, red, itchy areas may vary in size and shape. You may have one or many hives. The hives may appear on any part of the body. They are most common on the arms, legs, and trunk. You may have red blotches on your face. The rash may last for a few minutes or several days. Hives can be uncomfortable and they may recur.
In the case of a severe reaction–to a bee sting, for example–your face and throat may swell. Rarely, hives may cause problems with breathing, creating the danger of a severe asthma attack or a closing of the throat from swelling, which can be life-threatening.
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First Aid For Anaphylaxis
For severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, emergency medicalattention is necessary. If someone you know experiences symptoms consistentwith anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately. Even if symptoms begin to improve, theycan sometimes return.
Steps to take if an individual is experiencing anaphylaxis:
·;;;;;;;;Call 911 immediately.
·;;;;;;;;Locate an epinephrine auto injector and help them use it, if needed.
·;;;;;;;;Try to keep them calm.
·;;;;;;;;Help them lie on their back and raise their feetabout 12 inches off the ground.
·;;;;;;;;Cover them with a blanket.
·;;;;;;;;Turn them on their side if they are vomiting orbleeding.
·;;;;;;;;Make sure their clothing is loose so they canbreathe easier.
Epinephrine can greatly reduce the effects of a severeallergic reaction and help keep someone stable until they can be seen by amedical professional. So, the sooner epinephrine can be administered, thebetter. Avoid giving them oral medications, asking them to drink fluids or lifttheir head, especially if they are having difficulty breathing.
After experiencing anaphylaxis for the first time, aphysician can prescribe an emergency epinephrine injector. Its a good idea toteach your close family members, friends or coworkers how to use the injectorin case of an emergency at home, work or in public.
What Is The Prognosis Of Hives
To know exactly what kind of hives one has, or to learn more about research into the immune basis of hives or about rarer forms of this condition, consult a physician. It is important, however, to keep in mind that most cases of urticaria are annoying, not serious, and almost always temporary.
J Allergy Clin ImmunolJ Allergy Clin ImmunolAn Bras DermatolCurr Allergy Asthma RepAllergy Asthma Immunol ResPediatrics in ReviewAllergology International
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What Causes Food Allergy
Before having a food allergy reaction, a sensitive child must have beenexposed to the food at least once before, or could also be sensitizedthrough breast milk. It is the second time your child eats the food thatthe allergic symptoms happen. At that time, when IgE antibodies react withthe food, histamines are released, which can cause your child to experiencehives, asthma, itching in the mouth, trouble breathing, stomach pains,vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Many hives outbreaks resolve on their own and do not require medical evaluation. If they persist over time, seem unusual, are accompanied by facial or airway swelling , or interfere with daily life, please Book an appointment with Southern California Allergy so we can evaluate your individual situation and work with you to discover what may be triggering your hives.
We will discuss your medical history and determine allergens present where you live and work. Further diagnostic options include skin and blood tests, which can help identify the culprit, as well as rule out many common triggers.
Dr. Schulte will work with you to identify medication that can ease symptoms or even eliminate hives while we complete your testing. Once identified, avoidance of your personal trigger can end your battle with hives.
What Causes Food Allergies
In those with food allergies, the immune system treats a specific protein in a food as a harmful substance that may cause disease. It responds by producing IgE antibodies that will play a role in attacking this protein.
When the person eats the same food again, the antibodies are ready, so the immune system reacts immediately by releasing histamine and other chemical substances into the bloodstream. These chemicals cause the symptoms of food allergies.
Histamine causes blood vessels to expand and the skin to become inflamed or swollen. It also affects the nerves, making the skin feel itchy. The nose may produce more mucus, resulting in itching, burning, and a streaming nose.
Prevention Of Food Allergies
The development of food allergies cannot be prevented, but can often bedelayed in infants by following these recommendations:
If possible, breastfeed your infant for the first six months.
Do not give solid foods until your child is 6 months of age or older.
Avoid cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, and fish during your child’s first year of life.
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Who Is At Risk
People who are known to have allergies are more likely to get hives. You may also be at risk to develop hives if you are on medication or if you are unknowingly exposed to things you may be allergic to, such as food or pollen. If you are already ill with an infection or a health condition, you may be more vulnerable to developing hives.
Are There Conditions Or Other Causes That Mimic Hives
There are other rashes that may look like hives, but the fact that they remain stable and do not resolve within 24 hours is helpful in distinguishing them from hives. Such rashes may need to have a small specimen of skin removed and examined under the microscope to accurately determine the nature of the skin disease.
When to visit the doctor
If hives are making it difficult to sleep, then it may be necessary to see a physician. This would be especially important if you are taking nonprescription antihistamines. If your hives last longer than two months, it is also likely you will benefit from visiting a physician.
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What Foods Most Often Cause Food Allergy
Approximately 90 percent of all food allergies are caused by the followingeight foods:
Eggs, milk, and peanuts are the most common causes of food allergies inchildren, with wheat, soy, and tree nuts also included. Peanuts, tree nuts,fish, and shellfish commonly cause the most severe reactions. Nearly 5percent of children under the age of five years have food allergies. From1997 to 2007, the prevalence of reported food allergy increased 18 percentamong children under age 18 years. Although most children “outgrow” theirallergies, allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish may belifelong.
What Is The Difference Between Food Allergy And Food Intolerance
Food allergy is sometimes confused with food intolerance. Food allergies involve your immune system and can be life-threatening. An intolerance is when your body has trouble digesting a food. It can make you feel bad, usually with an upset stomach, but it is not life-threatening. The most common intolerance is to lactosewhich is a natural sugar found in milk.
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What Are The Causes Of Chronic Hives
Chronic hives can last from months to years. The evaluation of this condition is difficult, and allergy testing and other laboratory tests are only occasionally useful in such cases. The accurate evaluation of this condition requires the patient to give his or her physician precise information regarding their complete medical history, personal habits, and oral intake. Occasionally, it may be necessary to limit specific foods or drugs for a time to observe any effect upon the skin condition. Certain systemic diseases and infections, including parasitic infestations, may occasionally present in the skin as hives. If an inciting cause can be determined, then specific treatments for that condition ought to be effective, or in the case of food allergies or drug allergy, strict avoidance would be necessary. There are additionally rare forms of chronic urticaria that are produced when the patient makes antibodies against molecules on the surface of their own mast cells. There are tests available to identify this type of hives.
Another common form of physically induced hives is called cholinergic urticaria. This produces hundreds of small, itchy bumps. These occur within 15 minutes of exercise or physical exertion and are usually gone before a doctor can examine them. This form of hives happens more often in young people.
Hives Management And Treatment
- Avoid known triggers
- See an allergist, who is specially trained to look for triggers to your hives and may recommend medications to prevent the hives or reduce the severity of symptoms. Whether your allergist suggests a treatment available only by prescription or an over the counter treatment will depend on several factors, including how uncomfortable the hives are making you.
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Symptoms can last anywhere from minutes to months or even years.
While they resemble bug bites, hives are different in several ways:
- Hives can appear on any area of the body; they may change shape, move around, disappear and reappear over short periods of time.
- The bumps red or skin-colored wheals with clear edges usually appear suddenly and go away just as quickly.
- Pressing the center of a red hive makes it turn white a process called blanching.
There are two types of hives short-lived and long-term . Neither is typically life-threatening, though any swelling in the throat or any other symptom that restricts breathing requires immediate emergency care.
Hives usually are caused by other things besides infection, although it could be from a virus. It could be from an allergen, or some sort of an allergy that you have. It could be from a hormonal change. And it even could be emotional in some situations.
Allergist Stanley Fineman, MD
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Treatment For Food Allergy
There is no medication to prevent food allergy. The goal of treatment is toavoid the foods that cause the symptoms. After seeing your child’s doctorand finding foods to which your child is allergic, it is very important toavoid these foods and other similar foods in that food group. If you arebreastfeeding your child, it is important to avoid foods in your diet towhich your child is allergic. Small amounts of the food allergen may betransmitted to your child through your breast milk and cause a reaction.
It is also important to give vitamins and minerals to your child if he orshe is unable to eat certain foods. Discuss this with your child’s doctor.
For children who have had a severe food reaction, your child’s health careprovider may prescribe an emergency kit that contains epinephrine, whichhelps stop the symptoms of severe reactions. Consult your child’s doctorfor further information.
Some children, under the direction of his or her health care provider, maybe given certain foods again after three to six months to see if he or shehas outgrown the allergy. Many allergies may be short-term in children andthe food may be tolerated after the age of 3 or 4.
Ige Mediated Food Allergies
The IgE mediated food allergies most common in infants and children are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat. The allergic reaction can involve the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut and brain. Some of the symptoms can include:
- Skin rash, itching, hives
- Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing
- Stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea
- Feeling like something awful is about to happen
Sometimes allergy symptoms are mild. Other times they can be severe. Take all allergic symptoms seriously. Mild and severe symptoms can lead to a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis . This reaction usually involves more than one part of the body and can get worse fast. Anaphylaxis must be treated right away to provide the best chance for improvement and prevent serious, potentially life-threatening complications.
Treat anaphylaxis with epinephrine. This medicine is safe and comes in an easy-to-use device called an auto-injector. You cant rely on antihistamines to treat anaphylaxis. The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction occur shortly after contact with an allergen. In some individuals, there may be a delay of two to three hours before symptoms first appear.
Cross-Reactivity and Oral Allergy Syndrome
Cross-reactivity also can occur between latex and certain foods. For example, a child who has an allergy to latex may also have an allergy to bananas, avocados, kiwis or chestnuts.
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A Note About Food Allergic Reactions And Children
Many people wonder about the differences between food allergy reactions in children vs. adults.;
Food allergy rash is one of the most common food allergy symptoms in children and adults. The way it appears in every age group is also largely the same. In fact, food allergies generally cause the same set of symptoms in children as they do in adults.;
But even though food allergies cause similar symptoms across all age groups, the most common types of food allergies are different in children vs. adults.;
In young children , cows milk, egg, and peanut allergies are the most common food allergies. According to one study by Dr. Ruchi Gupta, these three foods are responsible for around 80% of food allergies in young children.;
In addition to milk, egg, and peanut allergies, tree nut allergies are also very common in children age 14 and under.;
Out of these four food types, peanut and tree nut allergies are most responsible for severe reactions in children, but any food has the potential to cause a severe reaction.
In contrast, the most common food allergy in adults is shellfish allergy, which is largely an adult allergy. Finned fish allergies are another common adult allergy — and finned fish allergies also tend to develop in adulthood.;
Check out our previous article for more on food allergies in children vs. adults.
Food Allergy Rash And Anaphylaxis
The most severe type of allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition. This is not a complication of a food rash itself, but rather a complication of the overall allergic reaction. Hives and anaphylactic reactions often occur together, but you can have hives without having anaphylaxis.
On top of the food allergy symptoms listed above, anaphylaxis may cause:
- breathing difficulties
- severe swelling in the mouth, face, neck, and throat
- tightness in the throat
- tingling lips, hands, and feet
If your doctor recommends epinephrine shots for severe food allergies, its important to keep them on hand at all times. Even breathing in a food allergen can cause severe issues. Also, the severity of a reaction may vary just because one reaction was mild, doesnt mean the next will also be mild.
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency services and take your epinephrine shot as soon as you experience symptoms. Antihistamines cant treat anaphylaxis because the symptoms are too severe at this stage.
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Mild And Severe Symptoms
- Nose: itchy or runny nose, sneezing
- Mouth: itchy mouth
- Skin: a few hives, mild itch
- Gut: mild nausea or discomfort
- Lung: shortness of breath, wheezing, repetitive cough
- Heart: pale, blue, faint, weak pulse, dizzy
- Throat: tight, hoarse, trouble breathing/swallowing
- Mouth: significant swelling of the tongue or lips
- Skin: many hives over body, widespread redness
- Gut: repetitive vomiting or severe diarrhea
- Psychological: feeling something bad is about to happen, anxiety, confusion
What Are The Symptoms Of Food Allergy
Allergic symptoms may begin within minutes to an hour after ingesting thefood. The following are the most common symptoms of food allergy. However,each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Lowered blood pressure
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, itdoes not take much of the food to cause a severe reaction in highlyallergic people. In fact, as little as 1/44,000 of a peanut kernel cancause an allergic reaction for severely allergic individuals.
The symptoms of food allergy may resemble other problems or medicalconditions. Always consult your child’s doctor for a diagnosis.
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Symptoms Of Food Allergies
- Hives all over and swelling of the face are the most common symptoms. Hives are raised pink bumps with pale centers . They look like bug bites.
- Mouth itching and swelling
- Runny nose and coughing
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Life-threatening allergic reactions also must have trouble breathing and/or swallowing. The medical name for this is anaphylaxis. Most of these reactions have a sudden onset within 10 to 20 minutes. All occur within 2 hours of eating a certain food. People who have had this carry an emergency kit like an Epi-Pen.