The Hives: photo, symptoms and treatment
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Hives: photo, symptoms, treatment


Urticaria is the name of a group of diseases characterized by the appearance of acutely, inflamed rashes on the skin, mucous membranes. According to the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, almost 25% of the population of the country faces at least once in their life with symptoms of hives.

Causes of urticaria

Hives There are two categories of factors that cause hives:

  • external - physical, mechanical, chemical;
  • internal - violations of the nervous system, pathology of internal organs.

To provoke an attack of a urticaria the most various circumstances can:

  • Food,
  • medications,
  • pollen of plants,
  • UV,
  • a bite of an insect,
  • abrupt cooling or overheating,
  • diseases of the liver, kidneys and other organs,
  • infection,
  • heredity,
  • toxicosis of pregnant women,
  • stress, etc.

Sometimes it is difficult or even impossible to identify the cause of hives.

Classification of urticaria

A common classification of urticaria does not exist yet - an attempt to classify the phenomenon leads to the proposal of cumbersome, complex schemes that are difficult to use in practical public health. Therefore, in clinical practice, it is customary to distinguish hives with the flow:

  • sharp,
  • subacute,
  • chronic,
  • chronic recurrent.

Acute hives. The disease begins suddenly - a strong itch of individual parts of the body, or its entire surface. It is characterized by a monomorphous rash - multiple single-type blisters. Acute hives can be accompanied by a headache, a rise in body temperature to 39 0 . The blister fades as the edema builds up, the epidermis detaches in the center. Elements can be placed separately or merged into three-dimensional figures with bizarre outlines. The duration of acute urticaria is from several hours to several days.

Subacute urticaria is the next acute stage. It can last up to 5-6 weeks.

Chronic urticaria is a subacute urticaria with a total duration of more than 5 weeks.

Chronic recurrent urticaria - can occur for several decades with periods of partial or complete remission (weakening). It is often accompanied by Quincke's swelling. Severe itching causes the patients to scratch their skin to the blood. In 70% of cases, the causes of chronic urticaria remain unclarified.

The classification according to the pathogenetic principle is also used:

  1. Immune (allergic) - immune system disorders:

- food;

- Inkstatic - resulting from the bite of insects or contact with products of their vital activity;

- due to transfusion reactions - reaction to the introduction of immunoglobulins or platelets, leukocytes, erythrocytes;

- drug.

Can be combined with pathologies of the digestive system.

  1. Not immune (pseudoallergic) - the immune system does not participate. It can be a consequence of previously suffered severe intoxication, infection with parasites, hypersensitivity to medicines.
  2. Physical - due to various physical effects on the skin:

- cold,

- cholinergic,

- vibratory,

- solar,

- mechanical irritation - pressure, friction,

- aquatic, etc.

  1. Hereditary.

The complexity of classification of urticaria is determined by the variety of causes of its occurrence.

Common symptoms of hives

Urticaria photo symptoms On the skin and mucous for several minutes there are numerous eruptions - bright red, sometimes with white spots, dense blisters with clearly delineated boundaries as from nettle burn. They can be small - a few millimeters or form a continuous layer on the skin, mucous (see photo).

In addition to severe itching, burning, depending on the vastness of the lesion, a person can experience:

  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • drowsiness,
  • weakness.

There may be a fever. Blisters and symptoms can disappear without leaving a trace in a few hours, or the condition is characterized by a stable or undulating course for several days or even months. Usually, after disappearance, no traces remain on the skin. In some cases blisters of urticaria can take a hemorrhagic character - after the disappearance there are pigmented spots.

Diagnostics of urticaria

To diagnose in most cases basically does not present difficulties. But to determine the form of urticaria and to find out its causes, an anamnesis is collected and a thorough examination is conducted.


In addition to the duration of this episode, it becomes clear that there are possible incentives for its aggravation. During the patient's interview the doctor finds out:

  • the cyclic appearance of elements and the duration of their "life";
  • the presence of itching;
  • description of possible stimulants of the phenomenon - stress, drug use, disease, etc .;
  • presence of an anamnesis of allergic diseases;
  • presence of traces after the disappearance of blisters - pigmented, scaly spots, vascular pattern;
  • effectiveness of antihistamines;
  • family history of urticaria.

Sometimes hives are only a single episode in human life.

Physical examination

It allows you to draw up a plan for subsequent laboratory and instrumental research. Typically, a physical examination includes:

  • measurement of body temperature;
  • measurement of blood pressure, heart rate;
  • palpation of the abdominal cavity - determination of the size of the spleen, liver;
  • auscultation of the heart, lungs;
  • determination of the size of the lymph nodes.

Additional laboratory, instrumental studies, tests allow you to determine the nature of hives, find out its causes and exclude diseases with a similar diagnosis:

  • urticarial and hypereosinophilic vasculitis ;
  • prurigo; pruritis;
  • multiform and fixed erythema, erythema nodosum;
  • parasitic infestation;
  • anaphylactic reactions;
  • prodromal period of the bullous pemphigoid or nebulous pemphigoid;
  • contact urticaria.

In addition, urticaria papules appearing in women in the third semester of pregnancy, itchy spots disappear after childbirth.

Laboratory and instrumental research

Laboratory tests are not used for single episodes of acute urticaria.

Recommended laboratory and instrumental methods of research:

  • blood tests - clinical, biochemical;
  • general urine analysis;
  • colonoscopy;
  • veloergometry;
  • X-ray diffraction pattern of PPN and OGC;
  • Ultrasound - according to indications;
  • ECG and EGDS;
  • parasitological examination;
  • bacteriological cultures from pharyngeal mucosa to flora;
  • bacteriological studies of faeces, duodenal contents;
  • X-ray examination of the paranasal sinuses and thoracic cavity organs.

Diagnosis of physical urticaria is carried out with the help of provocative tests - hot baths, water compresses, mechanical skin irritation, veloergometry, etc. Also tests for autologous serum are used to identify the causes of urticaria.

Based on the results of research, a dermatologist may be recommended to consult other specialists:

  • allergist,
  • rheumatologist,
  • oncologist,
  • endocrinologist,
  • parasitologist,
  • gynecologist, etc.

Specialists together determine the schemes and methods of treatment.

What is dangerous hives?

Urticaria is not contagious and by itself will not lead to the defeat or disruption of the functions of any systems or organs.

The consequences of urticaria are insufferable - insomnia, neurotic disorders. Dangerous for life anaphylactic shock, angioedema . If the swelling of the oral mucosa is observed during an attack, difficulty breathing, it is necessary to call an ambulance.

Treatment of urticaria

There is simply no radical remedy for urticaria. The chronic form is forever. But treatment can help reduce the frequency and duration of seizures, reduce the risk of death due to complications such as Quincke's edema, anaphylactic shock.

The treatment method is selected by the doctor individually, depending on the causes of hives, its course, the patient's condition, the presence of concomitant diseases. Modern medicine offers a variety of drugs:

  • antihistamines,
  • immunomodulators,
  • antidepressants.

Self-administration of medications can provoke anaphylactic shock or Quincke's edema and cause death. Treatment in the home is possible only with the approval of his scheme with a doctor.

To remove the itching and reduce inflammation it is possible, moistening blisters with weak solutions of salt, soda, herbal, alcoholic infusions, 2% salicylic alcohol, lemon juice. But only after consulting a doctor!

Prophylaxis of urticaria

To anticipate the appearance of an acute form is impossible, but you can try to avoid recurrences of chronic. By the prevention of urticaria means:

  • timely diagnosis and treatment of diseases that are or may cause urticaria;
  • regular examination and treatment of inflammatory and other diseases;
  • HLS - refusal from smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs, observance of sanitary rules and rules of personal hygiene;
  • avoidance of hypothermia, overheating, UV irradiation, stress, tight clothing;
  • accurate handling of household chemical products, cosmetics;
  • taking medications only under the supervision of a doctor.

Before planning a trip to the sea, to the mountains, you should also consult your doctor.

A common opinion about the need for a diet for chronic urticaria in the medical profession is not primarily due to the variety of causes of the disease. Usually a diet is recommended during an exacerbation. In the future, the diet is determined individually. For example, in cases of allergic forms of hives, the doctor may recommend completely abandoning the allergen product or, conversely, taking it for food, but only in microscopic amounts - so that the body "remembers" that this product is not dangerous.

A patient with a diagnosis of chronic urticaria is advised to have:

  • medical first-aid kit with first aid;
  • an extract from a polyclinic or a note indicating the possible causes that can provoke an attack of the disease.

These measures help if not completely get rid of rashes, then at least control the itching, allowing a person to keep social activity, work and live relatively comfortably.

Urticaria in children

Symptoms, diagnosis, classification, prevention and treatment of childhood urticaria are similar to "adult" species. The only difference is that when examining the doctor's questions about the alleged cause of the disease, parents should answer. Therefore, if the baby's skin has bright red blisters, adults need to try to remember:

  • that the child ate during the last hours;
  • what did the kid do-play with pets, dig in country cottages, take a long walk, etc.;
  • The presence of chronic forms of disease in the immediate family on the part of both parents.

It means the emergence of a new type of household chemical products or new spirits in the mother, playing with stray animals or launching boats in a cold puddle.

The pediatrician can recommend consultations with an otolaryngologist, an allergist, etc.

In order not to let urticaria go into chronic form, strict control by the parents is required.

Hives of Pregnant Women

In addition to the above reasons to provoke the appearance of red itchy blisters in pregnant women can toxicosis. Urticaria does not have a direct negative effect on the baby, it only causes discomfort to the woman herself. But the sensations of itching, discomfort do not improve the mood of the future mother and her condition as a whole, which can not but affect the condition of the child.

Most of the medicines for hives are contraindicated in pregnant women, so treatment is usually reduced to various measures to reduce the itching and the reception of mild sedatives.

Hives caused by toxicosis completely passes after childbirth.

| 3 December 2014 | | 16,004 | Uncategorized