Hives may appear due to certain allergies, or may appear for reasons that are not completely understood. They are an outbreak of pale, swollen red bumps and plaques on the skin and may cause burning, itching or stinging. Hives have been known to appear on the face, lips, tongue, throat or the ears, but may also appear anywhere on the body. They may vary in size as well from the very small variety to very large variety. Individuals may experience hives for just a few hours or may experience hives for about a day before the condition heals. Hives form when in response to histamine, blood plasma leaks out of blood vessels in the skin. Histamine release may be linked to allergic reactions, chemicals, insect bites/stings, medicine or even exposure to sunlight.
If you experience hives, the first step is to determine the cause of the problem and eliminate it. Antihistamines may be prescribed to alleviate the symptoms associated with hives and may be taken on a regular schedule to prevent hives from forming. Oral corticosteroids may be prescribed if antihistamines are not providing the individual with relief. At home, while waiting for the hives to go away, applying a cool compress, working, resting or sleeping in a cool room and wearing loose-fitting, lightweight clothing may help. If you experience dizziness, wheezing, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue, lips or face, or if you experience tightness in the chest, call a doctor immediately.