Hives tend to affect the skin, however, they can occasionally be a symptom of a severe allergic reaction. When this occurs, you may be dizzy, have stomach cramps, swelling, or even trouble breathing. This is why it's vital you know how to spot hives and when it's time to call our home GP service in Costa del Sol for hives.
Hives are a red and raised itchy skin rash that can be triggered by an allergen. Hives are also known as urticaria, nettle rash, welts, or weals.
When an allergic reaction occurs, the body will automatically release a protein known as a "Histamine". When a histamine is released, the blood vessels leak fluid. The fluid accumulates in the skin and it's this that causes a rash.
Angioedema is a condition which is similar to hives. However, the swelling takes place beneath the skin. Angioedema is usually characterized by swelling around the lips and eyes and occasionally the hands, feet, and genitals. It tends to last longer than hives, but the swelling usually disappears within 24 hours.
In rare cases, angioedema of the tongue, lungs, or throat can potentially block the airways. This causes difficulty breathing and may be life-threatening. If you have difficult breathing call our home GP service in Costa del Sol for hives.
Swellings, which are also known as “Wheals” start to appear on the skin. They are typically red or pink and are round or oval. Wheals can be as small as a few millimeters to as large as a few inches. They can also be very itchy, and appear quite red.
Wheals can appear batches, typically on the face or on the extremities. This includes the arms, hands, and fingers, the legs, feet, and toes.
Welts tend to disappear within a period of 24 hours, however, new ones may start to form.
Symptoms can disappear within 24 hours, however, another wheal can appear while the last one fades.
In some cases, hives can carry on for several days. Those who have chronic hives can have symptoms for a few months or even years.
Call our home GP service in Costa del Sol for hives if your outbreak doesn't disappear within a few days. You should get medical help right away if you notice symptoms of Angioedema or a severe allergic reaction.