Urticaria, commonly referred to as hives, are itchy and raised welts on the skin. While they can be bothersome and uncomfortable, identifying their cause can help prevent future outbreaks. According to John B. Hagan, MD, physical triggers are the primary cause of hives. These triggers include scratching the skin, infections, and allergic reactions to various stimuli such as pollen, pets, food, latex, or insect stings. Exposure to cold, heat, vibrations, and certain medications like aspirin or NSAIDs can also cause hives.
On the other hand, angioedema is a severe and painful swelling that typically affects the hands, feet, arms, legs, face, and digestive system. It can occur in conjunction with hives or be misdiagnosed as hives. Some triggers of angioedema include stress or anxiety, ACE inhibitors, surgery (particularly dental surgery), and estrogen in women.
Allergists and immunologists are specialists who can help identify the triggers causing skin symptoms and recommend ways to avoid them. Additionally, medications can be used to manage the symptoms of urticaria and angioedema and improve the patient's quality of life. If you are experiencing hives or skin swelling, it's essential to consult with an allergist or immunologist to receive a proper diagnosis and management plan.
Recognizing the triggers of hives and angioedema is crucial to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. By working with a specialist and following a proper management plan, you can avoid potential triggers and reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks.