What is Urticaria?
Urticaria or hives is an abrupt outbreak of pale red bumps (welts) on the skin. They are also known as welts, weals, or nettle rash.
Hives may result after you have got a skin reaction. When an allergic reaction occurs, the body produces a protein called histamine. When histamine is released, capillaries, the small blood vessels may start to leak fluid, which, when buildup, may trigger a rash. As the reaction runs its course, the welts or red bumps may appear and fade away repeatedly.
The swelling that often follows hives is named so angioedema. If welts grow for more than 1.5 months or six weeks and come and go for months or years, it is referred to as chronic lives.
Chronic hives may interfere with your sleep and abstain you from living a normal healthy life. It is not contagious, though.
Doctors still have not identified the reason for chronic hives or why acute hives may progress into chronic hives.
The reaction to the skin can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as:
- extreme changes in temperatures
- animal dander from dogs, horses, etc.
- dust mites
- cockroaches and cockroach waste
- exposure to sunlight
- plants, including poison ivy and poison oak
- insect bites and stings
- some chemicals
- water on the skin
- chronic illness, such as thyroid disease or lupus, common cold, glandular fever, influenza, hepatitis B, urinary tract infections, strep throat, etc.
In more than half of cases, people may not know about the exact cause of hives. In other half cases, an autoimmune disorder can be put to blame, but mostly the cause is not known yet.
The signs and symptoms of chronic hives include:
- Batches of red or skin-coloured welts grow anywhere on the body
- Painful swelling of the eyelids, lips, and inside the throat
- Itching that may become severe
- Welts that may vary in size, shape and appear and fade with time as the allergic reaction continues
- Flare in the signs with triggers such as heat, exercise, and stress
- Acute hives appear suddenly and clear up within a few weeks
Ayurvedic Treatment for Urticaria
In Ayurveda, Urticaria (Hives) is known as Sheet-Pitta, which means cold eruptions. This condition is caused by the dominance of Sheeta over Pitta dosha. It is the result of aggravated Kapha and Vata that may allow skin allergies to form on the body.
While your immunity also has a role to play in the development of allergies, vitiated doshas and toxins (Ama) also lead to the formation of red welts on the skin.
The core of Ayurveda is to help the body get rid of toxins using procedures and therapies as written in Ayurvedic texts. Oral administration of herbs helps to restore the digestive fire along with the balancing of vitiated life energies.
Panchakarma treatments like Svedana, Vaman, Virecha are also effective in the treatment of hives.