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Urticaria

Definition

Urticaria is also called nettle rash or hives. Urticaria is a temporary skin condition often due to an allergic reaction and is characterized by an elevated patch of skin (reddish or pale) and/or pimples and wheals accompanied by burning, stinging, or severe itching sensation.

Additional Info

Hives can often be treated with an antihistamine such as Benadryl (trademark name for diphenhydramine). In rare cases, airway obstruction or anaphylactic shock (system-wide allergic response) could occur, requiring immediate medical intervention.

Hives can be caused by many agents, and in many cases the exact cause is not known. The red welt most of us get following a bee sting is probably the most familiar example of a hive.

There are many homeopathic "remedy" sites on the Internet which claim to solve all sorts of health conditions, especially hives, using mixtures that contain no active ingredients whatsoever. Make no mistake, the term "homeopathic remedy" is an oxymoron and the promoters of homeopathy are simply quacks or charlatans who prey on human foibles. Some may swear by their homeopathic "cure" for hives, but the fact is that hives commonly go away with no treatment at all.

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Urticaria can be a symptom of exposure to certain chemicals. Section 11 (toxicological information) of your Safety Data Sheet will alert you if hives are a known symptom of exposure. Section 8 (exposure controls/personal protection) explains how to avoid exposure, and Section 4 (first-aid measures) explains what to do if you develop symptoms. Should you experience an outbreak of hives, use the listed precautions to make sure you are not further exposed to the material and see if the condition improves.

Further Reading

See also: eczema, erythema, sensitizer.

Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.



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