Protecting Yourself From Dust
The best way to protect yourself from dust is to prevent it. Keep road dust out by closing doors and windows. Minimize pet allergens in dust by keeping pets outdoors.
You can reduce the amount of textile fibers in dust by removing carpeting and rugs and replacing fabric upholstered furniture with wood and leather furniture.
If you have throws and blankets, wash them frequently to remove loose fibers and shed skin from people and pets. If you cant replace furniture, carpets or rugs, spray them frequently with denaturing sprays like ADMS antiallergen spray. These sprays break down the allergens in the dust without staining or adding any fragrance to the air.
To keep dust mites and dust mite feces out of your mattress and pillows you should protect them with special dust mite proof covers. Wash sheets every 7 days in hot water to get rid of the dust there.
Vacuum and dust at least once a week. Use a HEPA filtered vacuum and wear a mask that prevents against dust. Dust with damp rags to prevent particles from becoming airborne and settling again.
Run HEPA filtered air cleaners to reduce the amount of dust floating in the air.
Types Of Physical Urticaria
- Dermographism triggered by skin friction such as rubbing, scratching, or pressure. This is the most common form of CIndU.
- Delayed-pressure urticaria triggered by sustained pressure to the skin. Symptoms appear 4-6 hours after contact.
- Exercise-induced urticaria triggered by exercise.
- Cold urticaria triggered by skin exposure to cold or cold water. Hives are usually limited to exposed skin.
- Heat urticaria triggered by exposure to heat.
- Solar urticaria triggered by sun exposure to UV rays.
- Vibratory urticaria triggered by exposure to vibration.
Favorite Resource To Find An Allergist
Generally, youll visit a primary care doctor first, but he or she may recommend you schedule an appointment with an allergist. The AAAAIs Find an Allergist tool can help you find an allergist or immunologist close to where you live.
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Remedies And Treatments For Hives
Managing a case of hives can involve relying on home remedies and over-the-counter medication. You may also try making small lifestyle changes to lessen the instances of coming across a trigger that will make your skin erupt in hives.
Over-the-Counter Oral Antihistamines
Antihistamines work on histamine, which is released by mast cells â a certain type of immune system cell â in the presence of an allergen or an irritant.
Anti-Itch Creams and Lotions
However, some people can be sensitive to certain topical medications. Children may have a bad reaction to corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone cream. Topical treatment is also not recommended if the affected area is sore, infected, or features an open wound. Hives with these features may only worsen if you treat them with lotions or creams.
Cooling Home Treatments
When you have hives, a cooling sensation may comfort you and draw your attention away from the discomfort caused by skin irritation. Apply cold and wet compresses, use ice on the affected areas, or take a cold bath.
You may also keep some over-the-counter lotions and creams in the fridge, so itâs cool to the touch when you need to apply it on your skin.
How To Soothe Hives
While hives are most commonly not severe or harmful, we know they can be irritating and uncomfortable. A doctor can provide treatments to prevent the hives from recurring however, there are at-home remedies to try to soothe hives immediately.
First and foremost, dont scratch your itch! Hives can be extremely itchy, and the natural instinct would be to scratch the area that is bothering you. But scratching hives can make them more inflamed and cause them to spread.
Instead, try these tips to soothe your skin and find relief from itchy hives:
Use a Cold Compress
Apply a cold compress to the affected area. This could be a bag of frozen peas, an ice pack, or simply soaking a washcloth in cold water. The cool temperature will relieve some of the inflammation you are experiencing by numbing the area and soothing the skin.
Avoid Anything That May Trigger a Reaction
Try to keep away from natural triggers such as pollen or pet dander. It is also a good idea to avoid contact with latex.
Take a Lukewarm Bath
Hot water can be extremely irritating to the skin, but you can add various products to a bath to help relieve an itching sensation. Sprinkle in some baking soda and colloidal oatmeal for a soothing effect.
Colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and forms a protective barrier on your skin, holding in moisture and easing inflammation. It is found in many moisturizers, shampoos, and cleansers that are beneficial for people with sensitive skin.
Wear Lightweight Clothing
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What Do I Do If I Think I Have Ciu
If you think you have CIU, see a board-certified allergist or dermatologist. Both types of specialists treat CIU. They will do a physical exam and ask about your medical history. They may also do allergy testing and blood tests, if necessary.
CIU is not easy to diagnose. To help your doctor decide if you have CIU, use our Hives Conversation Starter with Symptom Tracker.It has helpful questions for you to answer, along with a calendar to track your symptoms.
Can Pollen Cause Hives
Though hives are an unusual reaction when it comes to pollen, it has been known to happen from time to time. Though hives generally arise from food and animal-based allergens, according to Neda Skin Solutions, physical exposure to certain types of pollen can result in the appearance of hives.
This is generally not a problem, as there are many over-the-counter creams to help soothe hives topically. However, things can go quite wrong if the hives develop somewhere like the inside of the mouth or throat, as they can obstruct breathing. If you know that your allergic reaction to pollen is this severe, be sure to have a personal automatic epinephrine injector on hand at all times, after consulting with a doctor, of course.
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How Are Hives Diagnosed
A doctor can diagnose hives and help you find the cause. They might recommend you keep a food diary to find out if there is any link between food and your hives.
You might be sent to an allergist, a doctor who specializes in treating allergies, for additional testing. This might include blood work and urine tests to look for chemicals in your body that might tell the allergists whats causing your hives.
You might also have a skin biopsy, especially if your allergist suspects vasculitis causing your hives. Hives that have lasted for longer than 6 weeks will likely necessitate testing for underlying chronic conditions.
Sometimes, a specific cause isnt found. In this case, your hives will be diagnosed as idiopathic urticaria. The word idiopathic means unknown. In this case, your doctor will still be able to help you with a treatment plan, but you wont be able to tell what to avoid to prevent hives in the future.
Treatment for hives will depend on the severity of your hives and on the cause. For instance, youll need to avoid the cause of your hives if it has been found.
Your doctor will work with you to find the right treatment for you. Common options include:
Fexofenadine Loratadine And Cetirizine
These antihistamines typically come in 12- or 24-hour formulas to provide extended relief. Theyre also less likely to cause drowsiness than diphenhydramine.
You may need to adjust the dosage to effectively treat hives, so talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise you on how much to take and how often.
If youre experiencing severe or chronic hives, prescription medication may be necessary. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and how you can best find relief.
Common prescription options include:
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Research And Statistics: How Common Are Hives
About 1 in 5 people will experience hives at some point in their lives. And more than 10 percent of children will experience hives at least once.
About 1 in 20 people will experience chronic hives, which are episodes that last for more than six weeks. About half of people with chronic hives still have them after antihistamine treatment. And for about half of cases, the trigger of chronic hives is unknown. Twenty percent of chronic hives patients suffer for more than five years. Chronic hives are more common among women than men.
Much of the research surrounding hives in the past couple of years has focused on the effectiveness of omalizumab . Its an anti-immunoglobulin E antibody that was somewhat recently approved as a treatment option and is available by prescription. Its now recommended to treat chronic hives.
Other studies from the past two years include:
Much of the research thats currently being done regarding hives involves testing whether certain medications are effective treatment options, such as fenebrutinib, AK002, UB-221, ligelizumab, and dupilumab.
Finally, researchers are also exploring how vitamin D levels among hives patients compare with those of others and how vitamin D supplementation affects the severity of hives.
Coping With Hives From Mold
The itching from hives can be intense. To help relieve itching, the Mayo Clinic recommends taking an over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl, applying cool damp compresses to the area, and taking cool baths with baking soda or colloidal oatmeal added to the bathwater. If over-the-counter medications and home remedies dont relieve your discomfort, see your doctor.
In order to get rid of the hives, though, youll need to get rid of the mold that is triggering the allergic reaction. If you continue to be exposed to mold, youll continue to have symptoms. Continued exposure to mold may even cause your symptoms to worsen over time.
Its also important to understand that mold grows and spreads quickly. If you have mold in your home that is causing hives or other symptoms, its important to have the mold removed as soon as possible, not only to prevent worsening health, but also to prevent the mold problem from getting bigger and bigger.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hives
Hives, formally known in the medical community as urticaria, usually appear as red or skin-colored bumps or welts that have defined edges. They can be as small as a pen tip or as large as a dinner plate, and when you press the center of a hive thats red, it can turn white, something referred to as blanching. They can appear as one hive or show up as blotches or connected patches. And they show up to help control the bodys allergic response to certain triggers.
Hives And Summer Allergies
Pollen and ragweed are common triggers of seasonal allergies that are prevalent in the spring and fall respectively. However, pollen is still active in the summer, along with many other allergy triggers. Exposure to certain allergy triggers is especially common in summer, including insects bites and stings, the chlorine in swimming pools, and the smoke from campfires.
While not strictly an allergic reaction, heat hives are also a concern for people who undergo allergic reactions in the summer. In some people, overheating can cause a similar histamine reaction to allergy triggers, causing outbreaks of hives. Heat hives usually disappear about an hour after they show up on the skin, and can be extra troublesome when they combine with other summertime allergies.
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Can Stress Cause Hives
Stress does not cause hives, but it can lead to or worsen symptoms. Its believed psychological factors such as stress play a role in about 50 percent of cases of hives. If stress is playing a role in your hives, you may benefit from working with a counselor or other mental health professional to help manage your stress.
Some People Have Greater Risk Of Developing Any Type Of Hives
While anyone can develop hives, you have a greater risk if you:
Are a woman of African American heritage
Have atopic dermatitis
If you have long-lasting or widespread hives, seeing a dermatologist can help you feel more comfortable. Seeing a dermatologist is also a good idea to make sure that what you have really is hives.
Find out how dermatologists diagnose and treat hives at: Hives: Diagnosis and treatment.
Related AAD resources
ImagesImage 1: Used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image 2: Images used with permission of JAAD Case Reports.
JAAD Case Reports 2021 11:137-8.
Image 3. Image used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
J Am Acad Dermatol 2006 5428-46.
ReferencesAntia C, Baquerizo K, et al. Urticaria: A comprehensive review: Epidemiology, diagnosis, and work-up. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 79:599-614.
Grattan CEH, Saini SS. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, China, 2018:304-19.
Hide M, Takahagi S, et al. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Kang S, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology. McGraw Hill Education, United States of America, 2019:684-785.
Hymes SR, Strom EA, et al. Radiation dermatitis: Clinical presentation, pathophysiology, and treatment. 2006. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 54:28-46.
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If Mold Is Giving You Hives
If mold is giving you hives, you need to have all the mold removed from your home as soon as possible. While some homeowners prefer to handle mold removal themselves, its generally recommended that you avoid attempting to remove mold if you have mold-related illness or are allergic to mold. The process of removing mold stirs up mold spores, which are easily inhaled. In addition, the mold spores can easily spread to other areas of the home which can end up making a household mold problem worse instead of better, unless strict precautions are taken.
Other Symptoms Of Mold Allergy
Hives are only one symptom of an allergy to mold. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, other common symptoms include respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, runny nose, trouble breathing, sore throat, and itchy, watery eyes. Symptoms may also include headaches and fatigue.
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What Causes Pollen Allergies
Pollen allergy symptoms like sore throat, cough, watery eyes, itching, hives, and other, more severe reactions like asthma, are the result of a biological histamine response to pollen. Pollen is the powdery substance that trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds use to pollinate. According to the Better Health Channel, this type of allergic reaction is called hay fever.
One of the most difficult parts of having a pollen allergy isnt dealing with the symptoms, but trying to figure out what type of pollen you might be allergic to. For instance, those who are allergic to tree pollen might not have any problems with ragweed or grass pollen. Ultimately, determining which allergies you actually have could involve going to a specialist to take an official allergy test.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hives
Hives are characterized by red or pale-colored welts on the skin, which typically come and go throughout the day, says Sourab Choudhury, DO, a dermatologist and the chief medical officer at the Dermatology Specialists, a private dermatology practice in New York City. Sometimes they itch, burn, or sting.
Usually the welts will be surrounded by clear edges. They may look similar to bug bites, but hives generally will appear and disappear more quickly. They may itch, sometimes severely, and theyre not always the same size or shape. They may be as small as the tip of a pen or as large as a dinner plate. When you press the center of a hive bump on the skin, it likely will turn from red to white, which is known as blanching.
Hives may appear on the body grouped together and take over a large area of the skin, or as a couple of individual welts that show up here and there. They can appear anywhere on the body, though some people get them in the same spot over and over again .
Generally, youll know you have hives simply by seeing the hives themselves. If you experience other symptoms, such as swelling in the eyes, lips, or inside of the throat, or if you have trouble breathing, you should call 911 or see a doctor immediately, says Sapna Palep, MD, a dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. These symptoms indicate you may be experiencing a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
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Treatment And Medication Options For Hives
How you treat hives depends on how many youve had and how long youve been suffering. If you have one hive that goes away within 24 hours and youre not having any breathing issues, you probably dont need medical attention. Instead, you might take a nonsedating, over-the-counter antihistamine like loratadine/pseudoephedrine , fexofenadine , or cetirizine to ward off a second one from occurring, Friedman says.
If you do get a second hive, taking one of these antihistamines should be your first defense. Its more about prevention or active treatment, Friedman says.
If a single hive lasts for longer than 24 hours or is more painful than itchy, or if hives continue to come and go for six weeks or more, its time to visit a dermatologist. You can always start with your general physician to get a referral, but because dermatologists are skilled at dealing with hives, theyre your best bet for recommending the appropriate treatment, Rossi says. Dermatologists can also offer patch testing that can identify potential allergens that may cause hives when they come in contact with your skin.