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What is urticaria and how to recognize it?

Urticaria is a skin condition, which is easily recognizable because red or white welts that appear on the skin are its main characteristic. These welts can vary in size and they are very itchy. It is also known as chronic hives, which means that the symptoms have the tendency to appear and go away, although there is no exact time range and it depends on case. This is why in some cases they disappear in a few weeks, while in other cases they really are a persistent and lasting problem. Those that are chronic in nature usually do not last longer than six weeks, or they frequently come back. As for other characteristics of this health issue, the fact is that very frequently, the symptoms are triggered by heat, stress, physical exertion, reaction to medication or food, or some other conditions. Besides, angioedema or swelling of the skin are usually accompanying signs of urticaria. It is not impossible that complications such as problems with breathing or even anaphylactic shock appear, but luckily, these serious cases of hives are not that common.

How can it be cured?

No matter how unpleasant this condition might be, it is not serious or life threatening. The cause is not really clear and it can be identified very rarely, although there is a number of possible ones. Due to this, it is very difficult to talk about the cure that will permanently remove this problem. Since factors that can be classified as triggers are identified, the person who suffers from urticaria needs to do their best in order to eliminate the exposure to these factors, or at least to minimize it. Symptoms, though quite difficult to cope with, can be relieved with the help of oral antihistamines, which do not have the power to eliminate the cause of the problem. Not all of them require medical prescription, which means that they can be very easily obtained, but it is important to pay attention to the instruction on how to use them properly. Other medications that might also help include H2 antagonists, tricyclic antidepressants and oral corticosteroids, but in order to use them, the prescription from the doctor will be necessary. In case when some autoimmune disorder is identified as the cause, the chances of getting rid of urticaria are much better, because curing the underlying condition or keeping it under control might actually cure this skin condition as well. 

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