26 August 2016


Hives also known as Urticaria or Nettle Rash is a sudden onset of raised red or white itchy skin rash that clears away on its own within a few hours or in rare cases in a few days. It usually first develops in the covered areas like thighs, waist, trunk, but can also appear in any other part of the body.
A variety of possible causes, including allergic reactions to certain foods, have been identified as a trigger for urticaria but unfortunately, actual trigger often goes unnoticed.


source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/EMminor2010.JPG
  • Pollen
  • Insect Bites
  • Stress
  • Exposure to Sunlight
  • Certain Medications
  • Food Sensitivities


When we are stressed or our body comes in contact with something that produces an allergic reaction an inflammatory response in triggered in the body that causes the body cells to release a compound called Histamine. This histamine causes dilation of capillaries or tiny blood vessels which are seen as a rash or swollen area on the skin.


Food sensitivity is when your body reacts abnormally to certain proteins present in food and produce inflammation anywhere in the body, giving rise to conditions such as Arthritis, Eczema, Asthma, Dermatitis, Psoriasis and Hives depending upon the site where inflammation has occurred.

Basically, two types of proteins have been identified which may be responsible the development of hives. These are:
Gluten: Present in wheat, barley, and oats.
Casein: Present in milk and other dairy items.


Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, oats and is poorly tolerated in some individuals. In fact, it has been found to be one of the major causes of hives or urticaria. A number of studies published in various medical journals like the Lancet, Allergy (4), Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology (1), Paediatric Dermatology (2), etc. have suggested links between gluten sensitivity and hives. In all these studies, patients showed improvement when put on a gluten free diet. However, the exact mechanism on how gluten leads to the development of hives is not yet known and is still under study.


There are two main aspects of the treatment for hives: 
  • Treatment with drugs.
  • Avoidance of allergen/trigger.

Treatment with drugs: Antihistamines is usually prescribed for combating the effects of hives. These drugs work by blocking the action of histamine which is involved in Hives. Antihistamine if taken as soon as rash flares up, the rash will fade away faster than it would normally. In the case of recurrent hives, people may have to take this drug o a regular basis to prevent hives from reappearing.

Avoidance of allergen/trigger: If food or any other allergen is believed to be a cause of recurrent hives, one may have to completely avoid that food source or allergen to prevent hives from recurring. In case one is unsure of the cause of hives he may have to avoid all the potential sources that may cause an allergic reaction in that person for sometime to determine if hives disappear and then reintroduce them one by one in small amounts to find out if the rash reappears.

  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16609761
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20199432
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18447142
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10505471

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