Hives are the outbreak of swollen red bumps or wheals on the skin. Hives are caused by exposure to allergens. Another popular name for hives is 'Utricaria'.
Chemical compounds called histamines are released into the bloodstream when we’re exposed to allergens. Allergic hives occur when histamines are released into the blood and as a result, blood plasma leaks out of small blood vessels in the skin.
Histamines are released in the following situations.
Acute Utricaria/Hives:These last less than 6 weeks. Common causes include food allergies – especially with nuts, eggs, fish, milk, chocolates, and berries. Food additives and preservatives can also cause acute hives. Certain drugs can also result in acute hives like aspirin, ibuprofen, and others.
Chronic Utricaria/Hives: These last for more than six weeks. Their cause is generally unknown but can due to underlying conditions like hepatitis, thyroid disease, infections or cancers. Along with rashes, they present with other symptoms like soreness, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Physical Utricaria: These are caused by the direct physical stimulation of the skin in response to extreme cold/heat, sweating, and others.
There are no specific tests for diagnosing hives, but you can go for skin patch tests to determine the substance to which you are allergic. Routine blood tests can also rule out the presence of other major diseases.
Ayurveda calls this condition sheetapitta. Sheetapitta is a condition where all the three doshas are vitiated with predominance of Vata. The dhathus (tissues) affected are rakta (blood tissue) and rasa (plasma).
The word sheetapitta consists of 2 words, sheeta which is a Sanskrit word meaning cold, and Pitta meaning warm/hot. It is a condition that is caused by the dominance of Vata and Kapha dosha over Pitta dosha.
Causative Factors As Per Ayurveda
Due to any of the above-said causative factors, the Vata and Kapha dosha get aggravated and get mixed up with Pitta.
Furthermore, the vitiated dosha spreads over the body and lodges in the external surface beneath the skin. This causes pale reddish eruptions with intense itching and stinging.
You can also apply a wet cloth or cool compresses to the affected area. How to make an Ayurvedic cold compress at home? Here’s how –
Please consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before trying the remedies and herbs mentioned in this article. If you ever notice you’re having an allergic reaction, seek medical care immediately. Consult your primary healthcare provider if you get hives often.
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