Hives, also known as urticaria, is a common disease that affects millions of people worldwide. While it is not life-threatening in most cases, they can significantly impact a person’s quality of life by causing discomfort and embarrassment.
According to recent statistics, it affects approximately 20% of the population at some point in their lives. The condition can occur at any age but is more common in adults than children. Women are also more likely to develop hives than men. In addition to physical discomfort, it can also have psychological consequences such as anxiety and depression.
What is Urticaria?
Urticaria, commonly known as hives, is a type of skin disease characterized by the appearance of raised, red and itchy bumps on the skin’s surface. It occurs due to the release of histamine and other chemicals in the body in response to an allergen or other trigger. The condition usually develops secondary to an allergic reaction or autoimmune response in the body. Urticaria can be acute or chronic and may last for a few hours to several weeks or even years. (1)
Acute urticaria is usually caused by an allergic reaction to certain foods, medications, insect bites or infections. Chronic urticaria may have no identifiable cause but may be triggered by stress, underlying medical conditions like thyroid disorders or lupus, or exposure to environmental irritants. Symptoms of urticaria include itchy red bumps that are often accompanied by swelling and burning sensations.