It is an acute skin condition, an allergic or a hypersensitivity reaction that occurs more commonly in women then in men. All age groups are effected.
The character of the skin lesion that occurs are itchy, elevated patches that are red in color that vary in size from a small Acne-like eruption to a large sized blotch. Each episode of attack is usually short lasting. The itchy patches changes locations-dissapearing in one location and appearing in another and are extremely sensitive to touch. The swelling that appears in the deeper skin layers along with the skin manifestation is called Angioneurotic edema. The Mast cells in the blood release a chemical called Histamine which causes the blood vessels to leak. This fluid collects under the skin and causes the swellling. The swelling usually appears under the eyes, ankles, lips, face, hands etc. An episode can be a minor one where there is mild itching to a severe one that is dramatic in appearence where there is severe itching, swelling of the lips, face, appearence of big red blotches and the distress of the person is evident.
Most of the time, it is difficult to pinpoint the reasons why Hives occurs in certain people.The Allergic or hypersensitivity reaction is caused by many factors- use of certain soaps, detergents, coloring agents, chemicals used in make-up, certain perfumes, certain foods like meats, sea food, high pollen counts, changes in weather, changes in water, mental stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, irregularity of the menstrual cycle, history of repeated urinary tract infections, post partum (after delivery) urticaria etc.
The standard practice in the main stream medicine is to prescribe Anti-Histamine medication for the patient everytime there is a flare-up or an acute episode of Urticaria.
There are excellent medicines in Homeopathy which help relieve the problem in the most simplisitic manner. Homeopathic remedies help relieve the acute condition and also reduce the incidents of urticarial episodes.
A comprehensive and detailed Homeopathic case taking of the patient usually reveals interesting work-life details and throws up information that can be used for an accurate Homeopathic prescription.
Some of the commonly used medicines in Homeopathy are:
Apis Mel: There are stinging pains, the eruptions are elevated with swelling of the surrounding areas with intense itching. The itching is aggravated by touch and heat. Bathing the swollen and itchy parts with cold water and being expose to open air relieves the itching.
Ars Alb: There is intense itching with dryness of the affected parts. The itchy skin is rough, dry and exfoliates. There is an intense burning pain which is not relieved with cold applications and relieved with warm fomentations.
Rhus Tox: Usually the urticarial rash appears in cold seasons or when the weather is moist or damp. The itching is intense the affected parts look like big swollen welts. The itching is relieved by warmth and rubbing the parts. There is intense physical restlessness which is relieved with moving about.
Urtica Urens: Big blotches of red, itching, warm eruptions accompanied with swelling of the surrounding areas. Itching is violent and alternates with pain in the joints. The itching is worse in cool moist air, touch and covering up.
Other indicated remedies in Homeopathy are Calc Sulph, Causticum, Dulcamera, Natrum Mur, Sulphur etc.