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Enciclopedia de Salud

Health Condition


About This Condition

Hives (urticaria) is an allergic reaction in the skin characterized by white or pink welts or large bumps surrounded by redness.

These welts are known as wheal and flare lesions and are caused primarily by the release of histamine (an allergy mediator) in the skin. About 50% of people with chronic hives develop angioedema—a deeper, more serious form of hives involving the tissue below the surface of the skin.

While the basic cause of hives involves the release of histamine from white blood cells, what actually triggers this release can be a variety of factors, such as physical contact or pressure, heat (prickly heat rash), cold, water, autoimmune reactions, infectious organisms (e.g., hepatitis B virus, Candida albicans, and streptococcal bacteria), and allergies or sensitivities to drugs (especially antibiotics and aspirin), foods, and food additives.


Symptoms include an itchy skin rash with red bumps that can appear on the face, trunk of the body, and, sometimes, on the scalp, hands, or feet. Individual lesions usually last less than 24 hours and can change shape, fade, and then rapidly reappear. People with hives may also have wheezing, or swelling of the eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat.


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16. Lewis-Jones MS, Barnes RMR, Macfarlane AW, et al. Frequency and isotype distribution of serum antibodies reactive with dietary proteins in adults with chronic urticaria. Clin Exp Dermatol 1987;12:419-23.

17. Lessof MH. Reactions to food additives. Clin Exp Allergy 1995;25 Suppl 1:27-8. [review].

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19. Kulczycki A Jr. Aspartame-induced urticaria. Ann Int Med 1986;104:207-8.

20. Zuberbier T, Chantraine-Hess S, Hartmann K, et al. Pseudoallergen-free diet in the treatment of chronic urticaria. ACTA Dermatologica Venerol (Stockh) 1995;75:484-7.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.

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La información que se presenta en TraceGains no pretende nada más que informarle al consumidor con resultados interpretados de estudios científicos. A pesar de basarse en la investigación científica (humana, animal, o in vitro), en la experiencia clínica o en la observación de su aplicación en el uso tradicional, la información que se presenta en TraceGains y que se cita en cada artículo no pretende nada más que informarle al público. Además, es posible que no se logren los resultados presentados en todos los individuos. Enfermedades con peligro para la vida requieren tratamiento por prescripción facultativa y no se recomienda que intente curarlas sin que vigile un médico. Con respecto a muchas de las enfermedades discutidas, están disponibles medicamentos con y sin receta médica. Consúltese con su médico y/o farmacéutico para discutir cualquier problema de salud y siempre antes de utilizar cualquier suplemento o efectuar cualquier cambio con respecto a los medicamentos recetados que se toma. Esta información es válida hasta finales de Diciembre del 2021.