There are various treatments for urticaria – a skin condition that causes itchy red bumps to appear – may involve the use of antihistamines to decrease inflammation, immunosuppressive medications, soothing skin creams, and even temporary use of steroids.
The best procedure depends on what is causing the hives and other factors unique to the patient. Over the course of the treatment, patients will likely visit allergy specialists, dermatologists, and immune specialists in order to treat their urticaria.
More commonly known as hives, urticaria is frequently associated with allergies, but not always. Another cause can be physical stress on the skin, like scratching or rubbing, and it may also be due to autoimmune disorders.
When a patient develops hives, the initial step in treatment is figuring out how the outbreak is occurring so the best treatments for the urticaria can be administered.
After assessing the condition, almost invariably the next step is to take antihistamines. Urticaria develops when a flood of histamines are released from mast cells, causing irritation and inflammation of the skin. Antihistamine drugs can be ingested to halt the spread of histamine, which stops the inflammation and forces the urticaria to subside.
Patients who suffer from itching can apply skin creams to soothe the skin and alleviate the feeling of discomfort caused by itching. Taking a bath with oatmeal, baking soda, and other compounds that ease itching may also be helpful.
In some rare cases, patients will need to be treated with steroids, either orally or in cream form. Steroid treatments are only a short-term solution. If the source of hives is autoimmune in origin, then patients could benefit from immunosuppressive medications to decrease the chances of future outbreaks.
To treat allergic urticaria, doctors need to determine the offending allergen and help the patient avoid it. To do so, the doctor may recommend altering diet, switching detergents, and so on. If it is impossible to avoid the allergen, medications will be prescribed to suppress the reaction and lower the chances of an outbreak.
Patients might need to try many treatments for their urticaria before finding one that works (or one that works the best). It is vital that one is patient with a treatment – allowing it some time to hopefully work – before moving on to another treatment, since medications can take several days before going into full effect.
Alternative treatments for urticaria may involve the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine. Patients who wish to try out alternative treatments should first speak with their doctors to determine if any medication is contraindicated.
A doctor may already know of specific care providers, and patients may be able to receive a discount or other benefits by visiting a practitioner whom the doctor is acquainted with.