Hives sting. Like bees. Or nettles. You may not have been anywhere near an apiary ( a bunch of beehives), or the countryside, where nettle patches abound – yet still you have the maddening itch of hives.
Also known as nettle rash (because the appearance of hives resembles the skin’s reaction to nettle stings), urticaria, or hives is a skin condition that causes weals. These are raised, whitish bumps surrounded by a red ‘halo’. They can be all over your body, or more localised, and they are itchy. Scratching makes your skin sore. If the condition is ‘chronic’ – lasting longer than six weeks – the cause is usually unclear. ‘Acute’ urticaria may have a more obvious trigger. Lasting less than six weeks, it flares up and dies down so it can be easier to identify what it was that set it off in the first place.
Allergies to food, reaction to changes in temperature, contact with certain fabrics or environmental triggers can start the whole sorry mess that leaves you feeling hot and itchy and well, bewildered. How can you work out where the hives came from? And how can you send them on their way? So many key questions: What did you eat, what did you touch, where did you go? Was it hot, was it cold? Have you been ill recently? Were you taking certain medications?
Keep a Diary
Maintaining a day-to-day diary is key. Developing hives is a mystery, but a mystery you should crack to regain good health, to look good and to get your sanity back. Individual hives die off within 24 hours, but until the condition clears up the rash will crop up somewhere else on the body. How long the rash lasts, either days, weeks or months, depends on whether the hives are acute or chronic. Either way, finding out what causes hives is key to getting rid of them.Only you can get to the bottom of your skin condition by keeping a clear account of everything you do, from day to day. Crucially, recording your habits, your diet, what you wore, where you went is the first step towards getting clear skin. Note it all down in a diary, every day. Yes – it’s a minefield, it’s a duty and can be a bore. You need to approach it like a detective.
Elementary, my dear Watson!
Find ways to make it all fun. Get creative with notebooks. Colour-code, use stickers, make cute little drawings and Venn diagrams. Or use modern technology to crack the code. An effective, easy-to-use health tracker app like AlliApp, that lets you record everything you do every single day, can mean the difference between feeling fed up, itchy and confused, and helping you help yourself back to health. Either way, if you want to feel and look good again, get cracking to crack the mystery that surrounds your skin. Track your day-to-day activities to take the sting out of hives and send them on their way.