Hives, a common allergic disease, affects people of all ages and genders. The disease causes a lot of discomfort, seriously affecting the quality of life and the mental health of patients. Due to its prevalence, many people have questioned the contagiousness of this disease. So, can hives be transmitted, if so, how is it transmitted and how to prevent it?
Is hives contagious?
Whether hives can be transmitted or not is a concern for many people. In fact, hives do not spread from one person to another, they only reappear on the body of a person who has previously had hives. However, hives are hereditary, with about 50-60% of people with hives having a family history of the disease. This means that if someone in your family has this condition, the next generation is more likely to be infected than others.
From a scientific perspective, hives are related to the release of intermediate components due to allergic reactions when the body is exposed to allergens – histamines. Therefore, you can eliminate the thought of whether hives are contagious to feel more comfortable when in contact with hives patients.
It is known that hives are a benign disease, which does not pose a threat to health but only affects the quality of life. In cases of acute hives, the disease will resolve itself after 1-2 hours or 1-2 days. Severe itching can cause discomfort and affect sleep quality and daily life when the disease becomes chronic.
On the other hand, the disease can also have complications in cases of severe infection, frequent recurrence, chronic symptoms, etc. These cases may be susceptible to skin infections, edema, anaphylactic shock threatening life. Therefore, when there are signs such as difficulty swallowing, wheezing, painful swelling in the throat, you need to see a doctor for examination and prevention of complications.
Effective Prevention Measures for Hives
Apart from whether hives are contagious or not, you also need to pay attention to preventive measures to avoid any unnecessary complications. Specifically, these measures include:
- Limit exposure to allergens such as pollen, insects, animal dander, and foods high in protein (shellfish, seafood, milk, eggs, etc.).
- Prefer the use of skincare products with gentle, mild ingredients. If you experience any allergic reactions, stop using them immediately and consult a doctor for advice on how to handle the situation.
- Take a daily shower to remove dead skin cells with warm water, avoiding cold water. After showering, use moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and smooth, avoiding any uncomfortable itching. Refrain from scratching or rubbing too hard to avoid skin abrasions or infection.
- Do not wear damp or tight-fitting clothes, or fabrics that may irritate the skin such as wool or suede.
- Develop a healthy diet by incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins. Drink plenty of mineral water, fruit and vegetable juices instead of alcoholic drinks, coffee, or tobacco.
- Engage in regular physical exercise to boost your immune system and reduce the risk of getting sick.
- Do not share personal items with others, especially those who have skin diseases.
- Maintain good hygiene in your home, bedroom, workplace, and living environment, ensuring clean air.
How to treat hives
The treatment for hives (urticaria) depends on the severity and duration of the symptoms. Mild cases may go away on their own, while severe or chronic cases may require medical treatment. Here are some common treatments for hives:
- Antihistamines: These medications block the effects of histamine, which is the chemical released by the body during an allergic reaction. Antihistamines can relieve itching, redness, and swelling associated with hives.
- Corticosteroids: These medications can reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system to relieve symptoms of severe hives.
- Epinephrine: For severe allergic reactions, epinephrine can be administered as an injection to quickly open up airways and improve breathing.
- Avoidance of triggers: If a specific trigger is identified, such as a certain food or medication, avoidance is recommended.
- Moisturizers: Applying moisturizers or creams to the skin can help soothe the itch and prevent dryness.
- Cool compresses: Applying cool, damp compresses to the affected area can help relieve itching and swelling.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of hives.
Above are useful information to help you understand whether hives are contagious or not. Although it is a relatively benign condition, you should not be complacent as complications can be life-threatening. Therefore, take proactive measures to prevent the disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle, maintaining good hygiene, and eating a well-balanced diet.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.