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The imminent appearance of erythematous, smooth, slightly elevated papules or plaques that are attended by severe itching. The vascular reaction of the skin, it appears suddenly due to an allergen or unknown reason. Urticaria is often known as hives, because of the outbreak of swollen red bumps that itch, burn or sting sometimes. The size of papules/hives may vary. They can join together to form plaques. Urticaria appears anywhere on the body surface. The most common places include the face, lips, tongue, throat, ears, limbs, abdomen. Urticaria is usually a self-limiting disease. It can last for a few hours up to one day.

What are the types of urticaria? It can be acute or chronic depending on the duration of the symptoms.

Acute urticaria: The symptoms last for less than 4- 6 weeks. It is the most common type that affects people. The hives can appear on any part of the body but usually, it appears on the face, neck, fingers, toes, and the genitalia.

Chronic urticaria: The symptoms continue for 6 weeks and more.

Physical urticaria: The symptoms of urticaria which get triggered by any direct stimulation of the skin may be due to extremes of temperature, sun exposure, vibration, pressure, sweating, and exercise. The hives appear on the skin and rarely appear anywhere else. Most of the papules appear in continuation within one hour after exposure.

Dermatographism: It is a type of physical urticaria where papules of urticaria appear after firm scratching of the skin.

Angioedema: It is a similar condition to urticaria, but it has an influence on the deeper layers of the skin. It is characterized by deep swelling around the affected part (eyes, lips, hands, feet, and genitals). Angioedema lasts longer than urticaria, but the swelling may subside within one day.


What Causes Urticaria?

Urticaria is thought to be a hypersensitivity reaction of the immunity of the body. However, the exact cause of urticaria is unknown.

Urticaria occurs in response to an allergen. In response to the allergens, a chemical released from specialized cells along the blood vessels of the skin called histamine. As a result, the process of inflammation of the affected area starts to appear along with the fluid accumulation to form wheals.

Other commonly known triggers for skin hypersensitivity or urticaria:

  • Medications, including antibiotics and NSAIDs like aspirin and ACE inhibitors, commonly used for high blood pressure
  • Foods, like nuts, shellfish, eggs, strawberries, and wheat products
  • Food additives
  • Infections, (common cold, strep throat, glandular fever, UTI and hepatitis B)
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Extremes of temperatures
  • High body temperature
  • Pet dander(dogs, cats, horses, mice)
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroaches and it’s waste
  • Latex
  • Pollen
  • Some plants, (nettles, poison ivy, and poison oak)
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Chemicals toxins
  • Chronic illness, ( thyroid disease or lupus)
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Scratching
  • Exercise


Home remedies and prevention for urticaria:

Triggers do not originate from the problem, but they can worsen the symptoms. Therefore, it’s better to identify and avoid them. Some simple home remedies and preventive measures should be kept in mind if you are suffering from a hypersensitivity disorder like urticaria. Few preventive methods are listed below:

  • Avoiding or cutting down on alcohol
  • Abstain from caffeine
  • Steer away from certain medications
  • Circumvent stress, if possible, with meditation, yoga, exercise or other relaxation techniques
  • Chose mild soaps, skin creams, and detergents suitable for your skin type.
  • Avoid the foods you are allergic to like spinach, fish, yogurt, fish, tomato, meats, chocolate, and strawberries.
  • Avoid processed food
  • Wear loose, light clothing that does not irritate the skin
  • Abstain from scratching
  • Try an oatmeal bath with tepid water
  • Try to work and sleep in a cool or airy room.
  • Avoid any other known triggers, by keeping the record of flareups
  • Add doctors recommend supplements such as vitamin C, D, quercetin and evening primrose oil.



In the case of urticaria, a doctor can diagnose by examining the rash on the skin. The doctor will take a complete history and probably ask a few direct questions like:

  • About the first occurrence of an episode
  • The site where the hive first appeared
  • Any related modality
  • Insect bite if any
  • Whether the patient lives or works in a place where potential aggravating factors may exist, like animals, latex gloves, chemicals
  • If the patient is under the influence of any medications, including herbal supplements
  • Any family history of urticaria


After inspecting imposed reasons the doctor will advise the following test to form a diagnosis:

  • Blood test with ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate)- to rule out wide illness is present.
  • Stool sample to identify any parasites
  • Allergy tests to find a specific substance or trigger such as chemicals, dust mites, or some food for the urticaria. Pinpointing the trigger can help prevent recurrences by avoiding the specific substance.
  • Thyroid function test to assess for an overactive thyroid, or, an under-active thyroid
  • Liver function tests, in case of any liver problems


Conventional and homeopathic treatment for urticaria:

The urticaria is conventionally treated with antihistamines or a combination of medications including oral corticosteroids, an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) or cortisone.


Homeopathic Treatment:

Verified indications of the homeopathic medicament in the sphere of claimed action:

The best homeopathic treatment for urticaria is Hepar Sulphuris Pentarkan. This medicine is indicated for papules, pimples prone to pus formation. It covers abscesses, suppurating glands, acne, angioneurotic edema, and cold sores. It is a top-grade remedy for urticaria. The psoric and scrofulous constitutions with chronic purulent skin conditions are benefited with this remedy. Its action is not limited to skin only. It covers the affections of the muscles, blood vessels, lymphatic system, neuro-receptors, glands, hair and hair follicles. It helps in the annihilation of infection that forms urticaria abscess. The medicine under the right potency will lower the formation of pus. It is a good remedy to promote the process of healthy skin. Comedones neglected scarring and disfigurement of the face is set right with the help of this drug. In case Hepar Sulphuris Pentarkan does not provide expected alleviation bio combination no.20 comes in handy.


It is indicate in troubled flaky eruption on the face and scalp. It is also suited to adults suffering from similar complaints like eczema, acne, herpes, pemphigous, erysipelas, hives and other skin disorders. Itching and hyperaesthesia (an abnormal increase of skin sensitivity of nervous origin) are also covered under the action of this homeopathic medicine. Itching can be local or diffuse with redness and inflammation due to dilated capillaries. It is a common balm for drug rash. Macules and bullae formed due to irritation of the skin on exposure to trauma, accidents, chemical, radiation, detergents, soap or infections. Other medicines for urticaria in homeopathy include Apis mellifica, Astacus fluviatilis, Calcarea fluorica, Calcarea sulphurica, Echinacea angustifolia, Natrum muriaticum, Silicea, Urtica urens, etc.

Apis mellifica : It is a top-rated medicine for urticaria after the biting of insects. It is indicated for people with sensitive red rosy hue skin. Swelling is oedematous, puffed, painful, sore and delicate swelling. Skin effusion after the sting of insects. Eruptions get aggravated with heat, intense itching.

Astacus fluviatilis: It is an excellent homeopathic medicine for skin diseases like urticaria. It is well indicated where urticaria is attended with liver complaints. The person complains of itching everywhere in the body, with a marked stinging and burning sensation on the skin.

Calcarea fluorica: This homeopathic medicine work wonders in treating urticaria. It is best indicated for suppuration with a callous hard edge, hard raised border of ulcers, chaps, fissures, crack and swellings.

Calcarea sulphurica: It is indicated for unhealthy skin discharging yellow, purulent pus. The wounds and injuries forming unhealthy crusts. Also indicated in urticaria, scabs, pimples, and dry eczema.

Echinacea angustifolia: Septic conditions, old ulcers, recurrent boils, irritated skin from blood dyscrasias. The drug helps to correct external poisoning from toxins of plants or insects bite. It stimulates the inbuilt defense mechanism of the human body.

Natrum muriaticum: It is a great option for hives after exercise and physical exertion. The eruptions are dry with violent itching and burning. It is suited to constitutions with greasy/oily skin, fever blisters, crusty eruptions in the folds of the limbs, scalp or behind ears. Urticaria or eczema after exposure to skin. The characteristic of the skin is raw, red and inflamed. It also covers diseases of hair follicles, alopecia.

Silicea: The main action of this remedy is to control suppurative processes and to stimulate proper healing. It is indicated for constitutions with cold clammy skin, offensive foot sweat. Silicea controls suppuration, abscesses, boils and old fistulous ulcers and promotes the growth of healthy tissues.

Urtica urens: It is indicated in cases where urticaria appears in the same season, every year. Another key symptom formication on the skin associated with intense burning shows great results when treated with this particular homeopathic medicine. Urticaria alternating with rheumatic pains in the whole body. Increased allergies after eating shellfish.

It is claimed that homeopathic medicines are safe, non-toxic and can be used along with other conventional drugs without any side effects. These medicines can be prescribed to psychosomatic patients or hypersensitive persons.