Itchy Welts on Skin
An itchy, swollen rash can look terrible and make you feel miserable. The good news, says KidsHealth, is that most of the time, itchy welts will resolve within a few days and do not usually produce serious complications. Since dealing with a skin rash can be frustrating, you should see an allergist for testing if welts come back repeatedly.
Itchy welts on the skin may crop up on any part of the body. They are usually round and may be very small to several inches across, according to KidsHealth. The itching is often very intense, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Depending on the cause, itchy welts can disappear within a few minutes to a few hours or may persist for several days or even weeks. If you have a rash that persists, seek medical treatment.
Itchy welts are often an allergic reaction. Uticaria, usually called hives, can erupt all over the body in response to a food or medication that you have ingested, a poisonous plant that you have touched or due to emotional stress, extreme cold, illness or infection, explains MedlinePlus. In other cases, insect bites can cause itchy welts. SkinCarePhysicians describes itchy welts that may arise after you are bitten by bedbugs, for example.
Most of the time, mild hives or allergic reactions are easily treated at home. Take an antihistamine to reduce itching and swelling and to prevent further reaction. You may need to repeat the dose every six hours for several days until the hives disappear completely. If you are having a reaction to a medication or food, avoid that substance in the future. You may need steroids if your welts are especially severe or persistent, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. If you think that you may have bedbugs, contact an exterminator for advice.
In some cases, itchy welts or hives may indicate a potentially severe allergic reaction. MedlinePlus states that one potential complication is anaphylaxis, which may lead to oral and throat swelling, trouble breathing and, in severe cases, death. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency; if you think that you or someone else may be suffering from this condition, call 911 or head to the local emergency room immediately. After you have suffered one anaphylactic episode, you may need to carry an emergency dose of epinephrine to quickly treat the condition if it should recur.
Prevent allergic reactions by avoiding any substances that you are allergic to. If you do experience hives, avoid hot water until they are completely resolved, as the heat may exacerbate an outbreak, explains MedlinePlus. KidsHealth recommends learning relaxation exercises if you develop itchy welts in response to stress.
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