Itchy welts or hives are swollen rashes that usually resolve within days and do not create any kind of complication. It may develop anywhere on the surface of the skin or can attack the entire skin of the body. These welts are commonly round and often very small, though there are those that can reach up to an inch. It can change in size in an instant and can move around rapidly, often reappearing in one place and disappearing in another in a matter of hours.
The itching that is felt when a patient has welts is often intense. The level of itchiness also depends on the causative factors and can last from a few minutes to a few hours and can even persist for several days or weeks when not treated.
These welts are often caused by an allergic reaction. These can develop and spread all throughout the body in response to a certain poisonous plant, emotional stress, medications that have been ingested, certain illnesses, infections, and extreme weather conditions.
In very rare cases, an itchy welt that is caused by bee stings or a reaction to medications can bring about a decrease in blood pressure which may often lead to shock and breathing difficulties or anaphylaxis. There are some that are very disturbing to look at but majority do not develop into life-threatening complications.
How to Get Rid of Itchy Welts
The condition usually goes away by itself. Treatment options are geared towards controlling the symptoms like swelling and severe itchiness.
- Oral treatments such as antihistamines can be taken. This is considered the most common type of treatment and can be taken three times in one day. One of the major setbacks of the treatment is that patients will feel drowsy.
- In severe cases, patients can take oral steroids. These can help manage symptoms for those welts that appear for a short term. Those welts that persist for longer periods of time should not be managed by oral steroids since long use of these medications can be very harmful.
- There are topical therapies that can be used to manage symptoms. These include lotions and creams that work by numbing the nerves which reduce itching. These are effective in mild cases.
- Other treatment methods such as ultraviolet radiation, drugs that suppress the immune system, and antifungal antibiotics can also help but effectiveness has not been well established yet.