What is Urticaria?
Urticaria also called nettle-rash or hives or wheels in a common language, simply means itching with a rash. Medically, urticaria may be defined as skin eruption, which is allergic (or non-allergic) in origin and is characterized by profound itching, red circular or irregularly shaped eruptions on any part of the body.
Urticaria is commonly misspelled as uticaria, utricaria, urticara, uricaria. Urticaria is called as pitti in Hindi.
Urticaria is an allergic or non-allergic immunological disease, shown on the skin. Characteristically the skin eruptions are erythematous, raised above the skin level, with intense itching and usually worsened by itching an with slight local warmth. It can be acute or chronic; largely having a tendency to recur frequently for many months or years.
These eruptions can remain on the body for a variable period anywhere between few seconds to even hours. They have a tendency to disappear and reappear. They tend to disappear without leaving behind any trace.
Location and duration:
Well, urticaria may appear on any part of the skin. Angioedema is a condition when deep tissues are affected. The typical lesions may last for one minute to half an hour. Some may last even longer. Some patients may get the eruptions once in a while and some may have many times during the day. It may be restricted to a couple of spots in some patients, while some may have widespread rashes appearing for days or even months together.
There are acute, sub-acute, chronic and recurring variants as far as the frequency and duration are concerned.
Under the microscope, a typical urticarial rash may exhibit perivascular, cellular infiltrate consisting of lymphocytes and eosinophils, is indicative of its allergic behavior. There are findings related to edema (swelling) and mucosal inflammation.
Urticaria: The Inner War:
The urticaria rash is a symptom of an allergic and immunological event taking place at the dermal level. The exact understanding is elusive to an extent. In brief, urticaria is a hypersensitive reaction due to the histamine release. The histamine release could be from the mast cells when antigens and antibodies (IgM or IgG) combine to activate the immunological reaction. The histamine release could IgE induced. There are certain drugs, pharmacological agents (e.g.: antibiotics, morphine, aspirin, etc.), food articles (proteins, milk products, etc.) Urticaria is a sign of antigen-antibody reaction. During this process of antibody-antigen reaction, histamine and/or acetylcholine is generated which has the property of causing vessel dilatation (vasodilation) swelling, itching, pain, and rash.
Like many other disease conditions, we know what happens in urticaria more that what exactly causes urticaria (hives). In almost half the cases we know what causes or induces urticaria; and half the time, the patients or we have no clue as to its exact cause.
Many people including some doctors believe that urticaria is allergic in nature. Actually, tt must be noted that Urticaria is not always allergic in nature. There are allergic and non-allergic causes of chronic urticaria. The non-allergic causes include auto-immunity related, hormonally triggered, stress triggered, exercise, drugs, temperature based and other factors.
We shall try to examine some of the most common exciting factors known to induce urticaria (hives), which may be grouped as:
Allergens: A large number of allergens have been identified as causative agents for some cases of urticaria. It may be noted that urticaria is an individual hypersensitivity and the following factors may not cause urticaria in all urticaria-prone individuals.
Food allergens: Milk, cheese, egg, protein products, wheat, cereals, nuts, certain daals as used in India, peas, orange, fish, chicken, etc. Synthetic and natural food additives and artificially-flavored food articles.
Urticaria and alcohol: True anaphylactic reactions to alcohol (ethanol) are rare and most reactions to ingested alcoholic beverages are secondary to other chemicals in the beverage such as metabisulfite, papain, dyes or yeasts. However, there are reports of true allergic reactions in which the offending agent was shown to be the ethanol itself. Generally, the symptoms of anaphylaxis occur in such patients following the ingestion of beer and/or wine. Urticaria rashes have been reported with ethanol ingestion, and hives on contact with ethanol have also been reported for some patients with urticaria.
Environmental factors: Exposure to pollen, house-dust, buffalo dander, fungi, change in temperature, etc. are known exciting factors. Extreme cold, heat, pressure may also induce urticaria.
Drugs: The major cause of urticaria is man-made drugs such as antibiotics (Penicillin), NSAIDs, anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, indomethacin), vaccinations, foreign sera, hormonal preparations, contraceptive pills, etc. Animals treated with penicillin excrete a small amount of it in the milk sufficient to cause urticaria in sensitive individuals.
Urticaria often gets triggered or aggravated by exercise, pressure on some part of the body as well as a change in temperature of the body after sweating. Such changes affect nerve ending of skin which leads to the development of urticarial rash. In this variety of urticaria one experiences itching, burning and local heat on the skin.
Urticaria and cocaine: There have been reports of morphine-induced hives in some people. Bronchospasm may occur in some patients who smoke cocaine or in those who inject heroin. This may occur more often in patients who have a previous history of asthma. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis to cocaine has also been described and is associated with elevated levels of IgE.
Infections and infestations: Insect bites, Fungal, protozoal, frequent bacterial infections (Urinary tract), viral infections (Hepatitis), helminthiasis (worm infestations such as roundworms, tapeworms), etc. are factors known to cause urticaria. Domestic contact with the pet animals should be examined as the cause of urticaria.
Synthetic products: Use of personal products such as deodorant, perfume, and talcum powder, cosmetic products, animal derivatives, and similar synthetic substances may induce this disorder.
Emotional factors: Especially in chronic, recurring cases of urticaria, the role of emotional factors must be examined. Emotional stresses may directly or indirectly make on susceptible to develop a tendency to urticaria. The psychological factors may work as exciting, aggravating or maintaining cause. Especially, if you are under prolonged stress, anxiety, sadness or insecurity, such intense emotions could alter your immunological state and in turn, lead to hypersensitivity.
Chronic urticaria is now understood to have an autoimmune link. Presence of autoantibodies against Immunoglobulin E (IgE), CD23 (FcεRII or Fc epsilon RII) which releases histamine, hence leading to chronic urticaria.
Systemic and general disease:
Urticaria in some cases may present as a sign of other systemic or general internal disease such as hormonal disorders (hyperthyroidism), SLE, polycythemia, reticuloses, etc. In a certain variety of malignancies (cancer), urticaria may present as a precursor.
No list of causation is complete without adding a paragraph of 'Idiopathic' which simply implies causes which are unknown.
Homeopathy Treatment for Urticaria
Homeopathy offers research proven and effective treatment for Chronic and Recurrent Urticaria. Patients with chronic urticaria are almost always put to mercy of lifelong use of antihistamine medicines or cortisone by regular doctors. Once started, it becomes almost impossible to stop it even for a couple of days. You need urticaria treatment which is more than just antihistamines. That is homeopathy.
The homeopathic treatment for Chronic Urticaria is promising. It is much advanced and more scientific as it is not aimed at relieving the symptoms but to treat the disease at immunological level. The urticaria treatment plans with homeopathy are designed in such a way to act towards correcting the immune system, in turn treating Urticaria from within.
Dr Rajesh Shah, M.D. has researched on Chronic Urticaria for over 25 years. His research based molecules have international patent pending. His unique treatment protocol is made available to patients of Urticaria worldwide. At this point, there are patients from 127 countries under Dr Shah's care, which has been a world record.
Duration of Urticaria Treatment:
The total length of urticaria treatment varies form case to case, depending of the following factors:
Duration of urticaria
Allergic or non-allergic nature
Extent of spread (Mild, moderate or severe. Cases with frequent attacks of Angioedema are more difficult to treat)
Current and past medicines (Antihistamines or cortisone)
General health and associated diseases
One may expect a definite change in about one to three months, in chronic cases. Acute cases generally show results in hours. The total length of medication for Chronic Urticaria may be anything between four to eight months or longer.
Why homeopathy for Urticaria?
The major benefits of homeopathy could be summarized as under:
It offers excellent treatment which has a success rate of over 80 to 85%.
It offers immuno-correction hence gives deep-level healing.
Urticaria treatment with homeopathy offers long-lasting cure instead of temporary relief.
It is absolutely harmless, safe, and non-toxic.
As established earlier, urticaria is nothing but an external expression of internal, immunological disturbance. It also implies that the urticaria treatment should also be based on the inner level consideration. It just cannot be a symptomatic eradication of the urticaria rash. The homeopathic treatment is precisely based on a similar philosophy.
Homeopathy system does not believe in treating urticaria superficially merely with some anti-histamines or steroids.
The Homeopathic Approach: As a rule, homeopathy never looks at urticaria as a local disease. Urticaria has been considered as a local expression of a systemic disturbance. As per the classical homeopathy, we believe in constitutional prescribing. This calls for individual case study in every case of urticaria.
4 Helpful Diet Tips To Follow When Suffering From Urticaria
Your diet has a great significance when you are suffering from hives. So, you need to follow certain crucial diet tips during urticaria treatment.
1. Include Vitamin C Rich Foods In Diet:
Eating vitamin C rich foods helps boost your immunity and increases the formation of white blood cells in your body. This is highly beneficial in destroying virus and other microbes that make you suffer from urticaria, promoting quick recovery, and preventing the risk of hive outbreaks in future. So, include blackberries, grapefruit, cherries, papayas, cantaloupe, and other vitamin C rich foods in your regular diet during urticaria treatment.
2. Eat Vitamin B Rich Foods:
Including vitamin B food sources in your diet is highly beneficial in alleviating the stress and anxiety that cause urticaria. Vitamin B foods contain serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that reduces your stress significantly, that helps minimize the occurrence of hive outbreaks resulting due to stress. So, add lettuce, whole grains, like oats, barley, wheat, nuts, like hazelnuts, almonds, cabbage, spinach, and other foods containing vitamin B.
3. Add Vitamin E Rich Foods To Diet:
Vitamin E is highly effective in increasing your immunity to combat viruses and bacteria that make you suffer from urticaria. Also, it helps boost the circulation of blood to your skin making various crucial nutrients, such as vitamins, oxygen, and minerals, available to your skin. So, make sure you eat vitamin E rich foods, such as kelp, pumpkin seeds, fresh spinach, and kale, when suffering from urticaria.
4. Avoid Foods Inducing Urticaria:
While following urticaria treatment, you need to avoid eating foods that release or contain histamine and cause urticaria. So, make sure you avoid eating seafood, shellfish, tomatoes, chocolates, corn, egg whites, alcohol, fermented food, and other foods releasing histamine.
4 Health Tips To Follow When Suffering From Urticaria:
Along with effective urticaria treatment, you need to follow certain effective health tips for quick relief. Some of the important health tips to follow to minimize discomfort due to hives are as below.
1. Soothe Your Skin:
When you suffer from urticaria, you need to soothe your skin. Using cool compresses helps your blood vessels to shrink and minimize the swelling resulting due to hives.
2. Avoid Scratching:
Dry skin resulting due to urticaria can turn itchy, thereby tempting you to scratch it. However, you need to avoid scratching your affected skin as it can aggravate the condition. So, even though you are following urticaria treatment, make sure you control scratching. Instead, moisturize your dry skin. Going for frequent baths can help minimize itching and discomfort.
3. Go For Yoga And Meditation:
Stress can worsen your condition when suffering from urticaria. So, while having an urticaria treatment, you also need to follow effective stress relieving techniques that help you relax. Practice meditation, yoga exercises, and deep breathing on regular basis. Also, acupuncture can help you get a great relief when suffering from chronic hives.
4. Wear Loose Clothes:
Your skin may suffer constant pressure and friction when you wear tight clothes. So, avoid wearing tight clothes, fitting shoes, and tight belts. Choose to wear lightweight, loosely fitting clothes of soft fabrics.
Side-Effects Of Other Treatment:
Homeopathic treatment for urticaria is completely safe without any side-effects. However, other urticaria treatments may have some side-effects on your health. Some of them are as below.
Antihistamine Pill: Having antihistamine pills to get relief from urticaria can make you feel drowsy.
Histamine Blockers: Going for injections or oral dose of histamine blockers as urticaria treatment can make you suffer from various adverse effects, such as digestive problems, headache, and discomfort.
Anti-inflammation Medications: Anti-inflammation medicines, such as corticosteroids, can cause serious side-effects, such as weakening your healthy immune system and catching or aggravating an infection.
Cyclosporine: Even though cyclosporine helps you have a great relief from chronic hives, it can cause several adverse effects, such as nausea, risk of getting an infection, headache, and reduced functioning of kidney.
3 Prevention Tips For Urticaria:
Even though you might be following effective urticaria treatment, you should follow certain prevention tips to avoid onset or recurrence of hives. Some of the effective prevention tips are as follows.
Avoid Triggers: In most cases, urticaria relapses due to some allergic reaction of allergens. Allergens can be anything that you inhale, eat, or drink. So, first figure out the trigger for your urticaria discomfort and make sure you strictly avoid it.
Keep Stress Away: Stress is one of the significant causes of urticaria. So, you need to avoid stress-causing situations, follow new way of thinking, and nurture different attitude to stress at bay.
Avoid Excess Of Hot: At times, excess of heat can make you suffer from urticaria. Extreme vigorous exercises and lot of physical exertion can cause increase in your body heat and make you perspire a lot, ultimately resulting in hive outbreaks. So, make efforts to maintain your body cool.
Besides some of the following ingredients, the product contains Dr Shah's international Patented, Research-based, highly effective medicines. Here are some common homeopathic medicines described in brief.