Itchy Red Bumps on Skin

Itchy Red Bumps on skin are symptoms of a skin condition known as urticaria.Urticaria is also known as hives and can affect a small part of the body or cover a wide area. The affected place will change within 24 hours and usually the bumps will disappear after a few days. Acute hives clears within four weeks while in serious cases the rash persists for a longer period.

Urticaria is a common skin condition that affects one person out of every six people in his/her life time. It is mostly common in children, people who suffer from allergies and women aged between 30-60 years. Studies have shown that women are twice most likely to suffer from the condition than men.

Causes of urticaria

Urticaria forms when the body releases histamine causing the blood vessels in the affected area of the skin to open up and release extra fluid that causes itching and swelling. The body releases histamine due to;

  •  Allergic reaction to substances
  •  Infection
  •  Exposure to cold or heat
  •  Effect of some chemicals that may be found in some types of foods and medications

However, the cause of half of acute urticaria and most long-term urticaria cases is not yet known. Medical experts think they are caused by the immune system attacking healthy tissues by mistake. Some triggers such as drinking alcohol or caffeine, warm temperature and emotional stress may make the symptoms worse.

Urticaria Treatment

In many cases hives do not need treatment as the symptoms are mild and disappear within a few days. There are treatment of serious urticaria can be grouped into two:

a) Short-term urticaria

i) Buying antihistamine in Pharmacies

Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamine thus reducing itchiness and rashes. If the symptoms get worse after taking the medication the patient should consult a pharmacist or doctor. They may prescribe corticosteriod tablets and should they fail to work in two weeks time it is advisable for the patient to return to his medic.
Note that antihistamines are not prescribed to pregnant women due to the risks involved. However, the doctor may recommend some types of antihistamines if the benefits outweigh the risk.

ii) Corticosteroid tablets

Corticosteroids suppress the immune system reducing the symptoms urticaria in the process. Long-term taking of steroid tablets is not recommended since they have a lot of side effects and complications such as diabetes, glaucoma and high blood pressure.

b) Long-term Urticaria

Long-term urticaria is treated by helping the patient control symptoms and avoiding triggers that may make the symptoms worse. He may also be referred to a dermatologist for specialized treatment. Types of treatment include;

i) Antihistamines

A patient may be advised to take antihistamines regularly until the symptoms ceases. The doctor can also recommend increase in dosage to help control the symptoms that do not respond to treatment

ii) Menthol Cream

Menthol cream is used as an alternative or in addition to antihistamines.

iii) H2 antihistamines

H2 antihistamines narrow the blood vessels which help in reducing redness of the skin. They can be used as an alternative to or in combination to H1 antihistamines. Side effects of H2 antihistamines are headache, diarrhoea and dizziness.

iv) Avoiding Triggers

People who suffer from allergies should avoid taking foods that they are allergic to. Patients should consult a dietatian first for proper advice to ensure that they take an adequate diet.

Alcohol, caffeine and medication that trigger the symptoms should also be avoided. Relaxing to reduce stress levels in turn reducing severity of symptoms is recommended.

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David Smith

David Smith

David Smith is a chief editor and a wellness coach and fitness blogger for He loves to share his knowledge about the different ways of staying fit and healthy and helps people to conquer over health related issues and maintain their fitness regime.