Hives are bumps that surface and spread over your body. Hives on the face are more prominent, as they are more difficult to conceal. Still, hives are not as likely to occur on your face as they are on other parts of your body. This type of skin condition is only temporary, but the recurrence of hives can be prevented if you know the underlying causes.
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Hives are characterized by red or pink bumps on the skin. KidsHealth explains that hives vary in size, ranging between that of a mosquito bite to the size of a dinner plate. Facial hives tend to be smaller, but they can occur in multiple groups. According to Ask Dr. Sears.com, hives spread rapidly. Aside from their physical appearance, hives can burn, itch and sting.
Although hives on the face often are associated with food allergies, this is not the only cause of hives. Causes of facial hives are numerous, and vary among individuals. The most common causes of hives are allergies to medications, bug bites and certain foods. KidsHealth reports that other causes of hives include viral infections, emotional stress, the sudden exposure to cold temperatures, sun exposure and exercise.
According to KidsHealth, up to 25 percent of people will get hives at least once in their lifetime. The high incidence of hives is because many different causes for hives exist. Although hives are common, they rarely occur on the face. In fact, parents' health resource Ask Dr. Sears.com notes that hives are most common on the stomach, chest and back. They can start in one area of the body, disappear and then reappear on another body part. Hives on the face and any other body part can last up to two days.
Hives tend to disappear on their own. In cases of recurring hives, KidsHealth recommends that you see a doctor to determine the cause of hives. For example, if allergies cause facial hives, an immunologist can determine specifically which type of allergen is the trigger through blood and skin testing. Once the cause is determined, you can avoid the trigger whenever possible to prevent the occurrence of hives. According to Ask Dr. Sears.com, you can take a histamine-blocking over-the-counter itch-relief medication such as Benadryl to help relieve itching associated with hives. However, do not use Benadryl to prevent the onset of future hive outbreaks.
In most cases, the long-term treatment of facial hives in unnecessary, as they will go away on their own after the reaction has run its course. However, a severe reaction might accompany hives, requiring emergency medical treatment. Ask Dr. Sears.com notes that symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include wheezing, throat swelling, breathing difficulties, vomiting, paleness of the skin and fainting. Also consider medical treatment if hives on the face persist for more than a week.