Facial Hives

What Are Facial Hives?

Our face is the greeting card that we offer to those we meet, so when a problem like facial hives arises most of those afflicted just want to hide away.  Unsightly and uncomfortable, this condition afflicts one out of every five people at some point in their life.

Hives are raised welts on the skin that create an itchy sensation.  They can occur on just about any part of the body; appearing suddenly and unexpectedly.  They often disappear in the same manner.  While they exist, however, the itching and discomfort they cause can be excruciating.  Although in most people they do not cause any long lasting ill effects or leave scars, they can lead to serious complications in a few unusual cases.   Caused by a skin inflammation, they are usually triggered by allergic reactions; food, medicines, animal dander, insect stings or pollen are common stimuli.  Foods that are typically known to be such triggers are eggs, peanuts, shellfish, milk and strawberries, while medications can include penicillin.  

When they occur on the face, the hives are called angioedema.  Most often, these welts begin deep in the skin.  As the bumps appear, they can be reddish or white in color.  There may be only one welt or some people experience groups of welts.  The sensations of facial hives can include stinging, burning and itching as well as a warm feeling and pain.  In the lucky, these symptoms may last only a day or week; referred to as chronic hives.  Some unfortunate victims, however, suffer from acute hives; enduring them for weeks, months and in certain cases, years. 

The common areas of the face that are affected by the angioedema welts are those around the eyes and mouth.  Hives have been known to go inwards, as well, with swelling in the throat that can threaten the very passage of air into the lungs.  Immediate action is necessary in cases such as this to avoid further complications and even death.  

Knowing exactly what tends to trigger the hives in an individual is an important factor, as avoiding the offending allergen can avoid the occurrence of the hives.  Consulting an allergist is the best way to determine what is causing the havoc with the body.  These specialists are able to run a variety of tests to narrow down the culprit.  Once discovered, it will be crucial for the individual to avoid any contact with the item.  For some, it may mean simply avoiding a food.  For others, it can culminate in a complete life change since the item is so dominate through our culture.  Peanut allergies, for example, threaten the well being of many because so many products are made or packaged in the same areas as those containing peanuts.  Wheat allergies are another widespread ingredient that can be dangerous to those suffering from conditions such as facial hives.

Once the allergen is determined, medications will be prescribed to keep the hives in check.  Antihistamines are the popular method of treating them, as they combat the natural histamines in our systems that have gone awry.  Severe occurrences may require stronger medications such as corticosteroids.  Most people who suffer from known allergies and the resulting hives will be equipped with epinephrine in the form of something called an “epi pen”; a portable injection to be used in emergency situations when exposed to the allergen.  In all cases, staying away from the offending item is vital.

Facial hives are uncomfortable irritations to the skin of the face; doubly unpleasant since it is a visible condition to others.  Our face is our means of conveying feelings to others; just one reason that it is important to find the causes and cures for hives that affect it.