Eczema and Hives
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis):
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. This allows your skin to be affected by environmental factors, irritants, and allergens.
It’s common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long-lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever. More than half of young children with atopic dermatitis develop asthma and hay fever by age 13.
No cure has been found for atopic dermatitis. But treatments and self-care measures can relieve itching and prevent new outbreaks. For example, it helps to avoid harsh soaps, moisturize your skin regularly, and apply medicated creams or ointments.
Contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash caused by a substance you’re exposed to that irritates your skin or triggers an allergic reaction. The rash isn’t contagious or life-threatening, but it can be very uncomfortable.
Many substances can cause such reactions, including soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, and plants.
To treat contact dermatitis successfully, you need to identify and avoid the cause of your reaction. If you can avoid the offending substance, the rash usually clears up in two to four weeks.
Hives & Swelling:
Hives (urticaria) are red, itchy welts that result from a skin reaction. The welts vary in size and appear and fade repeatedly as the reaction runs its course. They can happen because of allergies or other reasons. Often, the cause of chronic hives is not clear. Hives can be very uncomfortable and interfere with sleep and daily activities. For many people, antihistamines and anti-itch medications provide relief.
Swelling (angioedema) is different. The swelling happens under the skin, not on the surface. It’s marked by deep swelling around the eyes and lips and sometimes of the genitals, hands, and feet. It generally lasts longer than hives, but the swelling usually goes away in less than 24 hours. It’s rare, but angioedema of the throat, tongue, or lungs can block your airways, making it hard to breathe.