Cholinergic Urticaria, commonly known as heat hives, is actually a hyper sensitive reaction to heat. As compared to women, heat hives are more common in men. The reason behind heat-hives is change in temperature. With the change in room or weather temperature, body temperature also changes and these changes mostly lead to cholinergic Urticaria attacks. People suffering from heat hives should avoid sauna baths, spicy food and heavy physical exercises. Hives or Urticaria is a type of skin-allergy or body rash, it is not very harmful. Heat-hive symptoms are as follows:
- Circular Patches on the body
- Raised welts on the skin
- Red and itchy circular patches, occurring in batches
- All size of patches, ranging from millimeters to centimeters
- Usually occurs on throat, legs, arms and trunk.
- Angioedema- swelling of face, lips and tongue
- Sudden onset
About 16% people suffer from heat-hives in their lives. There are mainly two types of Urticaria. One is acute Urticaria, in this case the rashes lasts for less than six weeks and the other type is chronic Urticaria. In this case rashes lasts for more than six weeks, it is very difficult to find the cause of chronic Urticaria as compared to acute Urticaria.
Following are some tips to control heat hives-
Avoid sun and hot-bath –Primarily, one should avoid going out in sun to keep away from heat-hive. If you are aware that any change in weather or body temperature can affect your body and result in Urticaria, then you should avoid activities like, hot-bath, sauna etc.
Avoid heavy physical exercise – When you do physical exercises, your body temperature alters and you start sweating which results in itching, heat-hives. It must not be inferred that those who are very sensitive to heat should not exercise at all. Individuals, prone to heat hives should do light exercise in comparison to heavy ones. Yoga and meditation helps in keeping one’s body and mind, cool and calm. So, individuals suffering from heat-hives should practice yoga regularly to avoid Urticaria attacks.
Avoidance of known allergens – In case of heat-hives, people should avoid those foods which cause them allergy. Foods like shellfish, carrots, tomatoes soy, chocolates, berries etc. are mostly responsible for heat-hives.
Use of antihistamines – In case of heat-hives, one should use antihistamines like Benadryl, Tagamet, Seldane and Atarax, to control the problem from escalating. These are the primary medicines for heat-hives, but in case if none of these medicines provide relief and the condition of patient deteriorates, then Corticosteroids or Epinephrine injections are very helpful.
Avoid hot, spicy food - Those who experience heat hives frequently should avoid hot and spicy food. They should modify their diet to add more cold or fresh food items like yogurt, avocados, pomegranates, melons, grapes, pineapples and plums etc. Alcohol, highly spicy food can be very fatal for people suffering from chronic Urticaria. Cutting on the intake of carrots, beets, hot pepper, tomatoes, onions, garlic and black –pepper in their diet can avoid Urticaria attacks.