Urticaria (Hives, nettle rash)

Urticaria, commonly known as hives consists of circumscribed areas of raised erythema and oedema of the superficial dermis. The diagnosis is clinical. Anti-histamines are the mainstay of therapy. Newer second-generation anti-histamines (cetirizine, desloratadine, loratadine, and fexofenadine) are non-sedating in most patients, with very few side effects. In acute cases, a short course of steroids can be very effective.


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