It is possible to tell the difference between skin rashes and hives from visual appearance, determining possible causes of the outbreak, and patient reaction to treatment. Hives typically appear as raised, itchy bumps. Rashes are primarily an inflammation that changes the texture and color of skin.
One of the main differences between skin rashes and hives is the way that they appear on the skin. The raised, red bumps that are hives are eruptions on the surface of the skin. Rashes are a skin discoloration and will only appear slightly raised from the skin’s surface.
The causes of skin rashes and hives also tend to be different. Hives are almost always the result of an allergic reaction. In some cases they may also appear due to pressure changes, sun exposure, or high temperatures. Rashes can also appear due to allergic reactions, but there are several other possible causes. These include menstruation, skin chafing, anxiety, or a bad reaction to an immunization. A rash can also be the result of a fungal, bacterial, or viral infection.
There are several different kinds of conditions that result in rashes. Some of the most common include eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, and shingles. Illnesses contracted primarily in childhood such as measles, roseola, chicken pox, and rubella can also cause rashes.
There are also differences in the ways skin rashes and hives are treated. There are drugs available to treat both conditions; while there are several over-the-counter remedies for rashes, products for hives are typically prescribed. Over time, hives can become resistant to drugs, while rashes are usually more responsive to medication.
Hives appear when an allergic reaction releases chemicals that cause the skin to swell. When the element that caused the reaction goes away, the hives will usually also go away on their own. For more severe or persistent hives, drugs like loratadine can be prescribed. Such drugs can take a couple of days to reach full effect. If hives keep recurring, they may have built up a resistance to the drug, in which case a new medication is usually prescribed.
Several kinds of medications can be used to treat rashes. They include antihistamines to reduce swelling and itching, extra moisturizing lotions for itch, and creams to reduce redness in addition to discomfort. Severe rashes may need medical intervention, though an over-the-counter product can still be used to help treat the condition.