Hives, also referred to as Urticaria, are raised pale red and itchy bumps that develop on your skin.

The rash can be confined to a small area of your body, or spread over a large portion of your skin. Allergic reactions can cause hives but the majority of cases there is no discernible cause. 

Hive signs and symptoms:
Hives are very common and can present in anyone at anytime. Children and women aged between 30-60 are particularly affected. 

Patches of of swollen areas of red or pale red skin appear quickly. As a reaction to certain allergens, but can form for unknown reasons. These are called hives or occasionally weals.

The rash associated with hives is commonly temporary and usually very itchy. A burning sensation can sometimes develop but the hives fade after a couple of hours. Individual hives range in size from a few millimeters to 6 or 7 inches. Once they have faded they may be replaced with others in the same area, or spread to another part of the body. 

There is no lasting damage to the skin from hives, and disappear completely after 24 hours, though rare cases can last upto 48 hours.

Lifestyle tips:
Because hives are associated with allergic reactions, limiting your consumption of food allergens will help stop you getting hives. 

Environmental also play a part, pollen, dust mites or exposure to chemicals can trigger hives.

Stress is strongly associated with hives, as is alcohol and caffeine. Having a lifestyle that incorporates plenty of exercise and time away from work, and other triggers of stress helps stop hives from coming back, or occurring at all.  

A healthy lifestyle leads to a strong immune system that will stop hives or limit the swelling in they do develop.  

Diet tips:
Keeping a close eye on the food you eat will help prevent hives. 

Mild allergic reactions to food can still cause painful and very itchy hives. If you are regularly suffering from hives, try to avoid food containing peanuts, shellfish, eggs and cheese.

Although these are the more well known of the allergens, certain food additives, especially salicylates should be avoided. They can cause allergic reactions, or hives without an allergic reaction 

Alcohol and caffeine have strong links to hives, as well as other serious conditions. Drinking in moderation only will give your immune system a huge boost.

Akoma recommends:
If you suffer from hives, sometimes they can flare up at any moment so having a natural product on hand can help to quickly soothe the sensitive skin.

Akoma Aloe Vera Butter is a natural moisturiser that soothes and cools the skin. The butter penetrates the three layers of the skin: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. It contains no additives or colouring agents, making it suitable for those with generally sensitive skin. 

Aloe vera butter is also rich with amino acids that encourage the skin to produce new cells and hydrate the surface layer.

To help your skin recover after a flare up, use Akoma Apricot Butter for its high content of vitamins. It is an effective moisturiser for hives as it gives the skin pure vitamin A and creates a non-greasy barrier that acts as a barrier against environmental pollutants.