Urticaria commonly known as hives, weals, welts or nettle rash is an allergic condition where the skin appears to be itchy with rashes. It may appear to a definite part of the body or spread across a larger area.
The disease affects 20% of people at some time in their lives. Urticaria is not a contagious disease. Whenever an allergic reaction occurs, the body releases a protein called histamine. When histamine is released into the blood, the tiny capillaries (blood vessels) leak the fluid. This fluid accumulates in the skin results in causing rashes.
In some rare cases, Urticaria is also known as vasculitis, which causes the blood vessel to be inflamed. In these cases, the rashes persist more than 24hrs, they are more painful and most of the time leave bruises.

TYPES
Depending upon the severity of rashes, they are classified into –
Acute Urticaria – In acute cases, the rashes are completely cleared within 6 weeks.
Chronic Urticaria –In rarer cases, the rashes persist or comes and goes for more than 6 weeks, often many years.

Causes
Urticarial rashes trigger in cases of,
• Extreme temperatures or sudden change in temperature
• High body temperature
• Intestinal parasites
• Bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, or throat infection
• Food items – Foods, such as nuts, shellfish, food additives, eggs, strawberries, and wheat products
• Infections – diseases like influenza, common cold, allergic fever, and hepatitis B
• The fur of pet animals like, dogs, cats, horses, and so on
• Dust Mites
• Cockroaches and cockroach waste
• Latex
• Pollen allergy
• Some plants like poison oak, nettles etc.
• Insect bites and stings
• Some chemicals
• Chronic illness, such as thyroid disease or lupus
• Sunlight exposure for a long time
• Scratching
• Medications – Long term usage of antibiotics, allergic rashes due to Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ACE inhibitors, Hypertensive medicines.

Symptoms
• Swellings
• A rash over the skin –usually pink or red in color, shape varies from oval to round. The size ranges from a few millimeters to several inches.
• Itching –The rashes cause extreme itching, which results in red flares around them.
• The weals are more frequent on faces, extremities, including arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes.
• The symptoms normally disappear within 24 hours, but sometimes another hive appears as the last rash fades.
• Sometimes, the symptoms continue for more than 6months.

DIET

• Vegetables: Pumpkin, Carrot, Beans, Cucumber, green beans, white pumpkins, asparagus, bitter gourd, Beetroot, Curry leaves, small onions, Cabbage, Legumes, mushrooms
• Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Blueberries, Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Strawberries, water melon
• Grains: old rice, barley, green gram, horse gram, Most beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas
• Spices: Turmeric, Coriander, Cinnamon, Ginger, Garlic, Pepper, Methi seeds
• Nuts: Almonds, cashews, raisins, walnuts, and Flax seeds
• Regular intake of ghee