Each year I see hundreds of new patients with complaints of hives and swelling. Hives are intensely itchy skin rashes that resemble welts and can occur anywhere on the body. They typically arise without warning and about half the time, are accompanied by angioedema, a deeper swelling in the skin. "Urticaria" is the technical term for hives. These skin eruptions generally last for several hours but rarely for more than twenty four hours. Hives which come and go for more than six weeks are considered chronic urticaria (CU).
Acute hives are more short-lived (less than six weeks) and often don't require an allergy specialist. Foods or drugs are common triggers of acute urticaria but triggers associated with chronic urticaria are more difficult to identify. In fact, 80-90% of the time doctors are unable to determine the cause of chronic urticaria despite comprehensive testing.
A recent article published in "Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology" reported on the uselessness...
Everyone tells us we should get regular exercise. I'd like to be able to say that I play a couple of games of squash every day. But I don't. I would, of course, if I just had my own squash court, so it's not really my fault. It might also help if I knew how to play squash.
That's just one of the many excuses I can come up with for not exercising. In case you've run out of excuses yourself, here are a couple of handy ideas.
1. In the winter: It's too cold. I might damage my lungs by going for a walk when it's 10 below zero.
2. In the summer: It's too hot. I might have a heart attack if I went for a walk when it's almost 100 with humidity of 90%.
3. When it's too hot or too cold, I'd go to the gym except that the closest gym is about 20 miles away, and I'm trying to save the planet by conserving gas.
4. I'm trying to form a Senior Lacrosse Team, but I can't seem to work up any enthusiasm among my friends.
5. I'd use my trea...
America is fast becoming a hairless nation. To help achieve that goal, there are many methods to become free of unwanted hair. Once they reach puberty, American women start the ritual of removing unsightly hair from their legs, underarms, bikini area, eyebrows and upper lip. These days, it's not uncommon for young men to join in the ritual. "I've noticed in the past 10 to 15 years how men -- not only women -- have become more conscious about body hair than ever before," says Peter Lamas, a beauty consultant and owner of Lamas Beauty International, with offices in Santa Monica , Calif. and Houston , Texas , and owner of www.beautywalk.com. "Body hair is just not acceptable anymore. Period." To do this, both men and women use electric shavers, depilatories (creams and lotions), razors, electrolysis, lasers and waxes. While shaving is still the most popular method, waxing runs a close second (along with depilatories) as the hair remover of choice. Waxing at Ho...
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