Welts are raised, red or white marks or lumps that appear on the skin, typically resulting from a blow, injury, or allergic reaction. They are characterized by localized swelling or inflammation, often accompanied by itching or pain. Welts can vary in shape and size, and their appearance can significantly differ depending on the cause and individual's skin type.
These skin lesions are commonly associated with allergic reactions, such as insect bites, food allergies, or contact with certain substances, like pollen or latex. In some cases, welts may also be a symptom of underlying medical conditions, like hives (urticaria) or angioedema.
The duration of welts can range from a few minutes to several days, depending on the cause and treatment received. Treatments for welts may involve the application of topical creams or ointments to alleviate itching or inflammation, oral antihistamines to reduce the allergic response, or in severe cases, corticosteroid injections.
It is essential to promptly identify the cause of welts, as they can be indicative of a more serious allergic reaction or underlying health condition. Seeking medical advice may be necessary, especially if welts are accompanied by difficulty breathing, dizziness, or other concerning symptoms.
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The word "welts" originated from Middle English "welt", which meant "ridge or raised line on the skin". This Middle English term ultimately came from the Old English word "wealt", which meant "ridge" or "ridge of land". Additionally, the Old English word had further roots in the Proto-Germanic word "waltaz", meaning "roll" or "ridge". Over time, the term "welt" evolved to refer specifically to a raised mark or ridge on the skin caused by injury or skin condition, which we commonly know as welts today.