Quick Relief & Indentifying What Triggers Hives for You

Quick Relief & Identifying What Triggers Hives for You

Hives are welts on the skin that are commonly red and quite itchy. They can vary in size from as small as a pencil eraser to as large as a baseball cap. Individual welts usually appear suddenly and disappear without a trace within 24 hours, during which time others can form.

There are two categories of hives. If they come and go for less than six weeks, they’re called acute hives; longer than six weeks and they’re called chronic hives. Once they’ve run their course, hives may disappear and never return.

What Causes Hives?

Hives can occur when a substance triggers your body’s immune system to release histamine. Some common triggers include:

  • Medications, including new and dose changes to current ones
  • Sunlight
  • Certain foods, especially citrus fruits, milk, eggs, peanuts and shellfish
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Infections, usually the common cold
  • Stress
  • Exercise

Are Hives Cause for Concern?

Hives are primarily a nuisance, and their discomfort can interfere with sleep and daily activities. While most of the time hives occur without you having any other health condition, there are some related conditions for which your ADCS medical provider are likely to check.

If you develop hives and start to feel dizzy or faint, short of breath, experience lip, tongue or throat swelling, rapid heartbeat, drop in blood pressure, nausea and vomiting or a sense of dread, this could signal you are having a severe allergic reaction and should get emergency medical care immediately.

How are Hives Treated?

The most important treatment for hives is avoiding what triggers them for you, if you’re able to determine what that is. Your ADCS healthcare professional can assist you with this process. If further treatment is needed, you might be prescribed:

  • Around-the-clock, non-sedating antihistamines in combination with skin soothing lotions. Often it takes a combination of more than one antihistamine to maintain control.
  • Topical, oral and injectable steroids
  • Oral medications, such as Singulair®, Cyclosporine, Dapsone or Methotrexate
  • IPL or other phototherapy
  • Injection of other medication, such as Omalizumab
See an Advanced Dermatology healthcare specialist if you have hives that are severe, or that continue to appear for several days. There are treatments to help this itchy condition!


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