Hives are itchy, raised welts that appear on the skin. They most often develop from an allergy, though they may occur from other causes, such as stress or an infection. Ronald Knipe, MD, and Samantha Marrone, MD, at Knipe Dermatology in Orlando, Florida, can help you find the cause of your hives. Then, they can develop a plan to alleviate your symptoms and prevent a recurrence. To get relief from hives, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Hives, also known as urticaria, are itchy welts that appear on your skin. They may affect any part of your skin and may be as small as the tip of a pencil or as large as a dinner plate.
Your hives may go away within 24 hours. But it’s not unusual for new hives to appear as the old hives fade. Most cases of hives last up to six weeks.
There are different types of hives:
Acute hives are hives that last six weeks or less. They most often occur from an allergic reaction to a food or medication. However, acute hives may also develop from an infection or an underlying health condition.
With chronic hives, your skin condition lasts six or more weeks. In most cases, the cause of chronic hives is difficult to determine.
Some people have chronic hives that last for months or years. This is called chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU).
With angioedema, your welts affect the deeper layers of skin and cause swelling. Angioedema is a medical emergency, and you should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you have large welts and swelling.
Physical urticaria is hives that occur from direct stimulation of the skin, such as pressure, sweating, or sun exposure.
Dermatographism is hives that develop after scratching or stroking the skin.
When you visit Knipe Dermatology for an evaluation of your hives, your provider conducts an in-depth clinical exam to determine the underlying cause of your skin condition, so you get the right treatment in a timely fashion.
During the exam, your provider asks detailed questions about your hives, including when they started, the type of symptoms you experience, and the food, medication, or activity you think triggered your hives.
Your provider then examines your skin. They may also run tests to find the cause of your hives, such as allergy testing, lab work, or a skin biopsy.
Treatment for hives depends on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause. For mild to moderate symptoms, your provider at Knipe Dermatology may recommend an antihistamine to alleviate symptoms.
For chronic hives, your provider may prescribe antihistamines, along with:
For angioedema, your provider prescribes an epinephrine injection pen.
Hives aren’t always a serious health concern, but they can affect your quality of life. For expert care, call Knipe Dermatology, or book an appointment online today.