I have hives!!
Hives or “urticaria” are pale pink/red localized swellings of the skin that tend to occur in groups. They may happen anywhere on the body and as a rule, they resolve within 24 hours only for new ones to appear! Hives can be very distressing to the patient and can be very itchy. But you are not alone. Hives are very common and it is estimated that 20% of the population will experience hives at some point their lives.
What is the cause of urticaria?
This is the million dollar question, with no good answer. In general, only very few patients are able to find out the cause of their hives (which is most often an infection). If you have had hives longer than 6 weeks, it is very unlikely we will be able to find the inciting event.
Will my hives ever go away?
Yes. The time it takes for urticaria to resolve is unpredictable. For some people hives are present for only a couple of months, and for others it can take years.
Is urticaria dangerous?
In general, no. However, if hives are happening on your lips, tongue or your throat you should be sure to mention this to your doctor. If you have difficulty breathing, you should either call 911 or go to the closest emergency room.
What creams are good for hives?
None. Hives happen from swelling of blood vessels and over activity of Mast cells in your skin. These need to be treated with antihistamine pills. It is extremely rare for only 1 type of pill to control hives—most patients need a combination of 2 or 3 antihistamines.
What blood tests do I need?
There is no standard answer to this question. We will work together and based on your medical history and symptoms we will then decide what tests, if any, would be beneficial to your diagnosis.
If you have more questions please ask me!