Hives, or urticaria, are elevated, red, itchy bumps on the skin that appear suddenly, because of the body’s adverse reaction to certain allergens or for unknown reasons. They may appear singularly or in groups, and can vary in size and form. Hives usually cause itching, but may burn or sting. They can appear anywhere on the body including the arms, legs, trunk, face, lips, tongue or throat.

Hives that last a short time and go away are known as Acute Urticaria, while Chronic Urticaria lasts longer (>6 weeks.)

Chronic hives may occur as a result of physical stresses to the body such as sun exposure, pressure, vibration, and water exposure. They may also result from exposure to over-the-counter and prescription drugs, dyes, foods and contact allergens like latex. Chronic hives may also be a manifestation of underlying systemic illnesses such as thyroid disease, metabolic dysfunction, autoimmune disease, and even cancer. When a cause has not been identified, chronic hives are termed idiopathic.

Angioedema is similar to urticaria, but the swelling occurs beneath the skin. This often occurs in the soft tissues around the eyes, lips, hands, and feet.
The best treatment for urticaria is to find and eliminate the cause whenever possible. The most commonly used oral treatments are antihistamines. Oral steroids can help treat and control hives in the short term.

Although hives may be chronic and the cause illusive, current treatments in most instances help significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms and restore a normal quality of life.

Contact us to begin your treatment!