Dealing with chronic hives? Here’s what could be going on.
If you’re dealing with allergies, then you may deal with persistent or recurring hives. Hives, or urticaria, causes red, itchy raised welts to appear on the body. Everything from food allergies to stress can lead to hives; however, if you are dealing with chronic hives then it’s worth turning to our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor Dr. Alan Sheen to find out why this is happening and how to get it under control.
What causes hives?
Hives appear as a result of a histamine reaction in the body often due to,
- An allergic reaction
- Insect bites or stings
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Skincare products
Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to pinpoint the cause. While many cases of hives are acute, if you’ve been dealing with symptoms that last more than six weeks then you’re dealing with chronic hives. It’s time to see our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor to find out how to best get your hives under control.
What happens when I come into the office?
First, we will go through your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms, your diet, activities and any medications or supplements you’re taking. We will also examine the rash to make sure that you are dealing with hives. If we suspect that your hives are caused by allergies, we will recommend performing skin or blood allergy testing.
How are hives treated?
If you suspect that your hives are the result of an allergy the best treatment is to avoid the allergen whenever possible. If it’s a food allergy then this simply means not eating that food; however, when you’re allergic to something outside or in your home, it can be a bit trickier to prevent exposure. In this case, there are several treatment options that our allergist will offer including,
Antihistamines: This is the standard treatment for those dealing with an allergic reaction, as antihistamines prevent the body from releasing histamines. Depending on the severity of your hives, you may simply be able to take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl or our team will recommend a stronger antihistamine for more severe reactions.
H-2 blockers: If you find that antihistamines alone do not provide you with relief, Dr. Sheen may recommend H-2 blockers, which are taken either as a pill or injected into the body.
Corticosteroids: These medications are great for treating swelling and redness associated with hives. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, oral or topical steroids may help ease these symptoms.
Asthma medication: While it might sound odd, studies have found that a certain prescription medication used to treat severe forms of allergic asthma may also alleviate symptoms of chronic hives.
Are you looking for an experienced, knowledgeable and friendly allergy doctor here in Metairie and Covington, LA? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Sheen has been providing allergy care to patients of all ages for more than 35 years. To discuss your allergy treatment options with a professional, call Dr. Sheen at his Metairie office at (504) 456-1999 or at his Covington office at (985) 246-6077.