What Causes Hives On Skin?
Hives, or urticaria, is a common skin rash characterized by raised, itchy red bumps or welts. Everything from stress and insect bites to food allergies and reactions to certain medications can lead to hives, with symptoms lasting anywhere from minutes, days, months or—at the worst—years. While hives may be the result of a viral infection, in most cases hives appear as a result of allergies. This is where Dr. Alan Sheen and his team can help determine the cause of your hives so that you can finally get your symptoms under control.
Signs of Hives
Hives may look similar to bug bites; however, it’s easy to tell the two apart. Hives usually appear just about anywhere on the body or face. These itchy bumps are typically red or skin-colored and if you press the bump it will turn white (known as “blanching”). Sometimes hives go away quickly; however, in some cases, hives are so serious that they require emergency medical care. If your hives are accompanied by difficulty breathing, you need to seek medical attention right away.
If you notice hives developing regularly then it’s a good time to consult an allergist. Dr. Sheen and his team offer extensive allergy testing to identify the cause behind your hives. During your consultation, we will go through your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms. By determining when these hives appear we may be able to pinpoint whether the allergen could be due to certain foods or pet dander. From there we can determine whether a skin prick test, urine test or blood test is the best diagnostic tool.
How Dr. Sheen decides to treat your hives will depend on the root cause. Most allergy treatment plans involve avoiding your triggers and making simple lifestyle changes, as well as over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines. For chronic hives, Dr. Sheen may recommend more than one antihistamine to help manage more stubborn and long-term symptoms. Severe cases of hives may require more aggressive treatment such as corticosteroid medication or immunotherapy (allergy shots).
If your hives cause trouble breathing or other warning signs of anaphylaxis (a serious life-threatening allergic reaction) Dr. Sheen may prescribe an EpiPen, an injectable form of epinephrine used to treat symptoms of anaphylaxis right away.