Dermatologist in Dallas, TX
Hives are a common skin condition characterized by itchy welts ranging in size from small points to large blotches. Hives often go away in less than 24 hours but new bouts may cause them to last a few days or longer. According to the AADA, acute hives last less than 6 weeks and chronic hives last more than 6 weeks. Acute hives are often a result of an allergic reaction but can have many causes.
The most common signs and symptoms of hives are:
- Slightly raised, pink or red swellings that can itch, sting, or hurt
- Welts that occur alone or in a group, or connect over a large area
- Skin swelling that subsides or goes away within 24 hours at one spot but may appear at another spot
Hives are a very common skin reaction that can affect anybody. An allergic reaction can bring about hives; typical triggers include:
- Foods: Fruits (especially citrus fruits), milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish
- Insect bites and stings
- Touching something to which you are allergic, such as latex
- Allergy shots
However, not all hives are caused by allergic reactions. Other causes could be stress, exercise, infections, contact with chemicals, or exposure to the sun. Hives can appear within minutes of being exposed to your trigger. To find out what exactly is causing your hives, your dermatologist may need to run the following tests:
- Allergy tests
- Blood work
- A skin biopsy
You may not need treatment if you only experience mild symptoms. Hives often clear up on their own but treatment with antihistamines can relieve bothersome itching and pains. Per the AADA website, your dermatologist may also prescribe the following as treatments:
- Corticosteroids like prednisone
- Other medicines that fight inflammation
It is important to ask your dermatologist about possible side effects from any of your treatment options.
The best way to prevent acute hives is to identify and avoid your triggers. For chronic hives, your doctor may prescribe daily antihistamines. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dermatologists here at White Rock Dermatology to evaluate your situation and begin your treatment plan.