Urticaria, or hives, is a skin rash characterized by raised, red, blanching lesions. Each hive typically lasts less than 24 hours, but a person may have hives for hours, weeks, months, or even years.
Hives lasting less than 6 weeks is called Acute Urticaria.
Typical triggers for Acute Urticaria include food allergies, medication allergies, or a viral infection.
If you experience hives, we will take a comprehensive medical history in order to identify the underlying cause. If appropriate, allergy testing may be performed.
Daily hives lasting more than 6 weeks is called Chronic Urticaria. When a patient meets the diagnostic criteria for Chronic Urticaria, allergies become a much less likely cause of the hives. We need to consider the hives as a presentation of an underlying medical condition. Therefore, we will order laboratory testing to assess for any possible causes of the hives such as an autoimmune or infectious condition.
Treatment of hives includes eliminating or treating any underlying cause. If an underlying reason for the hives is not identified (Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria), symptomatic treatment is appropriate.
Medications used to treat Acute and Chronic Urticaria include antihistamines, H2-Blockers, leukotriene antagonists, and anti-IgE therapy (omalizumab).
To learn more and request your consultation, call or contact us online.