Causes and Treatment of Hives
Hives can be very troublesome, especially if you have no idea what is causing them. Hives can be acute or chronic, and they have many different potential causes. Diagnosis and treatment will depend on what is causing the hives you are experiencing. Here are some of the most common causes and treatment of hives.
Many people get hives right away when they encounter an allergen. While most often hives are caused by physical contact with a substance, they can also be caused by food allergies and others. An allergic reaction is the body’s immune system’s response to the allergen or substance, even though it is actually harmless.
Your doctor will first test you for these types of allergies. The two most often used methods of allergy testing are patch testing and skin scratch tests. These tests will pinpoint any of the common allergens that you are allergic to, which will aid in management and treatment.
The best management of most allergies is to avoid the allergen. But in some cases, that might not be possible. Allergy medications, both acute and daily use, are available for treatment of these allergies.
If you have hives that last more than six weeks or are recurring for months or years without apparent cause, these are considered chronic hives. Chronic hives are often more painful than hives from an allergy. Often, chronic hives are a sign of sensitive skin that may be allergic to many allergens not typically tested by allergists.
Chronic hives can also be the result of certain physical illnesses or medical conditions. These hives can also be caused by emotional or mental stress. In these cases, treatment of the hives is essentially treatment of the symptom rather than the cause. This can make treating these hives difficult, but antihistamines and topical treatments may help.
If you have hives and don’t know the cause, contact us today to schedule your examination and allergy testing.