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About 20% of people experience hives at some point. These red welts can be itchy and painful, so it’s important to get treatment before you end up scratching and causing even worse skin damage. At Allergy Associates & Asthma, Ltd. in Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler, Arizona, experienced doctors Suresh Anand, MD, FACP, FCCP, and Miriam Anand, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, can find the cause of your hives so you can end the terrible reactions fast. For help with hives, call the office nearest you or use the online booking tool to make your appointment.
Hives are itchy, red or skin-colored raised spots on your skin. They may resemble mosquito bites but can also be larger. When you push on a red hive, the middle of the bump turns white. Hives can appear virtually anywhere and can be either temporary (acute) or chronic.
Acute hives, which last less than six weeks, are usually the result of either an allergic reaction or a viral infection. If you develop acute hives because of a certain trigger, the hives generally fade away fairly quickly. But they're likely to return if you come in contact with that same trigger again.
The most common triggers include insect stings, pet dander, pollen, medications like penicillin, and foods like peanuts, eggs, and milk. Acute hives can also appear because of skin scratching, pressure, or skin constriction like tight clothing.
Chronic hives, which last more than six weeks, are usually related to changes within your body. Common causes include hormone fluctuations, thyroid disease, stress, and autoimmune disorders.
In many cases, the cause of chronic hives is hard to pinpoint. But the Allergy Associates & Asthma, Ltd. team can diagnose hives with a physical exam in most cases. You may also need blood and skin testing to isolate the cause of your hives.
Hives treatment usually centers on controlling your exposure to triggers and managing your symptoms when they occur.
The team of allergists can give you tips and tools for preventing triggers, which may include lifestyle adjustments or dietary changes. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine to relieve troublesome symptoms like severe itchiness.
If you have severe hives, your provider may prescribe corticosteroids, like prednisone, to reduce inflammation and relieve your symptoms. Corticosteroids are only for short-term use because they can cause side effects.
If you have symptoms of anaphylaxis when your hives occur, such as a swollen tongue and a lump in your throat, you may need to carry an epinephrine autoinjector pen with you at all times.
The allergy experts at Allergy Associates & Asthma, Ltd. are committed to giving you immediate solutions for your hives. Don’t live with the discomfort any longer: Call the office or click on the online appointment maker.