Hives, also known as urticaria, are a common skin condition characterized by the sudden appearance of itchy, raised welts on the skin that may be red or white in color. Hives can occur anywhere on the body and may range in size and shape.
Hives can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergic reactions to foods, medications, or other substances, infections, stress, or underlying medical conditions.
Treatment for hives typically involves identifying and addressing the underlying cause, as well as relieving the symptoms of the condition. Treatment options may include:
- Antihistamines: Over-the-counter or prescription-strength antihistamine medications, such as diphenhydramine or loratadine, may be used to help relieve itching and reduce the severity of hives.
- Corticosteroids: In more severe cases of hives, prescription-strength corticosteroids may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with the condition.
- Epinephrine: In cases where hives are caused by a severe allergic reaction, epinephrine (adrenaline) may be administered to help prevent anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that can occur in response to certain allergens.
In addition to medical treatment, avoiding known triggers of hives, practicing good skin care, and managing stress may also be recommended to help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications associated with the condition.
It's important to seek prompt medical attention if you experience hives, particularly if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face or throat. A dermatologist or healthcare provider can help to identify the underlying cause of hives and develop an appropriate treatment plan to address your individual needs.