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Characteristics:

  • Pink or red inflammation
  • Welts
  • Skin swelling that changes spots over time
  • Itching
  • Stinging

Hives

in Fargo, North Dakota

One of the key ways to know if you are having an allergic reaction is the appearance of hives on the skin. Hives are itchy, red, and can sting. Hives can be caused by many things, even exercise. They are an irritating part of having an allergy, and sometimes they don’t go away for a long period of time. Fortunately, a board certified dermatologist can offer effective treatments.

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What are Hives?

A hive, also known as urticaria, is a form of welt that appears on the skin, often causing the skin to itch. Hives vary in size, from being very small to covering large areas of skin. Hives are not dangerous, but are often very irritating to deal with. Typically, hives go away within a day, and these types of hives are acute hives. Acute hives are characterized by the fact that they are often caused by an allergy and last less than six weeks. If hives last more than six weeks, then those are known as chronic hives.

There are also hives that form deep beneath the skin, called angioedema, and these hives often cause swelling of the eyes and lips. If swelling occurs, then you should seek emergency medical treatment.

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What Causes Hives?

Hives are a very common skin condition. Anyone can get hives at any time in their lives. Hives are typically a type of reaction that is triggered by an allergen. Hives can be quick to react to the trigger, appearing within minutes, but they can also appear after hours of coming into contact with the trigger. There are many different ways that a person can contract hives. Most of the typical causes are:

  • Insect Bites or Stings
  • Medications
  • Animals
  • Pollen
  • Food Allergies
  • Infections
  • Exposure to Sun
  • Exercise
  • Stress
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Idiopathic (unknown cause)

Hives can be very irritating to deal with, especially when prolonged. In order to lessen the discomfort associated with hives, you should seek out treatment.

How are Hives Treated?

In order to recommend treatment for your hives, your dermatologist will have to examine them to find the cause. During an appointment at our Fargo office, Dr. Ness will review your health history, do a physical exam, and ask questions about your lifestyle. It can also be beneficial to perform allergy tests, blood work, and a skin biopsy. Once they find the cause of the hives, they will start a treatment plan. Most treatments for hives include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Dapsone
  • Injectable medications such as Omalizumab (Xolair)

Hive Treatment Maintenance

If you are experiencing mild hives, they often can be treated at home. Placing a cool cloth on the hives or taking a cold shower will often relieve irritation. If you continually have bad reactions resulting in hives, then talking to your regular physician about getting an auto-injector like an EpiPen may be a good option for you. Once you know what causes the hives, you can start to avoid the allergen altogether.

Schedule a Consultation

Hives are a very common skin condition that can cause extreme itchiness and stinging. Mild cases of hives can happen to everyone, but chronic cases should be given medical attention. If you experience hives often or have a prolonged case of hives, then Dr. Ness can discuss your options during a consultation. To schedule a consultation, contact our Fargo office by calling or filling out our online form.

Dr. Rachel Ness Medical

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