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Hives Allergy & Asthma Center of Duncanville

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Overview

If you’ve had red or skin-colored bumps that appeared and disappeared quickly, then it’s unlikely to be simple bug bites. The skin rash could be hives, and the itching from hives may range from mild to severe. Hives, also known as urticaria, affects about 20 percent of people at some time during their lives. Scratching, alcoholic beverages, exercise and emotional stress may worsen the itching.

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Symptoms

While they resemble bug bites, hives (also known as urticaria) are different in several ways:

  • Hives can appear on any area of the body; they may change shape, move around, disappear and reappear over short periods of time.

  • The bumps – red or skin-colored “wheals” with clear edges – usually appear suddenly and go away just as quickly.

  • Pressing the center of a red hive makes it turn white – a process called “blanching.”

The best way to identify your symptoms is to talk to an allergist who can diagnose and treat both hives and angioedema.

 

Management & Treatment

If the cause of hives can be identified, the best treatment is to avoid the trigger or eliminate it:

  • Foods: Don’t eat foods that have been identified to cause your symptoms.

  • Rubbing or scratching: Avoid harsh soaps. Frequent baths may reduce itching and scratching – beneficial because itching and scratching can make the hives feel worse.

  • Constant pressure: Avoid tight clothing. Pressure hives can be relieved by wearing loose-fitting clothes.

  • Temperature: If you develop hives when exposed to cold, do not swim alone in cold water and always carry an epinephrine auto-injector. Avoid exposure to cold air and use a scarf around your nose and mouth in cold weather. If you must be out in the cold, wear warm clothing.

  • Sun exposure: Wear protective clothing; apply sunblock.

  • Medications: Notify your physician or pharmacist immediately if you suspect that a specific medication is causing your hives.

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