Although hives are not life-threatening, they can cause discomfort, preventing you from conducting your daily tasks and affecting your quality of life. They can occur as a result of an allergic reaction, an underlying health disorder, or an unknown cause. Dr. Kalfa and his team at Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland offer treatment for Silver Spring hives depending on the severity and the underlying cause.
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An overview of hives
Hives are the red splotches or bumps on your skin. They are a form of swelling on your skin surface due to an allergic reaction. Some allergic reactions can be mild, while others can be life-threatening. Hives can be very itchy, but sometimes you experience stinging or burning sensations.
In some cases, the welts from the hives may combine to form plaques. Hives often resolve within 24 hours, but sometimes they may linger for several days. There are different types of hives, including the following:
Viral and bacterial infections can trigger the occurrence of hives. The viral infections causing hives include colds, hepatitis, and infectious mononucleosis, while bacteria infections include strep throat and urinary tract infections.
This is a mild form of acute hives occurring due to unrelenting scratching or pressure on your skin. Dermatographism often resolves without medical intervention within a short period.
Chronic hives are reactions that may not necessarily have an evident trigger. This disorder is characterized by recurring hives which may affect your quality of life. This type of hive can last for several weeks, months, or even years. While chronic hives are not life-threatening, they can be uncomfortable, difficult to treat, and may indicate underlying medical disorders such as type 1 diabetes or celiac disease.
Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that results in severe, life-threatening symptoms such as trouble breathing, severe swelling, dizziness, and vomiting. If you experience these symptoms, contact 911 for immediate medical attention.
Allergic reactions are the most prevalent trigger of hives. They can occur due to exposure to allergens such as pet dander, pollen, or foods. Your provider may recommend short-term allergy medications and avoiding the trigger for mild cases of hives.
Available treatments for hives
Your treatment plan depends on your hives’ underlying cause and severity. Dr. Kalfa will assess your skin and discuss your symptoms. He will also conduct allergy tests like blood skin and intradermal tests to determine if the hives are due to an allergic reaction. If your provider suspects a food allergy, they may conduct an oral food challenge to identify the cause of your allergy. For mild allergies, Dr. Kalfa may recommend allergy medications like antihistamines to alleviate the itching. However, if you have chronic hives, he may suggest monthly injections of block allergic reactions. The team may also suggest oral immunotherapy, topical medicine, or inhaled asthma medicine to address the underlying issue and mitigate your hives outbreaks. Although it is difficult to prevent the occurrence of hives, lifestyle changes such as avoiding allergens can minimize your risk.
If you have recurrent hives, call Dr. Kalfa or book an appointment online for diagnosis.