Hives are a common problem in people of all ages, affecting about 20% of the population at least once throughout their life. Srinagesh Paluvoi, MD, FAAP, FACAAI, at Allergy & Asthma Affiliates helps you get relief from the severe itching and provides individualized treatment to prevent hives from appearing in the future. Dr. Paluvoi serves the greater Washington, D.C., area with two offices, in Lansdowne and Gainesville, Virginia. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices or use the online booking feature.
Hives, or urticaria, are red, intensely itchy bumps that suddenly develop on your skin. In most cases, each hive runs its course and disappears in 1-24 hours. However, new weals (or hives) can develop in the same area, making it seem like they last longer. If your hives recur daily for more than six weeks, you have chronic hives.
Hives may resemble a skin rash or bug bite, but they have characteristics that make them stand out from other skin conditions:
Hives frequently appear together with angioedema, a buildup of fluid in the tissues below the weals. Angioedema causes swelling and redness, and it may be painful. By comparison, hives usually aren’t painful, but they can be so itchy that they disrupt your sleep and your daily routine.
Hives appear when histamines are released due to allergies and other triggers. These are some of the most common causes:
Hives may also appear in response to physical triggers. For example, cold temperatures, a fever, sunlight, and scratching or rubbing your skin can cause weals.
Before determining your treatment, Dr. Paluvoi first focuses on identifying the cause of your hives, if possible. The cause can’t be determined in about 80-90% of patients with chronic hives.
In addition to your medical history, symptoms, and a physical evaluation, he may run allergy tests or order blood tests to rule out an underlying health condition.
Treatment for hives begins by identifying your triggers and developing a plan to avoid them. Dr. Paluvoi may also recommend avoiding aspirin, alcohol, and NSAIDs. If eliminating triggers doesn’t help, Dr. Paluvoi may prescribe antihistamines and immunotherapy to develop resistance to allergens that cause your hives.
If you need relief from itchy hives, call Allergy & Asthma Affiliates or schedule an appointment online.