Hives are such a frustrating condition to reckon with, for a number of reasons. If you’re looking for a quick solution for hives, you’ve come to the right place.
Hives, or urticaria have many causes, but not a lot of drastically different treatments. The best treatment for hives is topical medications that your dermatologist can prescribe. While there are topical antihistamines available over the counter, your doctor can best determine what you need and how much. Over-the-counter strength drugs might not be enough for your hives, or they could cause other side effects or an allergic reaction depending on your skin’s sensitivity. A dermatologist will know best. Topical and oral antihistamines are often only prescribed if you have chronic hives. Chronic hives are hives that come and go with some frequency over the course of 6 weeks or more, and the flare ups can span over a year. Hives can appear differently depending on their cause and your condition, but most often they’re splotchy, raised, red spots on the skin that are usually itchy.
Other topical medications that can treat hives are designed to fight the symptoms of hives. In the short-term, corticosteroids like prednisone can be effective at reducing inflammation and itchiness. Other anti-inflammatory drugs can also help keep swelling and redness to a minimum, which can help prevent skin from feeling raw and tender.
Chronic, severe hives need treatment to prevent constant irritation and other side effects like skin infection. Hives are not a very dangerous condition on their own, but the incessant itching can break your skin and lead to infection, which can be hazardous. Omalizumab is an injectable drug that can treat the symptoms of hives when other drugs cannot. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that has shown great results when used to treat recurring hives. If your hives are cropping up often and are intensely irritating, this injectable might be your best bet. A dermatologist can administer the medication with little discomfort (no more than a vaccination shot) and the results can be very quick.
Fortunately for most people with hives, even chronic hives, the condition can often go away on its own. Unfortunately for us all, these bouts of chronic hives can last a long time and recur later in life. The best treatment for hives is prevention, which is not always what you want to hear when you’re trying your hardest not to scratch your skin raw. The truth is, dermatologists only know the cause of your hives about 50% of the time, and in many cases even that is conjecture. It’s important for you to pay close attention to your skin, and if you’re suffering from chronic hives, many recommend keeping a journal of your flare ups. Hives appear fairly quickly after the triggering event or contact, so when you notice them, keep track of anything you’ve touched, ate or done, no matter how trivial. Things like exercise, heat, and even contact with water in very rare cases can all cause hives flare ups. There are many different food triggers that cause hives, like nuts, eggs or additives and preservatives. If you have a latex allergy, contact with latex or even eating some foods like bananas, chestnuts and mangoes can all trigger hives. Stress can also cause you to break out in hives, so managing your stress and recognizing that you’re in a stressful situation is important. Avoiding triggers is the best way to prevent hives from occurring. Prevention is not always possible, and there’s a lot that can be done to treat your hives if you reach out to your dermatologist.
You don’t need to put up with chronic hives alone and without help. For comprehensive hives education and treatment, give the doctors at Northeast Dermatology a call today.
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