Hives are classified as itchy, red welts on the skin; they vary in size from just a few millimeters to the diameter of a dinner plate. Allergens are often responsible for the development of hives. You may experience episodes of hives if you are allergic to any of the following substances:
- Certain foods
- Insect stings or bites
Non-allergen factors can also cause hives when they affect the skin. You may develop hives from infection, exposure to intense light or heat, exercise, stress, internal illness, or scratching at the skin.
Bouts of hives can last for several weeks, while individual hives develop and disappear within 24 hours, with new hives forming as the old ones disappear. Hives usually disappear on their own, though some severe cases (known as angioedema) are accompanied by swelling of the throat, which makes breathing difficult. In this situation, we encourage you to seek immediate medical attention.
Treatment for hives may consist solely of ceasing contact with a culprit allergen. Dr. Michael J. Messina can prescribe a topical medication, such as an antihistamine, or an oral therapy to soothe itching and prevent you from worsening the condition by scratching at your skin.
We invite you to learn more about treating hives in Palm Desert, California, by scheduling a consultation with our experienced dermatologist. Call 760-773-6616 to contact our team at Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists.