Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology & Dermatopathology located in Wheat Ridge, CO
Hives aren’t usually harmful, but they can cause distress due to itching, and you may feel self-conscious about having patches of red welts on your skin. We are an experienced dermatologists who can effectively treat hives in adults and children, so they won’t interfere with daily activities. To learn more about treatment options for hives, call Elevation Dermatology in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
What are hives?
Hives, also called urticaria, are a skin reaction that causes red welts on the skin. These welts can be itchy and uncomfortable, but they are usually harmless. Most of the time, hives go away on their own after about 24 hours, but they can be chronic, sometimes lasting for months or even years.
Hives occur in the upper skin layers. A similar reaction in the deeper layers of the skin sometimes accompanies them, which makes skin look swollen and feel firm to the touch. This reaction is called angioedema.
What causes hives?
Certain foods can cause hives. Shellfish, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and milk are all known to cause hives in people with allergies or sensitivities.
Other factors that can trigger hives include:
- Pollen, animal dander, and other allergens
- Exposure to heat, cold, and sunlight
- Certain medications
Some medical conditions, such as lupus, lymphoma or thyroid disease, can also cause hives.
What are the symptoms of hives?
Hives are raised, red or pink welts that are often described as having a blotchy appearance. The welts may occur alone, or in a group; sometimes patches of welts can connect, covering a large area.
Hives range in size from less than one inch to several inches. Hives can be extremely itchy, and they can sometimes be painful. You may notice that your hives occur in the same area each time you have a reaction.
Angioedema typically occurs around the eyes, cheeks, or lips. These welts in the deep layers of skin feel thick and firm, they can be painful, and may feel warm to the touch.
Severe angioedema can be life-threatening if the swelling blocks airways. If your reaction is making it difficult for you to breathe, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
How are hives treated?
If your hives persist for more than 48 hours, you should seek medical attention. We have extensive experience diagnosing and treating hives and angioedema.
Some treatment options for hives include:
- Antihistamines and other anti-itching medications
- Anti-inflammatory injections or oral medications
- Immunosuppressant medications
If we determine that you are at risk for a severe reaction, we At Elevation Dermatology may prescribe an injection pen that you, or your child, will carry at all times so you can avoid a life-threatening emergency.
To learn more, call Elevation Dermatology or schedule an appointment online.