You may be familiar with hives — a common sign of an allergic reaction.
However, these itchy welts can occur for other reasons, too, from food sensitivities and certain medications to insect bites, sun exposure, and infections. Some studies even suggest fatigue and stress can trigger hives. Sometimes, however, the precise cause remains a mystery.
But no matter the cause, hives usually lead to mild-to-intense itching that can be difficult to bear.
Fortunately, you can often manage this uncomfortable issue at home when it occurs. However, if you have severe or widespread hives, it’s crucial to seek emergency care immediately to avoid serious and even life-threatening complications.
Our experts at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates in Tampa and Brandon, Florida, can provide a diagnostic evaluation for your hives and develop a personalized strategy to manage your reaction. If you have hives, here are a few ways to approach the problem at home.
The welts from hives often appear quickly in various shapes and sizes, including tiny round peas, worm-like patterns, or large oval dinner plates. They can also vary in color, sometimes looking pink or red and other times white or fleshy.
The good news is that these skin reactions often disappear within 24 hours, making them acute. However, for some, they become a chronic issue, lasting for months or years at a time.
In many cases, you can turn to home remedies as your first line of defense. Common methods for easing hives symptoms at home include:
If your symptoms don’t respond to these methods within 24 hours, or you have intense discomfort that persists, it’s time to see an expert.
Further, hives that worsen or include anaphylaxis symptoms — like throat swelling or difficulty breathing — require emergency care immediately.
Since hives can develop for numerous reasons, it’s important to see an allergist when your symptoms don’t go away or improve within 24 hours.
During your appointment, our team reviews your symptoms and medical history, including any medications you may be taking. We also perform allergy tests to check for allergic triggers, like food or airborne allergens.
Based on your assessment, we can offer personalized guidance on how to manage your symptoms moving forward.
Additional home care treatments for hives might include:
Our team can also provide treatment plans for conditions that run in families, like angioedema. This condition causes a similar reaction as hives, but it impacts deeper layers of the skin.
If you have hives and need an extra level of care, we can help. Call Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates or book your appointment online with one of our experts in Tampa or Brandon today.