Solutions for rashes and irritated skin

What are hives?

Hives are a common allergic reaction, and can occur due to a wide variety of different allergies. Typically, they take the form of raised, patchy welts of skin. They may be red, pink, or flesh-colored. Depending on the case, hives may also feel tender, itchy, or cause stinging or burning sensations.

Hives appear due to your body’s allergic reaction, which releases histamines. These chemicals are made by your body to fight back against infection or other outside intruders. Unfortunately, this chemical release carries painful side effects such as swelling and itching, which can lead to hives. 

If you regularly suffer from hives, Premier Allergy & Asthma is here to help. Our allergy specialists in central Ohio can diagnose the cause of your hives and provide you with the relief you need.

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What causes hives?

Food and drug allergies

Often, hives occur when you consume a food or drug to which you are allergic. If you are only mildly allergic to a certain food or drug, this may be one of the only symptoms you experience.

Insect sting allergies

Hives are quite common for people who are allergic to insect stings, such as bee stings. Usually, they begin to appear within 2 hours after the insect sting occurs, and they may or may not be accompanied by other symptoms.

Environmental allergies

Hives can be caused by a variety of different environmental allergies, such as pollen, mold spores, and even animal dander.

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Common symptoms of hives

Hives usually begin to develop within an hour or two of exposure to an allergen. They are raised, tender, inflamed welts that may appear in only one area of the skin, or throughout your entire body. They may be pink, flesh-colored, or red. They usually feel tender and may cause a stinging or burning sensation.

Usually, hives begin to disappear within 24 hours after exposure to the allergen. However, it can take a few days or up to a week for hives to disappear completely. In rare cases, they may last longer.

How to treat hives

Allergy diagnosis and immunotherapy

If you frequently develop hives, the team at Premier Allergy & Asthma will perform allergen testing to diagnose the potential cause of your hives, and ensure you can avoid the triggers that may cause hives to develop.

After your skin test is complete and a proper diagnosis is achieved, your provider will discuss a tailored allergy immunotherapy program. Over the course of an extended period of time, you will receive small doses of the allergen that triggers your hives. After a while, your body will build a tolerance to the substance so that you no longer experience an allergic reaction and painful hives.

Antihistamines, which block hive-causing histamines, may also be prescribed to help control hives and reduce their severity. Oral steroids may be prescribed for particularly severe cases, or injections of epinephrine or cortisone-based medications may be used.


Lifestyle changes

Making lifestyle challenges to avoid allergens is the best way to prevent allergy-induced hives.

When you do develop hives, you can take steps to stay comfortable until they subside, such as working and sleeping in a cool room, taking a cool shower or bath, and wearing lightweight and loose-fitting clothing.