SkinCare in Wellesley, MA
Itching, swelling, and redness are disruptive of your daily life and can be difficult to treat at home. Most people will experience hives at some point in their life, and this common condition can be managed by a qualified dermatologist such as Dr. Rashel Goodkin, who has trained with top institutions including Harvard Medical School.
What are Hives?
Hives are itchy welts that vary in size and can occur on any part of the skin. Individual spots typically subside after 24 hours or less. However, new hives can emerge as initial hives fade, causing the condition to persist for several days or up to six weeks or longer. Hives that persist for more than six weeks are known as chronic hives. Medically, hives are known as urticaria, or angioedema if they occur deep under the skin.
What Causes Hives?
Hives are usually caused by an allergic reaction. This can include allergens such as foods, medication, animals or dander, insect bites and stings, pollen, or contact allergens such as latex. Hives can also be caused by infections, sun exposure, illnesses such as lupus or thyroid disease, stress, or damage to the skin from scratches or pressure.
When to Seek Treatment for Hives
Hives typically subside after 24 hours or several days. At-home treatments, such as cool compresses or over-the-counter antihistamines can help treat hives. However, some cases of hives will persist without treatment from a professional. You should seek treatment from a dermatologist such as Dr. Goodkin if your hives do not subside after several days or do not respond to at-home care.
Before treating your hives, Dr. Goodkin will first make a diagnosis and determine the cause for your hives, especially if they have persisted for six weeks or more. This can be completed by reviewing your health history, completing a physical exam, or performing tests. These can include allergy tests, blood tests to rule out infection or illnesses, or a skin biopsy.
Mild or moderate cases of hives and chronic hives, Dr. Goodkin will likely prescribe antihistamines to relieve itching. Depending on your specific symptoms, Dr. Goodkin may also prescribe corticosteroids to reduce swelling. Antibiotics may also be necessary to treat an infection. Finally, Dr. Goodkin may prescribe Omalizumab to treat a type of hives known as chronic idiopathic urticaria.
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule an appointment to treat your hives, call 781.227.7977. You may also request your appointment online by completing our online form.