Urticaria, more commonly known as hives, are pale red skin swellings that usually occur in groups on just about any area of the skin. They can range in size from little to large and generally fade with no trace after a few hours. Most people describe it as being extremely itchy, but burning and stinging are often noted as well.
So what exactly are hives and why do people get them? Hives are allergic reactions to things like infections, food, drugs, sunlight, or other foreign substances that cause your body to release histamines causing blood plasma to leak out of the vessels of the skin. They are common, with at least 20% of the population having a bout with hives at one point or another. While the common causes are an allergic reactions to nuts, chocolate, shellfish, berries, and milk, often the inciting factor remains unknown.
A dermatologist can properly diagnose hives and prescribe an antihistamine along with topical cortisone treatment to relieve the itch. If you are struggling with a bout of hives or have chronic outbreaks that last for six weeks or more, contact Dr. Sharon Meyer. An experienced dermatologist, she can help you with hives treatments. Call Uptown Dermatology for an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!