Skip to content

Oh, No. I’ve Got Hives!

Oh, No. I’ve Got Hives!

Urticaria, commonly known as hives, is a distressing disorder that affects an estimated 20% of the population at one time or another in their lives. Hives usually strike suddenly. First the skin itches, and then erupts into red welts. The itching may be severe, keeping people from working or sleeping. Most episodes disappear quickly in a few days to a few weeks. Occasionally, a person will continue to have hives for many years.

Hives or “wheals,” are pale red swellings of skin that occur in groups on any part of the skin. They can vary in size from as small as a pencil eraser to as large as a dinner plate and may join together to form larger swellings. Each episode lasts for a few hours before fading without a trace. New areas may develop as old areas fade.

Bouts of hives have been traced to triggers such as infections (colds, strep throat, Lyme’s disease and other viral infections), drugs (antibiotics, pain medicines, sedatives, laxatives, etc.), cold, sun, insect bites, alcohol, exercise, endocrine disorders (thyroid), food and stress.

The most common foods that trigger a reaction include nuts, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries, and milk. Hives may appear within a few minutes or up to two hours after eating, depending where the food is absorbed in the gut. Food allergies are also most always associated with some gastrointestinal symptoms.

You should be evaluated by an allergist if you have recurrent hives, hives complicated by swelling, trouble breathing or other potential serious problems. If a cause can be identified, the best treatment is to avoid the trigger. However, the success of identifying the cause of chronic hives even in the best specialty clinics is usually no higher than 20% of cases.Despite those dismal statistics, it’s important to remember that although hives and swelling can be frightening, it usually goes away in less than 24 hours.

At Advanced Allergy & Asthma Care, our allergy physicians can help improve your quality of life. With convenient locations in Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Ridgefield in Fairfield County, Connecticut, we specialize in the treatment of nasal, eye, food, medication and skin allergies, as well as asthma care.

– Dr. Richard Lee

Schedule your appointment today!

Same Day Appointments Available

Sign up to receive email

As a new subscriber you’ll enjoy:

Special offers and exclusive deals. Information on new product offers and more…


About Us

Multi-Specialty Private Practice with six locations in Fairfield County, CT