If you're constantly breaking out in itchy wheals, you may wonder if you're allergic to something or if you have urticaria, or hives. Hives is a unique skin condition that affects a small percentage of adults and children. Read on to learn more if you have hives and how to respond to your symptoms.
What Exactly Are the Hives?
Hives generally cause itchy red or flesh-colored wheals to pop up on the surface of the skin. The wheals can vary in size but are usually no larger than 2 centimeters wide and long. The wheals can also itch, burn, or sting, depending on their severity.
The sources behind urticaria can vary from person to person. However, viruses, pet dander, pollen, and insect venom can trigger allergic responses in many people. People who can't tolerate wearing latex or taking antibiotics and aspirin can also develop hives over time. Some children and adults can develop hives for no apparent reason at all.
If you want to know why you have hives all the time and how to reduce the pain, contact a board-certified allergist center right away.
What Can You Do About Your Wheals?
An allergist can typically diagnose hives just by examining the condition of your skin. But if you don't have active wheals on your skin during your appointment, a doctor will most likely use blood samples to diagnose your condition. Although blood tests are often used to diagnose long-term hives, an allergist may still be able to use the tests to diagnose your condition.
A doctor may also expose your skin to pollen, latex, and other potential triggers. If your skin puckers, swells, or reacts any of the triggers, a doctor can use the results to create the right allergy treatment for you. You may need to use antihistamine medications to keep your wheals at bay. Topical medications, such as creams and ointments, may also be useful to you.
If your wheals are itchy and painful, a doctor may ask you to use medicated itch cream or lotion to soothe the symptoms. If your medicated creams don't reduce your symptoms as prescribed, tell an allergist immediately. An allergist may increase the prescription's strength to accommodate your needs. You may also need to upgrade or change your prescription altogether.
Don't allow the wheals on your skin to wreak havoc on your life and health. Find the treatments you need today by contacting an allergist online.