It is estimated that approximately 20% of the people in the United States will suffer from hives at least once in their life. Dr. Vivian Bucay can help anyone suffering from hives better understand their condition and find a treatment plan that finds relief from these itchy, sometimes painful welts.
What are Hives?
Hives, which are known as urticaria in the medical community, are tiny welts that are often itchy and extremely painful. The size and shape of these welts will vary from person to person. Some hives are extremely tiny and are about the size of a pin point, while others are huge and measure several inches in diameter. Hives can appear anywhere on the body.
Hives are often caused by an allergic reaction. The allergy can be from either an internal source, such as recently eaten food or an oral medication, or from an external source, such as coming into contact with chemicals, scented soaps/shampoos, and lotions.
How Long Do Hives Usually Last?
The length of time an individual has to deal with the tiny, itchy welts during a bout of hives will vary. Hives can last anywhere from 24 hours to several weeks, depending upon what is causing the hives to appear and the current health of the individual. Most bouts of hives do not last longer than six weeks.
Finding the source of the hives is essential to shortening the amount of time you have to deal with the hives. Dr. Bucay and her staff can help you find the cause of your hives by conducting allergy tests, patch tests, and asking you questions regarding your day-to-day activities.
How are Hives Diagnosed?
Typically, a brief visual examination of the effected skin can help Dr. Bucay diagnosis a bout of hives. However, sometimes she may want to rule out other illnesses, skin conditions or infections.
If Dr. Bucay wants to rule out other skin conditions, illnesses, or infections, she may order blood work or conduct a skin biopsy. These tests will often help in eliminating any other skin conditions/illnesses that could look similar to hives.
What Treatment Options are Available for Hives?
The treatment options that are available for a bout of hives will depend upon the severity of your case of hives. Mild cases of hives are often treated with over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines. These antihistamines can come in pill form or as a cream or gel.
Severe cases of hives may require a combination of medications. Severe cases of hives are often treated with antihistamines, antibacterial medications, cortisones, and anti-inflammation drugs.
Dr. Bucay and her staff will work closely with you to help come up with a personalized treatment plan that relieves any pain or itching you may experience from a bout of hives.