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Hives, also called urticaria, is an acute swelling of portions of the skin resulting in “welts”.  These raised, red, itchy areas of the skin can be quite bothersome but often easily controlled with antihistamines. 

Sometimes they are accompanied by swelling of the face, hands or feet termed angioedema.  Though slower to resolve, angioedema can often be controlled with the same antihistamines used for the hives.

Chronic urticaria and angioedema lasting more than six weeks should be evaluated by an allergist or dermatologist.  At times, more difficult to treat symptoms may require the use of a combination of antihistamines or rarely oral corticosteroids.  Steroid injections, though often used, rarely treat the symptoms any better than oral therapy and may add unnecessary, permanent side effects.  See the credible web page section on this site to link to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology web site for more detailed information regarding this condition.

To view more information on Hives, Click here.



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