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Hives (Urticaria)

Hives can cause severe itching and discomfort. If you or someone you know have suffered from this condition, Sandra A. Ho, MD and her team at Avant Allergy in Los Angeles, California can develop a treatment plan to determine your triggers, prevent the hives, or reduce the severity of your symptoms.

What are hives?

Hives are red or skin-colored raised extremely itchy bumps that come up and resolve within a few minutes to a couple of days without residual marks.  About 20% of the population will suffer from hives at some point. 


What triggers hives? 

Acute hives lasting less than 6 weeks are thought to be due to an allergic reaction of some sort. Some common allergic triggers include foods, medications, insect stings or bites, physical stimuli, or environmental allergens such as pet dander or pollen. Chronic hives or hives lasting more than 6 weeks are generally thought to not be an allergic reaction.  They can be worsened by heat, pressure, stress, infections of any sort, alcohol, and certain medications.  Extensive testing is generally not recommended as there are few identified causes. 


Are hives life-threatening?

Symptoms are troubling with rash and severe itching of the skin. Swelling of the lips, hands, and feet are possible in those with widespread hives. Generally, symptoms of shortness of breath, wheezing and abdominal pain are not seen in those with chronic hives and these sort of hives are not life-threatening.  


Can I be tested for allergic triggers? How do I treat hives?​

At Avant Allergy, Dr. Ho may recommend certain diagnostics if there are other changes in the health or underlying autoimmune disease.  Otherwise, the mainstay of treatment is antihistamine suppression.  Sometimes in refractory cases, Dr. Ho may recommend an injected medication or an immune suppressant medication to prevent the hives.  The majority of those with chronic hives will have spontaneous improvement in 3-5 years from onset


If you or someone you know is suffering from hives, call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment at Avant Allergy, where Dr. Ho will work with you to diagnose and customize your treatment plan.

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