3 Dec

Bothersome but usually manageable.

Hives (urticarial) are raised, red and white itchy welts on your skin. A sudden onset of hives (acute hives) usually has an identifiable cause or trigger, such as insect stings or bites, medications, certain foods, allergens, or infections. Acute hives go away within a few week and are usually effectively treated with antihistamines.

Chronic hives are different in that they persist for more than 6 weeks. The hives seem to come and go with no clear pattern, fading over the course of a day or two and then reappearing in a different location a few days later.  Anyone can develop chronic hives, but they are more common in middle-aged women. Chronic hives can go on for months and even years. They can interfere with sleep, work and other activities.

What your doctor can do:  He can conduct a thorough evaluation, your doctor will want to exam your hives. Your doctor will also want to know how often they appear, how long they last, whether you have any painful swelling, and if you have any other signs and symptoms, such as fever, unintentional weight loss, sensitively to cold or heat, or pain in your abdomen, bones or joints.

What you can do:  Try to keep cool, avoid hot showers and wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Source:  Mayo Clinic Health Letter September 2015

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