Hives, also known as urticaria, is a skin reaction that causes itchy welts ranging in small spots to large blotches. Angioedema is a related type of swelling that affects a deeper layer of the skin, oftentimes around the face and lips. You can usually treat mild cases of hives and angioedema at home; however, if your symptoms continue for more than a few days, you should see your Delray dermatologist.

What Causes Hives?

Hives outbreaks occur when your skin has high levels of histamine. This histamine causes blood vessels in the affected area to open and begin to leak. This fluid in the tissues causes swelling and itching.

The welts associated with hives can be triggered by:

  • An allergic reaction to food
  • Allergic reaction to an insect bite
  • Allergies from animals
  • Plant irritants
  • Change in temperature
  • Sun exposure
  • The flu or a cold
  • Certain medications
  • Food additives or preservatives
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Stress
In certain situations, hives can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition or ailment that requires immediate attention.

How Long Does It Take for Hives to Go Away?

The itching, swelling, and redness from hives can last for several hours to several weeks. In most cases, hives will go away without treatment. However, hives generally fade away within 24 hours.

How to Get Rid of Hives

Dogs and other allergens are perhaps the most common cause of hives, and an antihistamine can bring quick relief to this type of hives. In most cases, you can get rid of hives with some home remedies.

Treatments for hives include:

  • Cold compress. Applying a cool, damp cloth to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and itchiness. You can use a cold compress as often as necessary to get rid of hives.
  • Anti-itch and anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce the swelling. You may have antihistamine medication or oral corticosteroids at home. If not, a dermatologist in Wellington like Dr. Wassef can prescribe them to you.
  • Anti-itch bath. Oatmeal baths and baking soda baths can help to soothe the irritated skin.
  • Avoid heat. Heat and rubbing release more histamines. When you bathe in your anti-itch solution, make sure the water is lukewarm, and not hot.
At the Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery Institute, we understand how uncomfortable it feels to be affected by these welts, and we’re here to provide lasting relief from hives and angioedema. Contact our staff at our South Florida dermatology center to get the effective treatment for hives that you need to feel relief today.