When Should You See a Dermatologist for Hives?
If you've ever had small, itchy, red welts appear on your skin, you might have experienced hives. Hives can be an unsettling condition, occurring anywhere on the body. People often wonder what causes hives and how long they last. At Lone Star State Dermatology Clinic, Dr. Jean-Denis Boucher regularly treats patients with this skin issue in San Antonio or Live Oak, TX, and helps them find relief.
What do hives look like, and how long do they last?
Hives typically appear as red or pink welts on the skin, sometimes surrounded by an area of redness. They can range in size from small spots to large scars and can be round, oval, or irregularly shaped. They usually itch but may also burn or sting. The duration of a hive outbreak varies; they can last for a few hours to a few days, although some may persist for weeks or longer if not treated.
What can cause hives?
Various factors can trigger hives, including allergies, stress, infections, and certain medications. Some people even experience hives due to temperature changes or physical exertion. Knowing what causes hives is critical for effective treatment and prevention. Dr. Boucher may conduct allergy testing and other diagnostic procedures to identify the root cause of your hives, setting you on a path toward relief.
- Allergies: Pollen, pet dander, certain foods.
- Physical triggers: Exercise, stress, hot or cold temperatures.
- Medications: Antihistamines can both treat and sometimes cause hives.
- Infections: Viral or bacterial infections may lead to hives as a symptom.
How do you treat hives?
Once the cause is identified, hives treatments can range from over-the-counter antihistamines to prescription medications, depending on the severity and duration of your symptoms. Other treatment options can include:
- Topical creams or ointments
- Cold compresses
- Prescription antihistamines
- Corticosteroids for more severe cases
When should you see a dermatologist for hives?
If you've tried over-the-counter hives treatments and have not seen improvement, or if your hives last more than a few days, it's time to consult a dermatologist. Dr. Boucher specializes in diagnosing and treating various skin conditions, including hives. Chronic hives, which last more than six weeks, or recurrent hives that come and go over months or years, require specialized care and may indicate an underlying health issue.
Don't wait. Take action now
Dr. Jean-Denis Boucher at Lone Star State Dermatology Clinic in San Antonio and Live Oak, TX, is a go-to source for skin care needs. Understanding what hives look like, their causes, how to treat them, and how long they last is crucial for your well-being. If you're experiencing persistent or uncomfortable hives, it's time to seek professional help. Contact us today and find relief from your hives.