What Are Hives?
Hives are red and sometimes itchy bumps on your skin.
What Causes Hives?
An allergic reaction to a drug or food usually causes hives. Allergic reactions cause your body to release chemicals that can make your skin swell up in hives. People who have other allergies are more likely to get them. Other causes include infections and stress.
How Are Hives Treated?
Hives usually go away on their own, but if you have a serious case, you might need medicine or a shot. In rare cases, allergic reactions can cause a dangerous swelling in your airways, making it hard to breathe, which is a medical emergency.
For a mild or moderate case of hives, the most common treatment is a non-sedating (does not cause drowsiness) antihistamine. Antihistamines relieve symptoms like itching. If you have chronic hives, your dermatologist may prescribe an antihistamine.
Other medicines that are prescribed to treat hives include:
- Cortisones (for short-term use only)
- Dapsone, an antibacterial
- Other medicines that fight inflammation (redness and swelling)
For some cases of hives, you may need an injection of epinephrine (shot of adrenaline).