DermTV How to Treat Hives DermTV Epi 285

Hello, I’m Neal Schultz [pause] and welcome to DermTV. Hives, I’m happy to tell you, aren’t dangerous,but they sure are annoying because they are so very, very itchy. Themedical term for hives is urticaria, but a lot of people just call themwheals or welts. The bottom line is they are very itchy bumps. They canvary in size from a small pea to as large as your palm, the color is usuallyskin colored, or sometimes they’re a little bit pink, and slightlyraisedalmost like a plaque. They can vary in shape from round, to oval, oreven linear, but the most characteristic part of hives is the amountof time that they last, because they come and go frequently. They can lastfor as short as twenty minutes, or an hour or less, maybe even two hours.When one goes away another one comes. And, usually there are many cyclingat the same time. But if your bumps last for a couple of days, than they’renot hives. Hives usually represent allergic reactions to either foodsor medications, and the most common foods that cause them are tomatoes,nuts, shellfish, and the most common medications that cause it are antibiotics,especially penicillin… but there are literally thousands of medicationsthat can cause hives. In terms of treatment, the most important thingis if you’ve recently started a new medication in the last week, or tendays, then discontinue it and of course, inform your physician. For treatment,we use antihistamines. Over thecounter antihistamines, like Benadrylor ChlorTrimeton or even Claritin, are helpful. The first group canbe sedating. Claritin is not sedating. And Allegra which is available byprescription, also is not sedating. If your hives last more than a week,despite treating them with antihistamines, then it’s time to see your, for two reasons. First of all, for more effective treatment, sincethey’re probably driving you crazy with the itching, and second of all,to make sure that there isn’t anything more important going on than justa mild, allergic reaction that’s causing your hives.

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