What Are Some Dermatological Cures for Hives?
Most people will experience an outbreak of hives at some point in their lives. For many, instead of being a one-time occurrence, they might frequently break out in this itchy red rash. Here’s how to get rid of hives fast – and how a dermatologist can help with recurring instances of the rash.
What Are Hives?
Hives (also known as urticaria, welts, or wheals) are itchy, raised bumps on the skin. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and cause redness and swelling. In some cases, especially in instances of allergies, hives might show up on the tongue and in the throat – which could swell and cause a life-threatening blockage to the airways.
The reasons for outbreaks of the hives rash are unfortunately very difficult to pinpoint. In fact, in roughly half of all hives cases, the trigger remains unknown. But some people find that they have frequent or recurring hives outbreaks, and in those cases, finding the cause becomes a priority.
Hives might be caused by any number of things, including medications, foods, ingredients in personal care products, irritating detergents or cleaning products, infections, excess exposure to the sun, insect bites or stings, or many other issues.
How to Get Rid of Hives
If you find yourself with an outbreak of hives, the first thing to do is take an over-the-counter antihistamine, which can help with the itching and swelling. An anti-itch lotion or cream can also be applied to the rash for quick relief from itching. A cold compress can help soothe the irritated skin as well.
Since allergies are a common reason for the hives rash, if you find you’re getting hives outbreaks frequently, it’s a good idea to see an allergist who can test the skin for reactivity to a host of different allergens. Seek medical care immediately if you have issues breathing or swallowing, feel swelling in your throat, feel faint, or have a racing heartbeat.
Can a Dermatologist Help with Hives?
Sometimes the treatments you try at home just aren’t cutting it. So how can a dermatologist help with hives? Well first of all, if you’re regularly breaking out in hives and can’t seem to find the root cause, a medical professional should be contacted.
A dermatologist can help with a plan to diagnose the issue. This might look like an elimination diet: cycling certain foods out of the diet for a brief time to determine if any of them are causing the hives outbreaks. It might include stopping the use of certain cleaners, chemicals, or personal care products to get to the bottom of the issue.
Above all, a dermatologist is qualified to prescribe medication if needed. While not all patients will need prescription medications, some may find that over-the-counter antihistamines simply aren’t doing the trick. In that case, a dermatologist may opt to prescribe a topical cream or ointment for hives outbreaks like the corticosteroid prednisone or a daily prescription antihistamine like doxepin to prevent future outbreaks. In some cases, light therapy can help those who struggle with hives.
Contact Vanguard Dermatology
If you’re located in the greater New York City area and need help finding relief from recurring hives outbreaks, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists.