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Hives - Urticaria

Hives are extremely itchy raised bumps that appear on the skin. They can resemble mosquito bites or have an oddly shaped appearance. They are often called wheals. The official name for hives is urticaria. A wheal typically last less than 24 hours. Urticaria can be acute or chronic. Urticaria is considered chronic if it lasts more than six weeks. There are many causes for urticaria. Acute urticaria can be caused by insect bites, food, infection or medication/supplements. Chronic urticaria can also be caused by infections or medication but can also be caused by many other factors including physical triggers such as stroking the skin, pressure, cold, water, sun and exercise.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of hives can usually be made with a thorough history and physical examination although sometimes a skin biopsy may be necessary. It is important that you inform your treating physician of all over the counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements as well as prescription medications you have taken. It is also important to reveal all current and previous medical diagnoses. For chronic urticaria, blood work is often ordered to rule out infection, autoimmune disease or other metabolic causes. An X-ray of the chest, sinuses or teeth may also be used to look for occult infection.

Management

Hives occur because of release of histamine from cells within the skin. Therefore, the mainstay of management of the intense itch associated with most hives is oral antihistamines. Antihistamines include H1 blockers such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratidine (Claritin), zytrizine (Zyrtec) and h3 blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac). High doses and a mix of several antihistamines is often required to control itching. Other oral agents called leukotriene receptor antagonists may also be used. Important treatment, however, is soothing the skin with the use of anti-itch lotions based on camphor, menthol or phenol such as Sarna and Calamine lotion. The use of oral steroids is rarely necessary.

Coping

Living with hives can be very challenging because of the intense itch. Following recommendations regarding use of oral antihistamines and topical skin soothing agents will help. The majority of hives are transient and resolve within a few days or weeks. For those episodes of longer duration, laboratory tests can provide reassurance that there is no underlying infection or illness. If a medication is suspected as the cause, the medication may need to be stopped under the guidance of the prescribing physician. Even if the offending agent is removed the hives generally do not stop immediately but may take weeks to vanish depending how long it will take for the offending agent to "wash out" of your body.

Prevention

Prevention of acute episodes of hives is rarely possible especially when the underlying cause is unknown. For chronic urticaria caused by physical stimuli, avoidance of these physical factors such as cold, pressure, water and sun can reduce flares. Continuing use of oral antihistamines can also be preventative.

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# of surveys: 3749
Last updated: 05/18/2017 4:45 PM,

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Overall doctor performance

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4.89%
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The doctor listened to you attentively

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The doctor took time to answer your questions

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The doctor explained treatment options

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The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
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5.69%
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Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
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Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
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7.61%
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Office comfort

excellent
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Parking

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14.4%
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15.7%
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2.49%
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Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Minimal waiting time. So friendly and professional!!

#12012-10-01 11:08:39

The appearance and presentation of the office.

#22017-04-29

I enjoyed the French music in the reception area.

#32017-10-10

Quickness of service, friendliness of staff

#42017-09-19

The staff were very professional and service was above those i have had in the past.

#52011-03-29 09:40:00

Love visiting with Jill - she makes the visit easy.

#62010-11-11 16:01:31

Everything even your choice of music.

#72016-11-30

Artwork, National Geographic

#82011-05-18 16:03:39

I found the office pleasant and staff, medical assistant, and doctor very friendly, yet very efficient, well-informed, professional, and knowledgeable. A very satisfying experience!

#92016-12-05

Dr and Med Assist. listened patiently and answered all questions thoroughly.

#102017-09-22

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

Nothing, my visit was great.

#12017-06-26

The experience was very pleasant, and relaxed. I would not recommend changing anything!

#22017-11-04

Keeping me from dying of skin cancer would be good (I will behave and do the checks and annual exam to help out!!!)

#32010-11-29 11:47:11

less waiting time for follow up appointments

#42017-03-22

maybe classical music on the radio? and some hunting and fishing magazines for the men. but the waiting period is so short it may not matter

#52010-11-08 11:23:38

N/A. Everything was great!

#62017-01-30

Everything to date that your office has performed has been done professionally and expeditiously. It's a pleasure to deal with all the staff.

#72017-06-24

I'm sending my whole family here. It's wonderful.

#82017-09-23

Ask patient if they have any pain before asking them to waiting three weeks for appointment

#92017-06-27

please make a reminder call. I checked my cell for one and you hadn't.

#102017-02-15
Customer Rating : 4.3

Based on 33 ratings