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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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definitely
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Compare our service to other similar practices

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Overall doctor performance

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94.2%
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4.89%
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The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
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The doctor took time to answer your questions

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94.0%
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1.27%
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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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2.18%
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0.11%
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Front desk performance

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

excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
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3.39%
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Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
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6.93%
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Parking

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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)

the coutersy and attentiveness

#12017-08-11

Music. Dr. Ringpfeil. MA/Kathleen.

#22017-10-23

Facility was very contemporary. Very welcoming.

#32011-05-02 09:29:24

I ejoyed the beauty of the office-a nice place to be. I was anxious to meet the Dr.-and I found her to be great-very thouough,friendly and professional

#42017-06-12

I have been to a number of derm docs....often it seems as though they have you try this or that but never seem to have a clear plan as to how they will treat ALL of the issues at hand. Thank you for taking the time to address each one of my concerns.

#52018-01-01

Jenny took the time to address all my concerns and gave me great advice. She was very professional, very knowledgeable, and friendly

#62011-05-27 09:49:17

A good service

#72017-12-01

I am very self conscious about my acne but everyone made me feel very comfortable!

#82017-08-02

filling out the patient form on the computer is excellent and much better than the paper forms usually used for doctors; extremely efficient interaction with the staff and doctor; gorgeous waiting room!

#92011-12-14 08:52:39

yES, THERE WAS A DELAY IN SEEING THE DOCTOR AND THE MEDICAL ASST. ACTUALLY APOLOGIZED AND EXPLAINED THE PROBLEM. THAT RARELY HAPPENS IN ANY DOCTORS OFFICE I HAVE EVER BEEN IN.

#102010-11-11 10:41:38

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

Service was great, wouldn't change a thing.

#12010-10-06 09:19:36

Service was outstanding!

#22017-05-20

nothing just keep up the good work.

#32017-11-22

no complaints. everything was fine.

#42017-07-10

music in office was just okay

#52017-08-05

I've never been in a medical office that was so warm and inviting. The decor and overall appearance has the feel of your living room but also reminds you that you are in a clinical environment as well. This practice surpasses my expectations in every way, from the staff, dress code, advances in technology and overall care of the patient. I was made to feel that my care is your number one priority.

#62011-04-29 11:02:03

Good the way it is.

#72017-09-04

Shorter wait, but not much else.

#82017-04-22

I think everything was wonderful. Keep up the good work!

#92011-02-22 09:25:17

every thing was great!

#102018-01-16
Customer Rating : 4.1

Based on 36 ratings