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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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Compare our service to other similar practices

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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

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5.69%
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Front desk performance

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Aesthetician performance

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Office comfort

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Parking

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Friendliness of the staff during appointment

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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Friendliness and professionalism

#12017-10-23

People, help, expertise.

#22011-01-17 15:16:10

Everyone was incredibly kind, informative and helpful. It was one of the best doctor office experiences I've ever had.

#32017-06-26

Doctor took the time to asnswer questions; computer technology

#42017-09-03

Did not have to wait long.

#52017-04-09

The office has a very relaxed setting this was the most comfort that I ever felt going to any doctors office, and also great music, you guys we here from me around the holidays and after my outcome with the other specialist!!! Thanks again!! Service AAAAA+++++++++

#62017-07-10

Everyone was very nice!

#72017-03-07

Dr Ringfell was very attentive to my problem. She reviewed my medical history throughly unlike any other physician that I have met before. I felt that she aswered to all my questions with extreme knowledge and confidence. I am leaving my appointment today reasured that she will find the right diagnosis to my problem.

#82017-06-11

Attention to detail on part of doctor and assistant

#92017-05-17

This was the fastest (in a positive way) medical appointmenet I've had since moving to this area.

#102011-01-05 08:38:17

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

Everything is just great!

#12017-08-10

Don't know, you guys did a great job.

#22016-12-15

i work from 7:30 to 4:30, and i am very disappointed that you have no night hours......

#32010-10-12 12:10:30

don't change a thing!

#42017-11-29

Completely satisfied

#52010-10-20 09:59:20

More appointment availability either early or later (before or after the normal 9-5 workday)

#62010-08-23 16:22:28

we are okay

#72017-08-19

don't see how you could improve anything

#82011-01-12 08:19:57

Offer a male of female medical assistant and ask if opposite sex assistant is okay

#92011-06-02 13:39:55

i was completely satisfies with everything and everyone. Even my lateness was not held against me.

#102017-10-25
Customer Rating : 4.2

Based on 35 ratings