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Hives and Swelling


Hives or urticaria can be caused by allergies. Symptoms of hives include red blotchy patches that come and go and are often associated with welts. Hives often itch. They can progress to swelling of the deeper tissues. This is a more serious condition known as angioedema and is often painful.

Hives can be acute, lasting a period of days to weeks, or chronic, lasting months. Common allergens that cause hives acutely are medications, certain foods, latex, and bee stings. High level inhalant allergy to environmental like pollens, dogs, cats dust mites and mold can also cause hives and often leads to more chronic symptoms. Hives are not always caused by allergy and thus a comprehensive evaluation is often required when hives do not resolve easily after treatment with medication.

It is important to determine the cause of hives in order to effectively treat them. A blood work-up and allergy skin testing are methods to help identify their cause. Hives must be treated with rapid intervention which includes avoidance of allergen triggers, and treatment with appropriate medication in order to control symptoms and prevent progression. If hives are due to a condition other than allergy, this must be identified in order to effectively treat the underlying cause of the hives.

Recurrent or persistent hives are best evaluated by an allergist/immunologist in order to best diagnose their underlying cause. In most cases, hives can be effectively managed when their cause is accurately identified.


Comprehensive Allergy and Asthma Associates
11645 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1150

Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310-909-1910
Fax: 310-909-1911

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