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Hives Specialist

Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology

Dermatologists & Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Pleasanton, CA

Hives affect about 20% of people in their lifetime. These itchy red skin bumps are different than an allergy and, if chronic, deserve the attention of skilled dermatologist Sarah Coats, MD, and Richard Burroughs, MD, at Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology in Pleasanton, California. If you think you have hives, call the office or book an appointment online today for an evaluation and treatment.

Hives Q & A

How do I know I have hives?

Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology can definitively diagnose hives, also known as urticaria, but signs you may have them include:

  • Raised itchy skin-colored or red bumps
  • Redness that blanches (turns white) when you press the center
  • Redness that changes shapes, moves, or disappears and reappears 

Hives may be short- or long-lived. The long-lived, chronic type usually occurs daily for six weeks or longer and tends to be quite itchy. When you have short-term hives, they typically last less than 24 hours and leave no scar.

What causes hives?

When you break out in hives, there may be no clear trigger. It could take some research to find the cause, which might include:

  • Foods like peanuts, nuts, shellfish, or eggs
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Exercise
  • Sun exposure
  • Medications, including some antibiotics, aspirin, and ibuprofen
  • Latex
  • Blood transfusions
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Some plants

Emotional distress and anxiety can also trigger hives.

If you have hives that last longer than a month or recur regularly, an allergy could be the cause. Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology can perform an allergy test to detect any allergic triggers.

How are hives treated?

Hives aren’t dangerous to your overall health but can be quite uncomfortable and distressing. Cool compresses and topical creams can help relieve immediate itching. 

Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology may recommend anti-inflammatory medications and immune-suppressing medications if you have chronic hives.

If your hives are associated with an allergic sensitivity, prescription antihistamines can help.

Are hives serious?

Hives usually aren't medically dangerous. If you do have hives in your throat that constrict breathing, get care immediately.

A condition known as angioedema can be mistaken for hives. Angioedema is a swelling of tissue beneath the surface of the skin caused by an allergic reaction, some medications, or a genetic condition. 

If your hives cause swelling in your eyes, mouth, feet, hands, or throat, or trouble breathing, it may be angioedema and needs medical care.

Hives can be concerning and uncomfortable. To get the care you need for hives, call Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology or schedule an appointment online today.