What are Hives?
Hives are red, raised, itchy bumps on the skin that typically look most like mosquito bites. Hives may occur anywhere on the body, and can range in size from a few millimeters to a few inches in diameter. Sometimes they are associated with swelling under the skin, called angioedema, which burns more than itches, and most often involves the eyelids, lips, tongue, hands and feet.
Hives are caused by the release of one of the body's own chemicals, histamine, into the skin. Histamine causes blood vessels to dilate, leaking fluid. This leads to swelling and redness, along with intense itching.
Anyone at any age can get hives, including infants and the elderly. One does not have to be allergic to anything to develop hives; in fact, the majority of cases of hives are not caused by an allergy.
Hives can be caused by anything that triggers the body to release its own histamine into the skin. The following are among the things that most commonly cause hives:
- Allergic reactions. (ex: foods, medicines, bee stings)
- Infections. (ex: viral infections or sinusitis)
- Physical factors. (ex: heat, cold or vibration)
- Emotional stress.
- Other underlying medical conditions. (ex: thyroid, liver or kidney disorders)
- Idiopathic (chronic), this is the term for "no known cause"
We generally start by taking a careful history to see if your condition seems to be idiopathic or has an underlying cause. If necessary, we may need to do allergy testing or do blood testing to find the underlying cause.
Park Cities Allergy & Asthma
4119 Lomo Alto Drive
Highland Park, TX 75219
Monday: 9: 00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am- 5: 00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday: 7:15 am -2:30 pm
Tuesday: 9: 00 am - 11:30, 1:00 - 5:15 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am- 2:45 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 11:15, 1:00 - 4:45 pm