Hives are a very common problem that we see.
About 20 percent of the population has hives at some point in their lifetime.
Hives are the presence of “welts” that are raised from the skin and are very itchy in character.
There are multiple triggers for hives. Food allergy can cause it if you are allergic to a specific food such as peanuts, nuts, shellfish, milk, or egg.
We also look for the presence of medications that may cause hives. The most common medications that cause hives are antibiotics and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, advil or aleve.
Contact with certain inhalants, such as animal dander, can cause hives, specifically if an animal licks you and you develop hives than that may be the cause for your problem.
In addition, rarely, adults can have contact allergy to chemicals such as those present in makeups, sunscreens, shampoos or other chemicals that may cause hives.
Hives can very rarely be due to illness, such as thyroid problems.
Finally, hives can be what we call “idiopathic” in character. Idiopathic hives means that we do not know the cause for them, but we’ve looked at it and evaluated it and decided that all of the other causes are not present. This is a good diagnosis, as you generally do not want to have any of the other causes.
Treatment of hives includes the use of medications and avoidance of any triggering factors — such as the food or chemical that may trigger them.
Generally, treatment of hives is very successful.