Hives Specialist

Patrick M. Reidy, MD -  - Allergist

Patrick M. Reidy, MD

Allergist & Allergy & Asthma located in Naples, FL & Estero, FL

Around 20% of people experience hives at some point in their lives. While these small, red, itchy bumps may feel alarming at first, board-certified allergist Patrick M. Reidy, MD, has the skill and experience to treat hives and prevent future outbreaks at his offices in Estero and Naples, Florida. For expert hives treatment, call Patrick M. Reidy, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.

Hives Q & A

What are hives?

Hives, or urticaria, are swollen pale red bumps or small patches on the skin that occur as the result of an allergic reaction. While hives are typically very itchy, they can also sting and burn, causing pain and discomfort. Hives can appear anywhere on the body, including the ears, throat, face, lips, or tongue.

In most cases, hives subside within a few hours, but it can sometimes take up to a full day for them to go away completely. Alcohol consumption, scratching, stress, or exercise can worsen hives, so call Dr. Reidy right away if you think you’re suffering an allergic reaction.

What are the symptoms of hives?

Hives often resemble bug bites, but there are some key telltale differences, including:

  • Blanching (the centers of the bumps turn white when pressed)
  • Raised, itchy patches of skin
  • Bumps that have clear edges (wheals)
  • Raised patches that change shape or move around

Unlike insect bites, hives can shift in appearance and come and go. Seek immediate medical attention if you think hives near your throat are affecting your ability to breathe.

How are hives diagnosed?

Because hives are an allergic reaction, the best way to treat them is to figure out what your triggers are. Dr. Reidy may recommend a skin test (prick or scratch test), food test, blood test, or urine test to determine the cause of your allergy.

To more effectively diagnose your allergy, he may also ask you to keep a diary of:

  • What you eat
  • Your activities
  • When your hives appear
  • How long it takes for your hives to subside
  • Whether your hives are painful
  • Any medications or supplements you are taking

There are many types of allergens that cause hives, so the more information Dr. Reidy has about your lifestyle habits and background, the more effective your treatment will be.

How are hives treated?

Avoiding certain triggers is the best treatment for hives. However, when that isn’t possible, Dr. Reidy has several treatments to calm your symptoms, including:

Antihistamines

Non-drowsy antihistamines block the symptom-producing release of histamine that triggers hives.

Anti-inflammatories

Oral corticosteroids can help temporarily reduce swelling, redness, itching, and pain caused by hives.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a type of therapy that gradually increases your exposure to certain allergens, so your body eventually stops producing severe allergic reactions.

To learn more about hives and how to treat them, call Patrick M. Reidy, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.