Hives are characterised by itchy wheals, like those caused by contact with stinging nettles. The reddened skin swellings move to different parts of the body within minutes to hours. A distinction is made between acute urticaria (<6 weeks) and chronic urticaria (>6 weeks), depending on the duration of the urticaria.
Acute urticaria is often triggered by an infection, but can also occur as a symptom of an allergy. It usually lasts a few hours to a few days and does not need to be diagnosed. The trigger of chronic urticaria is often difficult to determine; allergies are rarely the cause. Mechanical (pressure, scratching) or physical stimuli (heat, cold) often play a role. Urticaria can also be aggravated by physical or psychological stress. In the case of chronic urticaria, it makes sense to consult a specialist. Often, however, no cause is found.
Therapy of urticaria.
Antihistamines are the basis of therapy. These sometimes have to be taken in high doses for weeks to months. In severe forms of urticaria that do not respond well to antihistamines, therapy with the IgE antibody omalizumab (Xolair) can be considered.
The form of therapy and dosage must be determined individually with each patient and adjusted if necessary. The dermatology team at Dermanence is there for you. Together we will find the optimal form of therapy for you.