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Hives And Swelling Specialist

Advanced Allergy Associates

Cheryl Williams, M.D.

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Physician located in New Orleans, LA

Hives are itchy, pale red bumps or welts that appear suddenly on your skin, usually triggered by a reaction to an external factor, like sunlight, food, or medications. At Advanced Allergy Associates in New Orleans, Louisiana, hives and swelling are a major practice focus. Allergy, asthma, and immunology physician Cheryl Williams, MD, provides expert evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment to help you find relief from these uncomfortable and sometimes scary symptoms. Call today for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.

Hives and Swelling Q & A

How do I know I have hives?

You may have hives, called urticaria, if you develop raised, itchy, skin-colored, or red bumps. They usually appear suddenly and may also cause skin redness that turns white when you press on the center. This skin redness may also change shape, move, or disappear and reappear. 

Hives may be accompanied by swelling, called angioedema. 

Hives aren’t all the same. They are categorized as:

Acute urticaria

Hives that last under six weeks are known as acute and usually result due to certain food ingredients, medications, insect bites, or infections and diseases.

Chronic urticaria

When your hives last longer than six weeks, they’re considered chronic. Causes are hard to determine but may be due to thyroid disease, cancer, hepatitis, or another infection. You may have other symptoms alongside these hives, including shortness of breath, muscle soreness, or digestive problems.

Physical urticaria

When hives and swelling are caused by an external factor, like the sun, temperature, sweating, or vibration, they’re known as physical urticaria. 

What are the most common causes of hives and swelling?

The reason you have hives and swelling may not always be clear. Common causes include:

  • Peanuts, nuts, shellfish, and/or eggs
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Exercise
  • Sun exposure
  • Medications, including some antibiotics, aspirin, and ibuprofen
  • Latex
  • Blood transfusions
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Some plants

Some people develop hives in response to emotional distress and anxiety. Hives that persist or recur regularly may occur due to an allergy. Dr. Williams can perform an allergy test to determine if you have any specific triggers. 

What is the treatment for hives and swelling?

While hives and swelling aren’t typically dangerous to your health, they can be uncomfortable, distressing, and even scary. At home, you can relieve hives and swelling using over-the-counter creams and cool compresses. 

Dr. Williams helps you determine if your hives are due to an allergy. A simple skin prick test can narrow down what may be causing your skin reactions so you can then avoid it and minimize outbreaks. If you have chronic hives without a determined cause, anti-inflammatory medications may help reduce your symptoms.

If you experience hives and swelling that disrupt your daily life, call Advanced Allergy Associates for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.