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Foods, most commonly:
- Fresh berries
- Reaction to allergy shots (desensitization shots)
- Insect bites or stings
- Cold or heat
- Thyroid disease (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism)
- Vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
- Exposure to an allergen (something that causes an allergic reaction)
- Exposure to an allergen that triggered hives in the past
- Excessive swelling of the eyelids, lips, or genitals
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing—Call 911 if you are having these symptoms.
H1-blocking medicines like:
- Diphenhydramine (eg, Aler-Cap, Benadryl Allergy)
- Hydroxyzine (eg, Vistaril)
- Fexofenadine (eg, Allegra)
- Loratadine (eg, Claritin)
- Acrivastine (eg, Semprex)
- Cetirizine (eg, Zyrtec)
- Doxepin (eg, Prudoxin, Sinequan, Zonalon)
- Levocetirizine (eg, Xyzal)
H2 blocking medicines like:
- Cimetidine (eg, Tagamet HB)
- Ranitidine (eg, Zantac)
- Famotidine (eg, Pepcid)
- Leukotriene antagonists like Montelukast
- Oral steroid medications (eg, prednisone) for hives resistant to other treatments
- Anti-inflammatory medicines
- Immunosuppressant medicines
- Ultraviolet light therapy
- Prescription epinephrine (adrenalin) injections for cases when swelling affects the airways
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org/
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org/
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca/
Dibbern DA Jr. Urticaria: selected highlights and recent advances. Med Clin North Am. 2006;90:187-209. Review.
DynaMed Editors. Urticaria/angioedema. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated June 2008. Accessed July 7, 2008.
Gambichler T, Breuckmann F, Boms S, Altmeyer P, Kreuter A. Narrowband UVB phototherapy in skin conditions beyond psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005;52:660-670. Review.
Guldbakke KK, Khachemoune A. Etiology, classification, and treatment of urticaria. Cutis. 2007;79:41-49. Review.
Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2004.
Kaplan Allen P.Chronic urticaria: pathogenesis and treatment. J Allergy Clin Immunol . 2004; 114(3): 465-474.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .
Skin biopsy. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated October 2007. Accessed June 17, 2008.
Tips to remember: allergic skin conditions. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/allergicskinconditions.stm . Accessed July 7, 2008.
Urticaria—hives. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/skin%5Furticaria.html . Updated June 2008. Accessed July 7, 2008.
- Reviewer: Purvee S. Shah, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/91/2012 -