Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You'll probably first visit your primary care doctor. But he or she may then refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin diseases (dermatologist) or to an allergy specialist.

Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For chronic hives, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms?
  • How long will these hives last?
  • What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • Do these treatments have any side effects?
  • Do I need prescription medication, or can I use over-the-counter medications to treat the condition?
  • Does the medicine you're prescribing me have a generic version?
  • I have other health problems. Is the treatment you recommend compatible with those conditions?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions such as:

  • What symptoms do you have, and when did you first begin experiencing them?
  • Do you have tightness in your chest or throat, nausea, or difficulty breathing?
  • Have you had any viral or bacterial infections recently?
  • What medications, herbal remedies and supplements do you take?
  • Have you tried any new foods recently?
  • Have you traveled to a new place?
  • Do you have a family history of hives or angioedema?
  • What, if anything, appears to improve or worsen your symptoms?

What you can do in the meantime

If you're experiencing mild hives, these tips may help relieve your symptoms:

  • Avoid irritating the affected areas.
  • Cool the affected area with a shower, fan, cool cloth or soothing lotion.
  • Wear loose, light clothing.
  • Use over-the-counter antihistamines to help relieve the itching.
Jun. 13, 2014

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