Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Physical exam and medical history

Your doctor will ask you a number of questions and do a physical exam. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a diary to keep track of:

  • Your activities
  • Any medications or herbal supplements you take
  • What you eat and drink
  • Where hives appear and how long individual hives last

Tests

Although it isn't always possible to determine the underlying cause of chronic hives, your doctor will want to learn as much as possible about what might be causing your symptoms. Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your doctor may order one or more tests, including:

  • Blood tests. Your doctor may ask for blood tests to check for levels and function of specific blood cells and proteins.
  • Allergy tests. Your doctor may use skin or blood tests to see whether your hives may be caused by an allergic reaction, especially if the hives seem related to specific triggers.
  • Tests to rule out underlying conditions. You may need additional tests to make certain your hives are not caused by an underlying health condition, such as hepatitis, lupus or thyroid disease.
Sep. 17, 2011