You'll probably first visit your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin diseases (dermatologist) or to an allergy specialist.
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 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?
July 06, 2017
- Hives. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/e---h/hives. Accessed April 25, 2017.
- Hives (urticaria). American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/skin-allergies/hives/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed April 25, 2017.
- Khan DA. Chronic urticaria: Standard management and patient education. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 25, 2017.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed April 25, 2017.
- Khan DA. Chronic urticaria: Treatment of refractory symptoms. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 25, 2017.
- Bernstein JA, et al., eds. The diagnosis and management of acute and chronic urticarial: 2014 update. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2014;133:1270.
- Darlenski R, et al. Chronic urticaria as a systemic disease. Clinics in Dermatology. 2014;32:420.
- Casale TB. Omalizumab for chronic urticaria. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 2014;2:118.