Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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

Preparing a list of questions for your doctor will help you make the most of your time together. For cold urticaria, some basic questions to ask include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What are other possible causes for 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? Which do you recommend?
  • Do these treatments have any side effects?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • I have other health problems. Are the recommended treatments compatible?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions such as:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have you recently been ill?
  • Do others in your family have similar symptoms?
  • Have you taken any new medications recently?
  • Have you tried any new foods?
  • Have you traveled to a new place?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to 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 affected areas.
  • Avoid whatever you think may have triggered your reaction, such as facing into a cold wind or swimming in cold water.
  • Minimize vigorous activity, which can release more irritants into your skin.
  • Use over-the-counter antihistamines to help relieve the itching.
Nov. 21, 2014

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