Hives diagnosis, treatment and prescriptions

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Hives Treatment FAQ

Can a Dermatologist treat Hives at DermCafé?

Absolutely. Hives are easily identifiable on photos and have many effective treatments 

What are the symptoms?

The most common signs (what you see) of hives are: 

  • Slightly raised, pink or red swellings. 

  • Welts that occur alone or in a group, or connect over a large area. 

  • Skin swelling that subsides or goes away within 24 hours at one spot but may appear at another spot. 

As for symptoms (what you feel), hives usually itch. They sometimes sting or hurt.
Some people always get hives in the same spot or spots on their body. These people often have a trigger (what causes the hives). Every time they are exposed to that trigger, they get hives.

What causes hives?

An allergic reaction can trigger hives. Things that commonly trigger an allergic reaction include: Foods: Fruits (especially citrus fruits), milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish 

  • Medicines 

  • Insect bites and stings 

  • Animals 

  • Pollen 

  • Touching something to which you are allergic, such as latex 

  • Allergy shots


​Other causes of hives are: 

  • Infections, including colds and infections caused by some bacteria or fungi 

  • Some illnesses, including a type of vasculitis, lupus, and thyroid disease 

  • Exposure to sun (solar urticaria), heat, cold, or water 

  • Exercise 

  • Stress 

  • Pressure on the skin, such as from sitting too long 

  • Contact with chemicals 

  • Scratching the skin 

  • Hives can happen within minutes of exposure to the trigger. Or you can have a delayed reaction of more than two hours.

How is it treated?

For a mild or moderate case of hives, the most common treatment is a non-sedating (does not cause drowsiness) antihistamine. Antihistamines relieve symptoms like itching. 

Antihistamines are also prescribed to treat chronic (lasting longer than six weeks) hives. When prescribed for chronic hives, you take this medicine every day to prevent hives from forming. There are many antihistamines on the market. Some make you drowsy, and some do not. 

Medicines that dermatologists prescribe to treat hives include: 

  • Antihistamines. 

  • Dapsone. This is an antibiotic that can also relieve redness and swelling 

  • Omalizumab. This injectable medicine can help patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU), a type of hives that can last for months or even years. 

  • Other medicines that fight inflammation. These treat redness and swelling.

What is DermCafé?

Connect with an Online Dermatologist today! 

We’re an online Dermatology Centre that aims to provide all Canadians with convenient and modern dermatology care.

Simply submit your symptom info and skin photos online and connect with an online dermatologist at your convenience.

Visit our How This Work page to learn more. 

Step 1

Submit your Symptom Info and Photos online

Step 2

Book your Online Appointment

Step 4

Access Your Online Results Anytime

Choose your preferred Pharmacy for prescription delivery

Download DermCafé Info Sheets, bloodwork forms and Sick Notes, and book follow-up appointments when needed

Step 3

Audio/Video Visit with Your Dermatologist

OHIP/MSP-covered visits require a Referral by another Physician. Simply book a Video Visit with our Family Doctor first

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