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Doctor insights on: Urticaria Diagnosis

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Dr. Oscar Novick
3 doctors shared insights

Hives (Definition)

Also known as urticaria, hives are an outbreak of red bumps or wheals that appear quickly after exposure to certain allergens (foods, medications, other substances). Hives vary in size, are itchy, can burn, and can last for up to ...Read more


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Recent diagnosis w/autoimmune disease & skin biopsy result: urticaria or mast cell disease. Shouldn't biopsy give more definitive diagnosis?

Recent diagnosis w/autoimmune disease & skin biopsy result: urticaria or mast cell disease. Shouldn't biopsy  give more definitive diagnosis?

Hard to tell: Mast cells are the cells that release histamine in the body. This is what happens in urticaria, so one will see mast cells in biopsies of urticarial (hive-like) lesions. Mast cells can also be found in increased numbers in people with mastocytosis. Thus the biopsies may be similar. As stated by my colleague, the clinical history can be key to the diagnosis. Talk with your doc. ...Read more

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How can I treat urticaria?

How can I treat urticaria?

Antihistamines: Antihistamines are the primary treatment for hives. Long acting ones like zyrtec or Allegra (fexofenadine) are often effective and easier to take than short acting ones like benedryl. If the hives are persistent or recurrent, see your doctor. ...Read more

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How can I manage urticaria?

How can I manage urticaria?

Antihistamines: The primary way to manage hives (urticaria) is with over the counter antihistamines (cetirizine) or prescription antihistamines (hydroxyzine). If your hives have been present for more than 3-4 weeks, i would recommend seeing your physician asap. ...Read more

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What causes urticaria to occur?

Histamine: Urticaria is caused by the release of histamine from mast cells located in the skin. This can occur due to a variety of mechanisms, with allergy being the most common acute cause of hives. ...Read more

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Who dr do you see for urticaria?

Some simple solution: Many types, but an easy cure without asignificant side-effects is the combination of Hydroxyzine (50mg) at night with rantidine (300mg). Most people experience significant relief, almost immediately. Both of these drugs are $4.00/mo at target, walmart, kroger's, etc. ...Read more

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What exactly is cold urticaria?

Hives: Cold urticaria is the development of urticaria or hives when one is exposed to a cold environment or other cold exposure (drink, ice). ...Read more

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Can cold urticaria be temporary?

Can cold urticaria be temporary?

Sometimes: Cold urticaria is usually a chronic problem but sometimes it can be temporary if triggered by another problem which resolves. An allergy evaluation can be helpful. ...Read more