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Finding the Right Treatment for Hives

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3 Things to Tell Your Doctor About Your Hives

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS

Managing hives, also known as urticaria, can be challenging, which is why it’s important to build a strong relationship with your dermatologist.

At your next appointment, don’t forget to mention if you’re experiencing these three things.


1. Uncontrolled hives symptoms

Hives are red welts that appear on the skin and tend to be very itchy. If not properly managed, hives can cause frustrating complications, like chronically itchy skin and sleep problems due to discomfort and itch. If your hives are a symptom of a severe allergic reaction, ignoring them could lead to anaphylaxis and throat swelling, both of which can make it hard to breathe and must be treated immediately.

Always tell your doctor if you’re experiencing hives symptoms, especially if you’re sticking to your treatments as prescribed. If you do notice any of these symptoms, your doctor can determine next steps to get your hives better controlled. If your symptoms last more than six weeks despite trying different treatment methods, that’s known as chronic hives, and your dermatologist can prescribe effective treatments specifically developed for this type of hives.

2. Problems sticking to your treatment plan

Managing your hives means you must follow your doctor’s treatment plan and commit to taking medications and other therapies as prescribed. However, it can be challenging to stick with your treatment plan if you’re experiencing side effects or your treatment schedule doesn’t work with your lifestyle.

If you aren’t able to keep to your treatment regimen, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Be honest with your doctor about why you’re having trouble so you can work together to find a solution, which might mean a different drug or topical lotion, dosing schedule, or lifestyle change.

3. Changes in your mood

Dealing with an appearance-altering condition like hives can be tough, and it’s common for people to experience stress, anxiety, and depression as a result. In fact, there’s a scientific link between hives and stress. Stress can cause inflammation throughout the body, including the skin–which can make hives symptoms much worse. Fortunately, there are effective resources available to help you cope with the emotional side effects of life with hives, from medications to meditation.

Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor how you’ve been feeling. He or she can guide you to find the appropriate support and better manage your mental health. Getting outside help to boost your emotional wellbeing doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it means you’re using all the tools in your toolbox to live a fulfilling and healthy life.

Living with hives can be difficult, but connecting with a doctor you trust can make all the difference. If you’re open and honest about what you’re experiencing, you’re on your way to staying in control of your condition.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2022 Feb 9
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.