Hives Specialist

Century City Allergy

Board-Certified Allergist located in Century City, Los Angeles, CA

Hives are clusters of red or white welts that can develop anywhere on your body. Dr. Marc Meth at Century City Allergy in Los Angeles, California, treats this common allergic condition on a regular basis. To learn how he can help you with an outbreak of hives, call or book online today.

Hives Q & A

Century City Allergy

What are hives?

Hives, or urticaria, are red, itchy blotches called wheals that break out suddenly on your skin in response to an allergic reaction or autoimmune response. Common symptoms of hives are:

  • Swelling
  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Mild to intense itching
  • Stinging

Hives are usually oval or round. They can be quite small or merge and spread out over several inches anywhere on the body. Hives turn white in the center when pressed and may appear and disappear throughout the day.

Hives are a nuisance, but not considered dangerous unless they block your airways and threaten breathing.

What causes hives?

Your body develops hives in response to what it perceives as an attack from an invader. Your body secretes a substance called histamine to defend itself against this attack.

Histamine provokes your capillaries and causes them to discharge fluid. When this fluid pools under the skin, hives form.

Dr. Meth is diligent about identifying what triggers your hives. The usual suspects include:

  • Food allergies
  • Medications
  • Cold
  • Pet dander
  • Stress
  • Autoimmune illness

How long do hives last?

Hives usually resolve on their own: within minutes, hours, or over the course of a day or two. All you need to do is watch and wait. Occasionally though, episodes of hives may last much longer.

If you experience a severe outbreak of hives or trouble breathing, seek medical help immediately.

If treatment is needed, what options are available?

It’s likely your hives will respond well to antihistamine medications. When a case of hives is quite severe, Dr. Marc Meth may occasionally prescribe oral steroids or an immune modulator named Xolair®.

If you experience hives frequently, skin testing can sometimes identify the cause. The results of these tests tell you which allergens or stressors to avoid in the future.

Dr. Meth is an expert at managing and treating hives. He has appeared on numerous television programs to discuss this condition, including the EmmyⓇ Award-winning daytime talk show The Doctors. Don’t suffer needlessly. Call Century City Allergy in Los Angeles, California or book online today.