Hives

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hives are red and sometimes itchy bumps on your skin. An allergic reaction to a drug or food usually causes them. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at hives in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Hives are raised bumps caused by irritation in the upper layers of the skin. They can be pale or red in color and are very itchy.

Usually hives only affect the skin, but sometimes they can be part of a serious allergic reaction. When this happens, you may have other symptoms such as dizziness, stomach cramps, swelling or trouble breathing. If you think you are having a serious allergic reaction, go to the emergency room.

Hives can be caused by many things, including:

Colds

Bladder infections or other types of infection

Allergies to food, particles in the air, or things that touch your skin

Insect stings or bites

Medicines

Heat, cold or pressure, and

Exercise

In many cases, no specific cause is found.

The most important treatment is avoiding the things that cause your hives, if your doctor finds out what is causing them. Your doctor may have you take medicines called antihistamines, if needed. Sometimes other prescription medicines also are used to treat hives.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.