Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Chronic Hives

Eileen Bailey | May 25, 2017

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Chronic hives can be a confusing condition. Sometimes they are caused by an underlying autoimmune disorder, but other times there is no apparent cause.

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You can manage hives

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Even when the cause isn’t known, there are ways you can manage your hives. Talk to your doctor about treatments and lifestyle changes. Here are questions to ask your doctor.

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Question one

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Am I allergic to something? Chronic hives aren’t usually caused by an allergy, but it is important to rule out allergic reactions.

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Question two

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Do I have an autoimmune disorder? Chronic hives can sometimes be a result of an autoimmune disorder, such as lupus. It’s important to know if you have an autoimmune disorder — and which one — so you can receive the proper treatment.

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Question three

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How long will I have hives? If your doctor isn’t sure what is causing your hives, there is a good chance he won’t know the answer, but he should be able to give you an idea of what to expect, based on your health history.

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Question four

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Will they keep coming back? If your hives return, your doctor can work with you in developing a treatment plan to help manage your hives and reduce the frequency and severity.

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Question five

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What are common triggers? Everyone will have different triggers. Your doctor might ask you to keep a diary to find out what your triggers are. Some common triggers include stress, a sudden change of temperature, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, intense exercise and hormonal changes.

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Question six

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Are there complications I should watch for? Most people don’t have serious complications, but some people can develop angioedema. Your doctor can tell you about symptoms of angioedema to watch for and discuss what symptoms warrant calling his office immediately.

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Question seven

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What are my treatment options? Medications such as antihistamines help relieve the itch. There are also prescription medications that might help. Find out what your options are and ask about any potential side effects.

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Question eight

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Are there home remedies? Some people find relief using natural or home remedies, but these also have the potential to irritate your skin or cause a reaction. It is always important to discuss any home remedies with your doctor before trying them.

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Question nine

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Are there lifestyle changes I should make that can help reduce the hives? Your doctor might be able to suggest lifestyle changes based on your individual situation. Some common lifestyle changes include stress reduction, avoiding certain foods, wearing comfortable clothing, and avoiding harsh soap and detergents.

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Question ten

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What can I do to relieve the itching and burning? An overall treatment plan to manage chronic hives is important, but many people take a cool bath with colloidal oatmeal, use cold compresses, over-the-counter itch relief or a baking soda paste applied to the skin. Your doctor might have additional ideas for relieving the itch.