Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Chronic Hives

by Eileen Bailey Health Writer

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

Dermatologist inspecting patient skin

You can manage hives

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.

Allergic Reaction

Question one

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

Lupus Erythematosus

Question two

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.

Doctor and patient reviewing health history

Question three

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.

Doctor and patient talking treatment options

Question four

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.

Daily Food Diary

Question five

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.


Question six

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.

prescription medication

Question seven

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.

raw apple cider vinegar

Question eight

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.

picking detergent

Question nine

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.

Natural oatmeal bath

Question ten

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.

Eileen Bailey
Meet Our Writer
Eileen Bailey

Eileen Bailey is an award-winning author of six books on health and parenting topics and freelance writer specializing in health topics including ADHD, Anxiety, Sexual Health, Skin Care, Psoriasis and Skin Cancer. Her wish is to provide readers with relevant and practical information on health conditions to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.