Hives is known medically as “Urticaria”. It usually presents as itchy, red patches/swelling on the skin. It is a common skin problem that affects about 20% of the general population. The common hives are generally mild and self limitng. In severe cases, patient may have breathing difficulty, low blood pressure and giddiness.
Are there different types of Hives?
There are 2 main types of urticaria: acute and chronic urticaria. Acute urticaria are hives lasting less than 6 weeks and is usually triggered by drugs, food, viral infection, insect bites and contact irritants. On the other hand, chronic urticaria are hives lasting longer than 6 weeks and the cause is usually more difficult to identify. According to publish data, 80% of chronic urticaria have no known cause.
Dr Wong will take your detailed medical history, examine you clinically to help establish the diagnosis. Thereafter, Dr Wong will plan and organise the relevant allergy test. A skin biopsy may also be needed to help confirm or rule out suspected conditions.
When allergy is confirmed, the treatment is avoidance! Dr Wong will use anti-histamine to treat the routine acute and chronic urticaria. In some difficult cases, specialised medications will have to be used to ease the problem.