Hives services offered in Hillsborough and Annandale, NJ

Hives are a common and intensely itchy skin condition that arises release of histamine from your mass cells. Though hives usually run their course, they turn into a recurrent, chronic problem for 30% of people. At Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center, Edwin Schulhafer, MD, determines the cause of your hives and provides customized treatment, including advanced monoclonal antibodies when needed for chronic hives. If you need symptom relief, call the office in Hillsborough Township or Annandale, New Jersey, or book an appointment online today.

What are hives?

Hives (urticaria) appear as raised areas of skin that are well-defined and extremely itchy. The welts are usually red, but they temporarily turn white if you push on them.

The raised areas vary in size and can change shapes. Several hives may run together, creating one large welt.

As hives run their course, some fade away while new hives appear; as a result, your hives may last days or longer. You have chronic hives when the welts keep reappearing for six weeks or longer.

What symptoms accompany hives?

Hives are itchy, but they don’t cause pain. However, hives often appear with a painful condition called angioedema. Angioedema occurs when fluids build up in the tissues below your hives. The excess fluid causes swelling, redness, and pain.

What causes hives?

Hives commonly occur during an allergic reaction. The allergens most likely to cause hives include:

  • Pollen
  • Food
  • Poison ivy
  • Insect venom
  • Medications


Health conditions and non-allergen triggers may also result in hives. A few of the most common causes include:


  • Viral infections
  • Chronic stress
  • Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS)
  • Changes in body temperature
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Contact and pressure


You may end up with hives from pressure placed on the bottom of your feet or the pressure caused by wearing a tight belt. Scratching your skin is an example of contact that can trigger hives.

How are hives diagnosed?


Your Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center provider diagnoses hives with a physical exam and visual evaluation of your skin. However, they need information that helps them identify what caused the hives.


They may ask about your activities, medications you take, and any foods you ate shortly before the hives appeared. 


How are hives treated?

If allergy testing confirms an allergen, your provider recommends allergy treatment, depending on the type of allergy and severity of your symptoms.

A mild case of hives may only need medication to relieve your itching while you wait for them to run their course and disappear.

Chronic hives need more intensive treatment with antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medications. If these medications don't help, your provider may prescribe a monoclonal antibody called Xolair®. Xolair is an injectable medication for treating chronic hives.

If you need relief from itching caused by hives, call Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center or book an appointment online today.