Hives Treatment in Washington DC
People are seeking hives treatment in Washington DC in increasing numbers. Hives are a common and frustrating problem that prompts individuals to search for hives treatment in Washington DC.
The scientific name for hives is “urticaria.” It denotes frequent breakouts of itchy, red blotches and welts over the skin. The hives can be either flush with the skin or slightly elevated over the surface of the skin. The lesions vary widely in sizes and shapes and can involve any part of the body. Hives may also erupt in multiple parts of the body at the same time in a single day. Each lesion usually resolves within 24 hours, but may last longer. It should be noted that hives may also occur internally such as in the gastrointestinal system where nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain may be the presenting symptom(s).
Patients are usually very desperate in looking for hives treatment in Washington DC as the lesions can be intensely itchy and/or cause a burning sensation. The symptoms can be very severe and very bothersome to an individual. They may interfere with day-to-day activities, affect school and work performance, and disrupt sleep at night.
In some instances, hives are associated with swelling of the soft tissues. The most common places that this associated swelling occurs are usually of the eyelids, lips, tongue, and/or throat. This swelling in the medical nomenclature is known as “angioedema.” If the swelling involves the throat, it can lead to difficulty in swallowing and breathing, which may be life-threatening.
The severity of the lesions can also differ from patient to patient and also vary in an individual patient over time. If the condition lasts less than 6 weeks in duration, it is termed “acute” urticaria. If, however the hives last longer than 6 weeks, it is called “chronic” urticaria. Patients generally need hives treatment in Washington DC when their hives are chronic or recurring and/or angioedema is present. Patients also may desire hives treatment in Washington DC for moderate to severe acute urticaria.
Allergies to foods, medications, personal care products, and environmental agents are the usual cause of acute hives and swellings. Viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections may also result in hives and swellings on certain occasions. It should be noted that in the majority of cases of chronic urticaria and angioedema that the specific cause of the hives or swelling usually remains unidentifiable. In fact, 95% of the time, no cause is found for cases of chronic urticaria. When no identifiable cause is found, the condition is termed “idiopathic” chronic urticaria. This is one of the most common reasons why patients seek hives treatment in Washington DC.
Histamine and related chemical substances are the triggers for hives. These chemicals are responsible for the redness, swelling, itching and pain. The chemicals are usually stored in a type of cell called “mast cells.” When a susceptible person is exposed to allergens or irritants, specific proteins called antibodies cause a release of these chemicals from the mast cells into tissues. Thus, this release of chemicals into the tissues causes the itching, redness, pain, and swelling associated with hives and/or angioedema.
When patients seek hives treatment in Washington DC, the specialty trained allergists at Black & Kletz Allergy approach the problem in a systematic way. The first step is obtaining a comprehensive history of the onset, duration, and severity of the condition with a special focus on the possible exposures to known causes of hives and swellings. The next step is a comprehensive physical examination. Most patients looking for hives treatment in Washington DC also need a variety of laboratory tests as part of the evaluation for possible causes of the condition. Most protocols involve testing for the thyroid, liver, and kidney function as well as screening for autoimmune conditions.
For patients requiring hives treatment in Washington DC, the board certified allergy doctors at Black & Kletz Allergy can offer a variety of treatments. These may include combinations of oral antihistamines, leukotriene antagonists, and/or anti-inflammatory agents. It should be noted that in rare instances, injectable biological medications [e.g. Xolair (omalizumab)] may need to be used in order to control recalcitrant cases of hives.
The board certified allergists at Black & Kletz Allergy have 3 convenient locations in the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland metropolitan region. We have been diagnosing and treating hives and angioedema and providing all types of allergy care to this area for more than 50 years. We treat both pediatric and adult patients. Our offices are located in Washington, DC, McLean, VA (Tysons Corner, VA), and Manassas, VA and all offer on-site parking. For further convenience, our Washington, DC and McLean, VA offices are Metro accessible. In addition, our McLean, VA office location offers a complementary shuttle that runs between this office and the Spring Hill metro station on the silver line. For an appointment, please call one of our offices. Alternatively, you can click Request an Appointment and we will respond within 24 hours by the next business day. If you suffer from hives or swelling episodes, it is our mission to help alleviate your undesirable symptoms, so that you can enjoy a better quality of life.