Many individuals in the Washington DC metropolitan area break out in hives (i.e., urticaria) every year. Hives are red, itchy blotches and welts that appear on the skin. They can however affect any part of the body. They can be of various sizes and shapes and be extremely itchy. Hundreds of not thousands of people seek hives treatment in Washington DC every year. Hives can also be very disfiguring, especially when they affect the face and neck. Due to their annoying nature, many individuals seek hives treatment in Washington, DC. Individual lesions usually subside within 24 hours, but one can break out in multiple crops of lesions in a single day, making the condition very bothersome and forcing people to search for hives treatment in Washington DC. In addition to their Washington DC office location, the board-certified allergy specialists at Black & Kletz Allergy have additional office locations in McLean VA (Tysons Corner VA) and Manassas VA. Patients who suffer from hives look for hives treatment Washington DC inhabitants trust, like the allergists at Black & Kletz Allergy.
Sometimes the hives are also associated with swelling of soft tissues (i.e., angioedema). The swelling usually involves the eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, and feet, but can occur anywhere in the body including internal organs such as the stomach and intestines. Swelling in the stomach and/or intestines may cause the individual to experience abdominal pain and/or diarrhea. Facial swellings lead to an extreme unsightly appearance making people miss work and school. The disfigurement makes people look for emergency angioedema and hives treatment in Washington DC. If the swellings involve the throat, they can cause difficulty in swallowing and difficulty in breathing, which can be life-threatening. If this occurs, immediate treatment in Washington, DC is needed. For this reason, patients with angioedema are often prescribed self-injectable epinephrine devices (e.g., EpiPen, Auvi-Q, Adrenaclick). If an individual uses their self-injectable epinephrine device, they must go to the closest emergency room for subsequent evaluation and treatment.
If hives last less than 6 weeks, they are called acute urticaria. If they last longer than 6 weeks, they are classified as chronic urticaria. Common causes of hives in Washington DC include allergic sensitivity to foods, medications and/or insect stings. In some cases, the cause is very obvious, like breaking out in hives within a few minutes or hours after eating a new food, taking a new medication, starting to use a new personal care product, or an insect sting. In other cases, the cause is not immediately apparent. Infections, especially viral infections, are a common cause of hives and swellings.
Most individuals who break out in rashes seek treatments for suspected hives in Washington DC to figure out the possible cause of the condition. Before hives treatment in Washington DC is started, every attempt should be made to identify the triggering and aggravating factors for hives and swellings. The board-certified allergists, like the ones at Black & Kletz Allergy, usually begin the process by obtaining a comprehensive history and physical examination. Essential information includes the number, frequency, and distribution of hives over the body. The duration of the disorder as well as the association with any foods, medications, vaccines, etc. will sometimes provide clues to the cause of the condition. A history of infections involving the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems may be very helpful. Occasionally, individuals in Washington DC seek treatment for hives at the same time (clusters), making an infectious cause more likely. The next step after the history and physical examination would likely be laboratory tests. The laboratory tests are obtained in order to look for any abnormality of the functions of organs such as the liver, kidney, thyroid, etc. However, in a vast majority of cases, no definite cause can be identified in spite of all the tests. It is termed “idiopathic” when no specific cause can be established. This is the case in about 95% of chronic hives.
The chemical responsible for the itching and rash is histamine in most instances. The first step in hives treatment in Washington DC is beginning an antihistamine medication by mouth on a regular basis. Sometimes more than one antihistamine and/or in higher than regular doses may be required to adequately control hives in Washington DC. If antihistamines do not adequately relieve the hives and/or itching, other medications can be added to the antihistamines. Occasionally, monthly injections of a biological medication may be needed for hives treatment in Washington DC. Black & Kletz Allergy has board-certified allergists and trained staff to offer hives treatment Washington DC can trust, as residents of the Washington DC metropolitan area have done for more than 50 years.