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3 Ways to Manage Your Chronic Hives

3 Ways to Manage Your Chronic Hives

If you have a single hives outbreak that resolves on its own, you’re unlikely to need medical attention. However, if you’re dealing with repeated bouts of hives, it’s best to consult with a specialist.

At Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, allergy and immunology specialist Dr. Reinhard Kage diagnoses and treats immune-related, and allergic diseases and conditions such as chronic hives. In this post, our team describes ways that you can manage or prevent hives outbreaks. 

1. Medication

Different medications can be very useful in helping you manage chronic hives:

Antihistamines

Antihistamines work by blocking the action of histamine, which relieves symptoms of hives. Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as cetirizine, loratadine, or fexofenadine, are often effective for managing symptoms. If they aren’t sufficient, Dr. Kage may prescribe an antihistamine like desloratadine.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory medications that are effective at managing chronic hives. Depending on your situation, Dr. Kage may prescribe oral or nasal steroids. 

Leukotriene modifiers

Leukotriene receptor antagonists are designed to block the action of leukotrienes, substances your body releases in reaction to allergens or irritants. Although primarily used for asthma management, these medications — which include montelukast (Singulair) — can be beneficial in treating hives.

Biologics 

Xolair, a monoclonal antibody treatment, has shown effectiveness in managing chronic hives. It typically clears hives within one to two weeks.

2. Low-histamine diet

Histamine is present in a wide variety of foods, some of which contain very high amounts. Many patients dealing with chronic hives report improved symptoms when following a restricted-histamine diet. 

Histamine-rich foods can trigger or intensify symptoms when you have hives. By restricting certain foods, you may reduce the frequency and severity of hives outbreaks. Foods highest in histamine that tend to cause problems include:

Swapping these foods out for low-histamine alternatives may help rein in hives symptoms. 

3. Lifestyle adjustments

Making a few changes in your life can also ease hive symptoms. 

Reduce stress

Stress is a known trigger for hives. Make an effort to reduce stress, and incorporate stress-relieving activities to balance the stressors you can’t remove. Adding simple activities like walking in a park, listening to soothing music, and reading can go a long way in helping you decompress from daily stresses. 

Wear loose clothing

Tight-fitting clothes can aggravate chronic hives. When you have an outbreak, choose looser clothing made of smooth texture to avoid further irritating your skin. 

Stay cool

Hot temperatures can trigger or worsen hives in some people. This can make you particularly vulnerable to outbreaks during the summer months. Take steps to keep your skin as cool as possible. 

When to see a specialist

If you’re struggling with chronic hives, a physician experienced with immune-related conditions can help you better manage your symptoms. Dr. Kage can perform a thorough exam to rule out potential causes such as medication or infection. 

In some cases, hives are secondary to other conditions, such as thyroid disease. If this is the case, properly managing the primary disease may improve chronic hives. 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut if you need help getting your chronic hives under control. Give us a call at our office in Manchester, Connecticut, or make an appointment request online. Let us help you find the right solution!

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