Reviewed by Eugene Choo, MD
Eliminating or avoiding an identified source or trigger of the hives is the best way to treat them. In the case of chronic hives, the cause is frequently autoimmune rather than an external trigger, so medications are the best treatment.



In most cases, non-sedating antihistamines are prescribed as a first line of defense and can greatly reduce itching. If symptoms persist, stronger antihistamines in addition to H2 antagonists, tricyclic antidepressants or leukotriene modifiers can be added. In severe cases, an oral steroid may be prescribed, but it should be used cautiously and tapered off as soon as symptoms are under control because of the possibility of serious side effects.


Avoidance of Things that Make Hives Worse

Patients known to get hives should avoid things that make them worse such as alcohol, stress, heat or exertion.


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