Have your hives assessed and investigated urgently

Urticaria is the medical name for hives; an itchy, raised rash caused by a reaction to something. It can appear anywhere on the body and usually presents as red, raised bumps, or patches, on one area, or spread over the body.  The rash might feel itchy, it might sting, or it might burn. It’s important to assess the severity of the reaction in the first instance. This will ensure any urgent medical treatment is received.

An immediate antihistamine might be necessary, but we will treat the condition holistically to prevent it from returning. This means we will look at potential aggravating factors that may be involved here, with a view to helping you avoid them.

Common triggers include certain foods, chemicals, medications, pollen, and insect bites. When patients present with urticaria, we’ll assess whether your urticaria is symptomatic of a more serious, underlying condition. For example, celiac disease, diabetes, lupus can all cause hives.


  • Detailed history of your skin concern
  • Total skin examination
  • Holistic assessment of your health
  • Diagnosis
  • Discussion of treatment options
  • Personalised treatment plan
  • Treatment
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When urticaria causes a severe allergic reaction, anaphylaxis can occur. This is a medical emergency and you must ring 999. Urticaria should always be assessed with urgency to ensure lives are not at risk. When your urticaria is not an emergency situation, it could signal an underlying, and possibly serious, disease. We will look into all possible causes of your rash, when you visit us.

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Common triggers are shellfish, peanuts, eggs, cheese, pollen, particular fabrics, and some chemicals. There are also food additives that cause urticaria.

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Stress and alcohol, separately, or together, can worsen your urticaria flare up, but it’s also important to try not to scratch the rash is has caused.

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Once you’re sure your urticaria doesn’t require urgent medical attention, you could try applying a cold compress to your rash. Heat might increase your discomfort.

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The trigger for your urticaria may be elusive, but there will be one. Sometimes simply feeling a bit stressed, having a cold, or exercise can bring on a bout of hives.

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You can cause further skin damage if you scratch your hives.

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Some studies have shown that women may be more prone to urticaria.

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Some antihistamines might make you feel sleepy. If we are prescribing an antihistamine for you, we will advise you of whether or not you might feel drowsy after taking it.

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