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Hives Specialist

Lev Barsky, MD -  - Allergist

Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center

Lev Barsky, MD

Allergist & Asthma Specialist located in Brooklyn, NY

Hives are a common skin condition, affecting about 20% of people in the United States at some point during their life. Though hives are a common allergy symptom, you can develop an itchy rash from any number of causes. The Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, Dr. Lev Barsky, in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, can determine if allergies are the cause of your hives and develop a plan to ease your symptoms. To schedule an appointment with Lev Barsky, MD, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Hives Q&A

What are hives?

Hives, also known as urticaria, is a type of skin reaction that causes red, swollen, bumpy, itchy patches of skin. They look a lot like bug bites, but hives usually appear and disappear quickly.

However, you can have chronic hives that appear regularly for months or years. 

Hives develop when your cells release histamine, an immune system chemical that helps your body fight off harmful substances. Histamine is responsible for many of the symptoms associated with allergies. 

Hives may be one of the symptoms you develop if you have:

  • Food allergies
  • Drug allergies
  • Allergies to insect stings or bites
  • Allergies to latex
  • Environmental allergies (e.g., dust, mold, pollen, pet dander)

However, your body may also release histamine in response to stress, too much pressure on the skin, or sunlight. Hives may occur with an infection such as strep throat or COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of hives?

Hives may appear anywhere on your body and may last minutes or days. Typically, hives cause raised, itchy welts. These welts may be red or skin-colored and vary in size and shape. 

The itchiness of your hives may range from mild to severe. In some cases, hives may cause a stinging or burning sensation. 

When should I seek medical care for hives?

If you have hives that cause intense itching, cover a large portion of your body, or are the result of an allergy, you should schedule a consultation at Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, Dr. Lev Barsky.

Dr. Barsky also recommends you schedule an appointment if your hives, even mild cases, fail to go away within a few days of at-home care. 

During your evaluation, Dr. Barsky asks detailed questions about your hives, including when they appeared and what you think caused them. He also reviews your medical history, examines your skin, and runs lab work to rule out an illness or infection.

If he suspects an allergy is responsible for your hives, he may perform allergy testing.

How are hives treated?

Initially, Dr. Barsky focuses on easing your hives symptoms. That might include anti-itching lotions and an antihistamine. For severe hives, he may prescribe a corticosteroid medication to reduce inflammation and discomfort. 

If allergies are the cause of your hives, Dr. Barsky talks to you about your allergy and treatment options. He may also prescribe an auto-injector or epinephrine pen if your allergies cause a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Don’t ignore your itchy hives. Call Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, Dr. Lev Barsky, or schedule an appointment online today.