Hives (also known as urticaria) are characterized by pale red bumps on the surface of the skin.  They can be as small as a pencil eraser or join together in clusters of hives to form large wheals or plaques.  Hives are itchy and can also cause a stinging sensation.  Hives can occur on any part of the body but are common on the face, lips, tongue, throat and ears. Acute hives last for less than six weeks (often flaring instantly and subsiding within several hours).  Chronic hives stretch out or recur for more than six weeks.

Angioedema is similar to hives, but the swelling occurs beneath the skin instead of on the surface. Angioedema can cause deep swelling around the eyes and lips and sometimes of the genitals, hands, and feet. It generally lasts longer than hives, but the swelling usually goes away in less than 24 hours.

Hives Treatment

Hives and angioedema most often occur as a result of allergies.  Topical creams, antihistamines, and steroids can help manage the symptoms, but they do not get to the source of the problem.  If you have sustained or recurring hives, contact us to find an AllergyEasy physician in your area to discuss allergy treatment using sublingual immunotherapy (under-the-tongue allergy drops).

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.