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    What Are Hives and Angioedema?

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    Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask you many questions to try to find the cause of hives or angioedema. You’ll also get a checkup.

    Your doctor may give you  skin tests to find out if you’re allergic to something.  You may get blood tests, too.

    Treatment

    The best treatment is to identify and remove the trigger. But that’s not always easy.

    Your doctor may prescribe antihistamines to ease your symptoms or help prevent them.

    If you have chronic hives, you may need antihistamines or a combination of medications, such as steroids or a biologic drug.

    For severe hives or angioedema, you may need an injection of epinephrine or a steroid medication.

    5 Simple Tips

    While you wait for the hives and swelling to disappear:

    1. Avoid hot water. Use lukewarm water instead.
    2. Use gentle, mild soap.
    3. Apply cool compresses or wet cloths to the affected areas.
    4. Try to work and sleep in a cool room.
    5. Wear loose-fitting lightweight clothes.

    When Should I Call the Doctor?

    If you have hives or angioedema and any of the following symptoms, call your doctor right away:

    • Dizziness
    • Wheezing
    • Trouble breathing
    • Tightness in the chest
    • Swelling of the tongue, lips, or face

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on May 28, 2015
    1 | 2
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