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Identifying the causes and treatment for Illinois residents suffering from Hives

Dr. Noga Askenazi at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates - Food Allergy Center of Illinois, explains how to Identify the causes and treatment for Illinois residents suffering from Hives
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Allergic reactions can show up in many ways, one of them being hives. Hives are swollen red bumps or patches of skin that often itch or burn. Hives can show up anywhere on the body and vary greatly in size and shape.

What causes hives?

Hives are often the body’s reaction to a specific allergen. When your body has an allergic reaction, the cells have an immune response and release a chemical called histamine. When this happens, plasma leaks out of the blood vessels located in the skin causing hives.

Acute urticaria is hives that are caused by an allergic reaction. Some of the main causes of acute urticarial hives include:

  • Specific foods – the most common are nuts, fish, eggs, berries, milk, and chocolate.
  • Medications – the most common are anti-inflammatory, blood pressure, and painkiller medications.

Diagnosing Hives

When we see a patient for hives, one of the first things we will need to do is determine the cause. This process begins with a series of questions to try to narrow down potential triggers. We may suggest allergy skin testing to determine what may have caused the allergic reaction. Blood work may also be done to rule out illness.

Treating Hives

One of the first ways to treat hives is to provide relief from the symptoms. This is done with the help of antihistamines. There are both over the counter and prescription antihistamines. We will be able to help you determine which medication is best. Taking them regularly can help prevent hives from forming. We will then work with you to take steps to remove the trigger.

It is always important to call our office if you experience difficulty breathing, dizziness, wheezing, swelling of the face, tongue, or lips, or rapid drop in blood pressure, as they may be a sign of anaphylaxis. Severe outbreaks of hives may require an injection of epinephrine.

If you are experiencing hives, there are ways to manage the symptoms before receiving medical attention. Cool compresses and wet clothes can provide relief, as will wearing loose-fitting clothing.

If you are an Illinois resident and would like more information about treatment for hives and other allergies, call us today to set up an appointment.

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Dr. Noga Askenazi, Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Dr. Noga Askenazi | Dr. Eugenia Hahn | Meredith Cirrincione

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, AMITA, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.

Dr. Eugenia Hahn is a highly recognized board certified allergist and immunologist who treats patients of all ages. Her areas of special interest are food allergy, eczema, and asthma. She is president of the Illinois Society of Allergy & Asthma, a National Committee leader of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology working on new treatment options for patients. She is a consultant for Advocate, Northwestern, AMITA, Northwest Community healthcare systems amongst many others. Her patients mean everything to her as she takes pride in finding the why behind the problem. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.