What are Hives?

Hives, also called urticaria, are small welts that form on the skin, typically as a result of an allergic reaction. Hives are not typically dangerous – however, there are many causes of hives, and you should promptly consult a dermatology certified provider if you experience them.

What Are the Symptoms of Hives?

Hives are primarily itchy, red, and stinging. They may also look like small, raised, skin-colored welts or wheals and may vary in size from very small to large. Hives may be acute (meaning they subside within six weeks or even one day) or chronic (meaning they last for longer than six weeks). Certain types of hives can affect the deeper layers of the skin, causing swelling in areas like the eyes or lips. This type of hives requires immediate attention.

What Causes Hives?

Hives can be experienced by anyone at any time. They are typically triggered by an allergen which you may or may not be aware of. Some of the most common allergens that can trigger hives include:

  • Pets and animals
  • Stress
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Pollen or mold
  • Medications
  • Food allergies
  • Infection
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Exercise
  • Sun exposure

In some cases, there is no known trigger. Hives can appear within minutes of being exposed to an allergen, but they may take as long as a few hours to emerge. In any case, they can be extremely uncomfortable, especially when they don’t go away.

Hives Treatment Options

Hives should always be assessed by a medical professional. During an appointment, our Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner and Practice Owner, Ryan Patterson, can assess your skin and discuss any possible causes. Allergy tests or a skin biopsy may sometimes be used to narrow down any triggers. Treatment for hives can be as simple as a topical or injectable treatment. A few of the most common include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Omalizumab (Xolair)


If you have an immediate concern, you want to find quality care as soon as possible. Our office takes walk-in appointments and will be happy to address your concerns and offer you immediate treatment suggestions and medical care.


Managing Hives

Along with your treatment from our dermatology certified provider, you can take steps to soothe and manage hives at home. Keeping the area cool can help reduce any discomfort – we recommend a cold shower or cool, damp washcloth. Additionally, keep the skin protected from sun exposure and avoid wearing restrictive clothing. If you continue to experience hives or they come back, you should follow up with our team to explore possible allergies and consider getting an EpiPen.

Schedule a Consultation

At Biltmore Dermatology, we can provide prompt care and help you find relief from mild and severe cases of hives alike. To meet with our dermatology certified provider and learn more, contact our Terre Haute, IN office or walk in now for an appointment.


Ryan is State Licensed and Nationally Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner (NP-C) by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Additionally, he is board certified as a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board. He has 20+ years of Dermatology Experience.

Meet The Team

“I had a very questionable spot on my cheek that I needed to have checked out and I went to Biltmore Dermatology for answers. The spot was removed and all my post care was taken care of. It was a great experience.” – Jenny N.

“I absolutely LOVE Biltmore Dermatology.. From the time I enter the office until I exit. This staff ROCKS. Maddy u are amazing. Thank you for all your help with everything.” – Shelly W.

“I want to thank Dr. Biltmore for seeing me today to help me finally get on the the path to healing my nurse Rose was excellent I felt so comfortable you guys were awesome I was so embarrassed and you guys made a huge difference in my life today. !! Thank you again so very much!!” – Michelle G.




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