Hives are known medically as “urticaria”. It usually presents as itchy, red patches/swellings on the skin. It is a common skin problem that affects about 20% of the general population. The common hives are generally mild and self-limiting. In severe cases, the patient may have breathing difficulty, low blood pressure and dizziness.

Are there different types of Hives?

There are 2 main types of urticaria:

  • Acute urticaria is hives lasting less than 6 weeks and is usually triggered by drugs, food, viral infection, insect bites and contact irritants.
  • Chronic urticaria is hives lasting longer than 6 weeks and the cause is usually more difficult to identify. According to published data, 80% of chronic urticaria have no known cause.

    Am I allergic to something? What test must I do?

    Your Dermatologist will go through your medical history and examine you clinically to help establish the diagnosis. He will plan and organize the relevant allergy test when needed. A skin biopsy may also be needed to help confirm or rule out suspected conditions.

    How to treat Hives and can it be cured?

    When an allergy reaction is confirmed, the treatment is avoidance! Dr Wong will use antihistamine to treat your urticaria symptomatically so that your quality of life can improve. Acute urticaria will usually subside and be cured once the allergy is identified and avoided. Chronic urticarial is more challenging and requires long and continual treatment. In some difficult cases, specialized medications e.g. Cyclosporin, Dapsone, Xolaire will have to be used to ease the problem.

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      Dr. Wong Soon Tee

      Consultant Dermatologist

      Dr. Wong Soon Tee

      Consultant Dermatologist

      Care and Professionalism Refined by
      Over 30 Years of Dermatology Experience

      • MBBS, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore
      • MRCP. Member of Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom
      • FAMS, Fellow of Academy of Medicine, Singapore
      • Adjunct Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore
      • Visiting Consultant, University Dermatology Division, National University Hospital
      • Visiting Consultant, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Centre, National University Hospital

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