Main Article on Hives and Angioedema Question: Please describe your experience with hives. Submit Your Comment Comment from: Just Lucky I Guess, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 12 I first experienced hives 30 years ago (1991), and always on my entire stomach. This occurred daily for 5 years, and it itched with a vengeance. No cause was ever determined (multiple dermatologists and allergists were consulted). And then one day, it just disappeared, and it never returned (I have been hives-free now for 25 years). I wish all of you folks to have the same result that I did. Best of luck. Comment from: Amandj, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 20 I started having chronic hives when I was 15. They have continued on and off all my life (now 69 year old). I've tried everything! Trials on multiple antihistamines, prednisone, cyclosporine, and Xolair. I now believe the mystery is solved. I was diagnosed with an iron deficiency. Supplemental iron appears to have solved the problem; 54 years later. Comment from: Ros, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 13 I first began getting hives 12 years ago. I was in a bad marriage. Doctors used me as a human guinea pig. I was on prednisone, and so many medications I lost count. I gained over 50 pounds, and began having other health problems. The hives lasted for two years (surprisingly left after my husband did). They have now returned. I have had them for three weeks. A 6-day prednisone prescription helped but I am afraid to go back on permanently. Finished prescription, and hives are back now, but worse. Comment from: Helena J, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 08 With 2019 office renovations and black mold on my office wall, my face, neck, cleavage and the crease under my tummy broke out in spots and welts. When filter coffee is brewed, my lips and nose start burning, my chin itches, my throat stings inside, my heart races and I cough. The diagnosis was hives from fungus, but lots of antihistamine keeps it at bay. It is painful and itchy. Now my lower back is starting and proximity to dogs set the cycle off too. I have swollen, hive ridden eyes. Miserable. Comment from: micwar, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 27 I have had urticaria (hives) for about a week now. It was in response to a new medication (for psoriasis). The cure has been much worse than the cause. I've had two decades of autoimmune disease and I can honestly say hives is the worst experience. I am filled with so much empathy for those who suffer with this condition long-term. It's horribly itchy all the time everywhere. Comment from: V, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 27 My hives started 5 weeks ago, right after a very stressful job interview. I got the job and hives to go with that. Prednisone helps a bit, antihistamines do not help much. My face is all red now, and so are various spots on body. I feel so itchy and depressed. I am reading about turmeric and other natural remedies, in hopes they will help. Comment from: Catislach , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 17 The first time I got hives, I was 8 years old, I had them every day for just over 12 months, and then they stopped except for every now again. I got my first period at 10 and I’ve had hives every month ever since, slowly getting worse. After the birth of my second child, they have intensified. During this time I am also susceptible to deep pressure hives i.e., holding heavy shopping bag on arms or hands. It’s been 33 years of itching. Comment from: Meddy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 14 I have had chronic idiopathic urticaria on and off since 1998. It usually lasts about 2 years. I have been to the doctors. I have taken up to 23 antihistamines a day for my hives. I have had several bouts with anaphylaxis and one episode of anaphylactic shock. I often have sharp chest pain before the onset of hives and during the time I have hives. Doctors don’t know why, I don’t have the problem when I’m clear. Wonder if anyone else has this chest pain with hives. Comment from: Isabella, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 06 I had sushi that may have been touched by shellfish (shrimp) and now for 7 days straight every time I go home I have hives. It’s only at night and it spreads like wildfire. I want them to stop. Comment from: MissyWalk, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 03 I was busy cleaning the house and watching over 2 girls (8 and 9 years old) and a 2 year old pit bull. When I took a break to get some ice water I took 2 Aleve pills and then went back to work on sweeping all the hard floors. Right when I was almost done I started itching from hives really bad like never before, on my head, neck, shoulder, armpits, hips and waist, my skin was on fire to the touch and the color was as red as a sunburn, and then I noticed my lips were swollen too. It was scary. SLIDESHOW Could I Be Allergic? Discover Your Allergy Triggers See Slideshow Comment from: Connie11, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 09 In 2017 I started getting hives. I have no idea why and I get them about twice a year. They get as big as a dinner plate on my upper legs. No idea why. Comment from: Pity Little Guy, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 03 My hives started almost 2 months back. It started off with a few little ones on my buttock. Not knowing what it was, I scratched since it was so itchy. Surprisingly, it did not spread and went off within half an hour. This situation lasted for a few days until one day it just came like a tsunami. It was all over my body, it appears every now and then continuously until today I am still not done with hives. I am very worried as I did not encounter such a thing before nor did I change my daily lifestyle. Comment from: Sluggo, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 26 I have never suffered from allergies or food reactions. I had a serious motor vehicle accident with trauma and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Over several months I got sick repeatedly and started getting hives in my groin, ankles, wrists, around nostrils, and eyes. Doctors had no idea and misdiagnosed as jock itch, sugar issues, etc. Over the years it got worse and I was in the emergency room for hypoxia. Eventually I was treated for severe allergies to a range of allergens. Learned there is a relationship to TBI and allergies, many veterans are also experiencing this. Comment from: Lola, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 24 After a huge amount of antihistamines, numerous doctor consultations and more than a few emergency room visits, in my desperation I went hunting for the answer myself, for my hives. I found reishi mushroom powder. Two teaspoons in liquid every day for 3 weeks to get it into my system and then 1 teaspoon every day for at least 3 months. Well, 2 weeks later I was clean and have not had another breakout. Comment from: Nico, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 04 My girlfriend breaks out with these rashes from hives on her hands and sometimes feet, in the months of June, July and August. I’ve been with her 3 years and can say, it is not anything dietary. It’s not any allergic reaction to something she’s touched. It’s hot and sunny almost year round so not that. The dermatologist told her to just wear sun screen. Didn’t help. Comment from: Navy Girl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 28 I have been living with chronic hives for about 5 years now. When they first started I would get a dose pack and they would leave and then within 2 weeks were right back. I have taken everything under the moon for them and I now am on 4 injections of Xolair a month - 2 injections every two weeks and they keep them at bay. I don't know why I have them and most doctors have just given up, but I want to find out why. Comment from: Sarah, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 27 I got surgery on my knee for relocation. After the implant of the screws, I developed an extremely oozy rash around the incision. It was concluded that it had gotten infected and the screws had to be removed. Even after the screws were taken out, the hives persisted. I went to a dermatologist and they said that it was some sort of allergic reaction towards the Band-Aids that were used for the surgery. Five months after my surgery, I still randomly break out with a rash around my incision that spreads. Comment from: Marionette, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 07 I have had severe hives for no reason for about 7 days now, can't remember having issues like this before. I also have swelling of lips and face. They are in welts all over me. I hadn't done anything different, can't say I was feeling more stressed than usual, don't have any allergies I know of. I'm extremely itchy and swollen, can't work or go to school, am embarrassed and the antihistamines and prednisone do not appear to be helping. I'm at a complete loss and am starting to feel more hopeless. Comment from: Nellie14u2c, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 23 I had caught a bad cold. I fractured my foot so I started taking ibuprofen. I was attacked by mosquitos and began to stress so hard that I was a Molotov cocktail waiting to happen. It's been 3 weeks with hives and right now I'm about ready to go to the emergency room again. It's all over my scalp and it was only a matter of time before it reached my face. My main trigger is the stress. This isn't going to go away until I stop stressing. This is a repeat from 15 years ago. Only this time it's much worse. Comment from: Never lucky, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: July 17 I am taking antihistamines 3 to 4 times a day for hives. It is not always helping but sometimes because it is chronic hives and the cause is not known, it is bad. Every day I have it. I use steroids on my nose every day. The doctor did say it is lifelong because I had it since I was 4 years old and now 19. QUESTION Allergies can best be described as: See Answer Comment from: poetess, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 08 My first experience was a year of hives. I was on Benadryl for 6 months which became less effective so then Zyrtec and Allegra. I found out after my hamster died that I had been allergic to him, my hives went away. Decades later I got a dog and developed 'seasonal allergies,' and started suspecting the dog after hives developed. I got rid of the dog, remodeled the first floor, cleaned everything, got an air purifier, and still have hives every night. Benadryl is my best friend again. It’s been 3 months; dog dander is the gift that keeps on giving. Comment from: B, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 30 I have been dealing with chronic idiopathic hives and spontaneous anaphylaxis for 13 years. The incidents of anaphylaxis have mostly stopped, but the itching, swelling, and redness hasn't. I'm on doxepin, hydroxyzine, Allegra, Zyrtec, Singulair, and Benadryl and carry multiple EpiPens. None of the many doctors I've seen can identify a trigger or way to stop this. I really think it's never going to get better. Comment from: Deb363, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 16 I wake up, go to the bathroom, do not know exactly what causes the hives to start, but I am thinking that it is because of the wildfires last summer. I became allergic to the smoke filled with poison oak or ivy, started getting the blistering rashes 2 days after the fire smoke filled the air. Now I am not so sure, as it is January 2019 and today’s rash was one of the worst and re-occurred 3 times today. I am at a loss, blistering is small to start with and ends in total body blister rashes daily, sometimes several in the same day like today. Comment from: Aclrepair, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 28 I had ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and meniscus surgery. I’m at the end of week 2 and I am developing itchy hives and rashes around the surgical cuts and on lower leg. I wonder what caused this. Comment from: IP, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 21 I started to get small spots that tingled one November. By December I was getting swollen sections on my lips and hives, mostly in the groin. By January the random swelling went to eyes and most sweaty spots (groin, waistline, armpits, and hairline). Primary doctor and immunologist say it is idiopathic angioedema. Basically unknown cause. Allegra alleviates the symptoms. By February I was getting symptoms so often that I am on Allegra constantly. I get the symptoms near the end of the drug’s usefulness. Drug is good for 24 hours. I get symptoms 23 to 35 hours after taking Allegra. I'm worried Allegra will stop working. The frequency is increasing and the underlying cause will remain unknown apparently. Comment from: (Linda, Female (Patient) Published: July 06 I was either stung or bitten on top my right hand while wearing yardwork gloves. It was about 88 degrees outside. I removed the glove but couldn't find what caused the sting or bite. It hurt like a wasp bite. My hand started swelling. By the time I got to my house my palms were itching, next my elbows, my bra area, back, scalp, the back of my knees, my vaginal area, my rectum, the top of both feet. It was maddening. It was like having an instant yeast infection in my vaginal area, rectum and my tongue turned white with coating. My eyelids swelled and the white of my eyes turned pink. I showered, and it made the hives worse. I filled the tub with cold water, a quart of white vinegar and a box of baking soda. The itching was unbearable. The welts were everywhere but on my face. But my nose and chin were really red. I took a Benadryl that was about 10 years old out of desperation. About 55 minutes after the sting, I drove myself to an urgent care office. I was given a shot of prednisone, a prescription of prednisone and a prescription for hydroxide for the itching. The medicines helped immediately. Most of the welts and swelling are gone now, approximately 40 hours later. If this should happen again, I will skip the shower, bath and find someone to drive me to the urgent care because I really was light headed and I shouldn't have been driving. I have had my share of yeast infections and poison ivy infections but this itching from the sting or bite was worse than anything I've ever experienced. Comment from: DeesDaughter, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 23 I assume it is hives. For years, 10 or more, I get what I thought was a bug bite or multiple bug bites at the top of my leg/hip area. Severe itching to the point I break the skin and it is a raw mess. This happens once or twice every summer and I wake up with it. When it occurs I would freak out about what bug is in my bed and strip everything from the bed and wash it in hot water. I have mattress pads that encase the entire mattress. Since it happens in the summer it must be heat. I don't walk around in short shorts or any shorts for that matter. I don't have a tolerance for hot weather or extreme exercise. I think it is odd that it is very limited in frequency. I have never mentioned it to my doctor. Comment from: Meri, Female (Patient) Published: June 18 I have been suffering from hives for two years. My doctor did all the allergy test and found nothing, I take Reactine when they appear. In the morning they start all over my body, and I am itchy and very irritated. They are driving me nuts because any doctor I go to tells me he doesn't know why they came and when they will disappear. Lately I have been suffering from bronchitis and they sent me to do test for asthma. I am scared, I feel so bad that they are not going. I have a family, and I feel so tired and can't do too much. I hope these doctors find medications to make them go away forever. Comment from: Confused patient, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 29 I have been experiencing hives and angioedema for a while now. The swelling gets back when I am not on antihistamines. I got worried when my face and lips were affected. So I got to see a doctor who prescribed some bitter medicines. I took the drugs for 9 days and on the last day I skipped just to test if this condition is over, but the swelling came back. I switched houses and the condition started after one month. It is a horrible experience for me as you have to cancel dates because of this swelling. Meanwhile I will be visiting my doctor today with my research answers since I think he has been treating the wrong thing. I am disappointed. Comment from: Shijith, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 20 I am suffering from hives since the last 14 years. Every third day I have to take cetirizine tablets to get back to normal. Most of the time I feel sleepy and have lost the charm in life. A few months ago I followed a new diet to reduce weight as I am diabetic. I did a water diet for 8 days. I only consumed vegetable boiled water, 80 grams coconut oil, 3 lemons, plenty water for 8 days and surprisingly my intensity of hives has reduced. I don’t have to take pills to control. Its manageable. Comment from: Nigel, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 25 I have angioedema and chronic hives that are making my life a misery. I can’t cope with this disease much longer. Comment from: wonderwoman, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 14 I started getting hives when I moved to a different area where well water is provided. The area I was born does not use well water. I've had them really bad since 2008 after taking some medication for a urinary infection I had, and they have just gotten worse and worse. I don't like taking pills, and I am suppose to take fexofenadine everyday or twice a day, but I only take it every other day or if it's really bad I will take it once a day every day until they subside. It's horrible and I am just waiting for it to go away, I feel disabled and it makes me feel unattractive and I have always been fairly good looking, but with these hives its just awful. I will pray for anyone who suffers from this almost debilitating thing. Published: August 27 I am experiencing my third bout of hives. The first time was in 1980. I was traveling on an extended vacation. Mount St Helen erupted and I was covered in hives within two to three days. They lasted for about a year. The second episode occurred after we had Hurricane Isabel. They were extremely severe, scratching until my body was covered with scabs secondary to bleeding from digging to control the itching. I went on multiple medications including prednisone, which caused problems with my diabetes. I took Ranitidine to knock them out. Then, approximately six weeks ago, within 30 miles from our home, we had tornado come through. Suddenly I am covered in hives. They are head to toe. The itching is most intense on my shoulders and trunk of body plus the ankles. I have been on Ranitidine for maintenance since then. Comment from: sruthann1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 30 I have hives on both the arms and both upper thighs. These are in the exact same place on both sides of my body. Comment from: Kat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 22 I began having severe hives on my face three months ago following retinal surgery. I am not sure if it was caused by the surgery or the change from Diovan to a generic, which occurred at the same time. Nothing helps except ice packs, which I cannot use while working with the public of course. All creams or anti-itch remedies make it worse. Comment from: beautifulmess, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: October 09 I woke up itching. I thought it was due to my bed sheet so, I told my mom to change it. And then when I was about to take a shower I saw patch-like marks on my arms and my legs. They we're pinkish red in color. My friend told me it could be hives. It’s been four days since it began. Comment from: LaurieD545, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 18 I've had food allergies most of my life. First, tomatoes and then strawberries. I suddenly developed an allergy to shellfish and seafood. I used to love crab meat sandwiches for lunch, but in the second grade, my classmates got to see what I had for lunch. It was the beginning of my love/hate relationship with food. Ten or so years ago, I was able to go enjoy a dinner out by myself and chose a Chinese restaurant. I ordered a soup and my entree. I ate my soup while reading my book, not looking at the bowl. My face got very itchy and I got very nauseous. Looked at the spoon and tiny baby shrimp were floating there. Shrimp was not mentioned in the description of the soup, and I had to hurry home for some Benadryl. I have had a couple of serious reactions since, after eating out, but not ordering anything seafood, tomato nor strawberry related, and wound up on a series of Prednisone treatments. My face swells significantly, and the swelling I swear moves around my face. My nose will be swollen and then the swelling moves to my eyes, and so on. It's terrifying and very upsetting to my family. Comment from: branf123, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 09 My hive outbreak started on my upper body. I began Benadryl for relief. I slept and awoke feeling better. Later, I broke out more severely. The hives range from small raised bumps to larger patches of welts. My family physician prescribed prednisone and to continue with the Benadryl. After a sleepless night, and my eyes swollen I went to the hospital. After several hours of IV medications, I finally had some relief and was sent home. Four hours later I was right back where I was in sheer agony. The itching has been unbearable and I have bruised myself trying to relieve it. The medications provide only temporary relief and the hives do not disappear at all. At present no one knows the cause. I am exhausted from lack of sleep and am embarrassed to be seen in public. Comment from: dana, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 29 I have had the hives for seven years now with no relief after seeing an internist, dermatologist, and doctors and the Mayo Clinic. I am now on ranidine, Allegra, and Albutetrol. I am still having major breakouts at times where the drugs aren't controlling at all. I am miserable as the itching is unbearable. It is so frustrating. I am still trying to figure out on my own a process of eliminating things that could cause this. It seems if I catch a cold bug or something I get a severe reaction. Comment from: pjm, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 31 I started getting rashes or hives when I was on the Pegasys treatment for genotype 3 hepatitis C. The treatment didn’t work but from 2009 to the present time I have been visited with hives on a regular basis since that treatment. Comment from: Foofy, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 27 I have been breaking out in hives for five months now. Two to three times a month, I have a breakout on my face, tongue, lips, eyes, and cheeks. I have to carry an Epi-pen. Comment from: scooter, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 08 My experience with hives started five years ago, about a month after knee replacement surgery. My skin started to itch and the more I scratched the worse it got and eventually spread over my entire body, except my face. This all happened within 15 minutes and I called 911 when it became hard to breathe. They started treating me in ambulance for anaphylactic shock. The itching, hives were treated with prednisone for 10 days and within two days, the rash was gone. This has now happened 10 times since then. I am now armed with an Epi-Pen, Benadryl and Prednisone at all times. Comment from: Stacyg123, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 15 I had my first case of hives at the age of 35 about 4 years ago and they lasted for about 8 months. It was the worst on my hands and feet, especially at night. I then broke out from head to toe and was diagnosed with idiopathic urticaria. They come and go, but this past year I developed pressure hives and now I cannot wear heeled shoes, tight shoes, or anything that puts pressure on my body. Within hours of wearing a pair of heels or doing physical work with my hands, my hands and feet will swell to twice the size and I cannot walk or bend my fingers for days. I hate this and I feel like I'm going nuts sometimes because I look like I am diseased at times and it's hard for people to understand. Comment from: julie, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 03 My 7 year old mother in law had cancers removed from her hand and was given a cream treatment by her doctor to finish the process of killing the cancer cells. After 2-3weeks of this treatment she now has hives all over her body. She has been given prednisone for 7 days but she has had no relief. Comment from: sher, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 12 After visiting my favorite Chinese restaurant on Wednesday and eating exactly what I eat every time. My arm started to itch; my lip swelled and I broke out all over. I went to ER and they hooked me up intravenously for the evening. It helped some. Went home at 10:30PM and returned to ER next night for the same issues, but this time they admitted me for the night. Went home Friday night and Saturday morning, I still had a 102.9 fever. Sun morning, the fever finally broke but was still covered from head to toe with blotches. I returned to work on Thursday. I was given 50mg steroids for 5 days. The doctor said it was something I ate. The rash is gone today. Comment from: janeEsmith, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 11 I have had lifelong chronic hives, often with acute episodes needing emergency treatment along with periods of remission. I am 48 years old and I have had chronic itchy spots for three years with residual hyperpigmentation. I have had two skin biopsies with no conclusive results. Today, I found "Raised erythematous wheals with postinflammatory hyperpigmentations suggest urticarial vasculitis" on eMedicine today. Now I know which direction to go. Comment from: HopingAndWishing, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 06 I had my first outbreak of hives six days ago. It started on my upper arms and now on my forearms and hands as well as upper legs and waist and chest area. At first I thought it was an allergic reaction to an allergy medicine similar to Claritin that I took earlier that day. After a few days of the hives coming back I with flare-ups occurring shortly after eating I thought it was a food allergy. I've been taking Benadryl and using an anti-itch gel called Caladryl Clear to help with the itching. After taking a shower yesterday my whole body was covered in hives and now believe it is caused by a new body wash I started using. When I go to sleep it seems to be the only time the hives are not present. Shortly after waking up they reappear and start itching. And I start the treatments all over again. I am stopping the use of the body wash and will be trying a soapless cleanser(Cetaphyl or Dove) today in hopes it will help with the hives. Comment from: helpless, 35-44 Female Published: November 12 I suffer from stress induced hives. My first attack was about 7 years ago when I was in nursing school, working 2 jobs and I'm a single mother. It took 4 months to go away. I tried so many different treatments, none of which worked. I was given Benadryl, Atarax, Prednisone, H2 blockers and the response was more hives and my hair started to fall out. I ultimately stopped everything when I figured out they were caused by stress. I began doing yoga and meditation and within a week or two they began to diminish on their own. 6 weeks ago I was involved in a motor vehicle crash suffering a closed head injury and 2 weeks later my father died. Needless to say the hives returned with a vengeance. I'm doing everything I know to do, but this time nothing is helping and I feel ugly, debilitated and so out of control. I wish there was a CURE!! Published: June 16 My 7 year old son has had a recurrence of hives and angioedema for almost a year now. It started when we moved houses. It started by severe swelling of lips and later on the appearance of hives. Sometimes, his genitalia swell. We have been to the doctor and he was placed on piriton. He still has few hives all over his body. I feel for him, because when it happens, he hardly gets any sleep. The pediatrician said it might be a change of detergent and recommended non-bio detergent. We are still at it and I pray it goes away for my son. Comment from: fit2betied, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 10 I am a 46 year old male, and my first bout of welts occurred after I left my first wife, stress was the kicker. Then this past November, what started with a itchy palm turned into a six weeks of welts forming and moving all over my body, until I had an episode bad enough to attack my throat and effect my breathing so much that I went to the ER. I had another visit to the ER about a month later with more breathing issues. I now have to have an Epipen with me all the time and I take loridine daily with prednisone as well. Stress is my biggest factor and I hope that I can get control of that, but the fear of having an episode can elevate my stress! Ive also been told that daily covering in a medicated lotion will help calm my skin flare ups Comment from: muchofancy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 04 I have had severe hive breakouts for over 30 years. I have been to every doctor. My doctor prescribed a low dose of "XANAX" They went away instantly for years. Now I do not take Xanax and the hives are back in full force. I have tried hundreds of medicines and they are the only thing that would permanently rid me of these horrible welts.