Hive Rashes (Urticaria) and Recurrent Swelling (Angioedema)

Hives and Angioedema often occur together, but may also occur individually.

Hives are usually raised, red, itching rashes of the skin that may be temporary or may last off-and-on for weeks to years. Urticaria may have an allergic cause in some cases (medications or foods) and an allergist can help to diagnose and treat this condition.

Angioedema involves swelling of the deep layers of the skin. It commonly occurs on the face (eyes, lips) and may also involve the tongue and throat. Without proper treatment, severe angioedema can result in compromise of the airways resulting in death. Angioedema may be a hereditary condition in which case other family members may have the same problem. Alternatively, it may be part of an allergic reaction. An allergist is experienced in working-up and treating this condition and can provide patients with life-saving emergency medications to be used for severe reactions.