Urticaria, also known as hives, is when your skin becomes red, itchy, and covered in welts or bumps. These welts can vary in size and shape and might come and go, playing a bit of peek-a-boo with your skin. When something triggers your immune system, it’s a bit like your body saying, “Hey, something here is not sitting well with me!” These skin reactions can come and go, and they sometimes disappear on their own. Sometimes, these itchy patches may last for longer, and appear after contact with certain foods, stress, or even bug bites. At this point, you should visit a California allergist. Other causes may be medications, exposures at work, a recent illness or a new hygiene or cosmetic product.


To figure out what’s causing urticaria, your Clovis allergist will talk to you about your symptoms and check your medical history. They might suggest a few tests to find out which things you might be allergic to. One test involves putting tiny amounts of common allergens on your skin and pricking it slightly to see if there’s a reaction (skin prick testing). Another test uses patches with allergens that you wear for a bit to check for delayed skin reactions (patch testing). Blood tests can also help by measuring certain substances in your blood related to allergies. By doing these tests, the allergist can figure out what triggers your hives and plan the best way to help you feel better.


For milder cases, allergy medications (antihistamines) can reduce itching and redness. In more persistent battles, prescription antihistamines or other medications like corticosteroids might be needed for relief. If the cause is clear, avoiding triggers becomes the best strategy. In other cases, your Fresno area allergist might recommend biologics, which are specialized treatments that target the immune system and may be needed to stop the hives from within.