The medical term for Hives is Urticaria.
A best practices approach for urticaria is generally symptomatic relief for acute diagnosis lasting under 6 weeks, and contemplate laboratory/ diagnostic workup if persists more than 6 weeks, thereby chronic diagnosis.
Urticarial eruptions are extremely common in all ages and often resolve without any problems or sequelae. Most cases come and go, and no cause is determined. If there are other concurrent medical conditions, or a concern for other conditions, patients may at anytime request to proceed with lab tests earlier than 6 weeks.
As a practical matter, an initial approach like most patients do with starting oral Benadryl is fine, and simplification of exposures like minimizing different soaps, detergents, new medications, vitamins, as well as avoiding any and all fragranced “Bath and Body Works” or other scented type products and/or essential oils or any “holistic” essential oils, aloe etc is an excellent first step is resolution. Sensitive Skin Care Recipe
Oral antihistamines like Benadryl ( or generic similar antihistamines) are the preferred treatment. Topical Benadryl (cream or lotion) is not a routinely suggested treatment although it may appear to provide some relief. Cool packs or ice may help alleviate symptoms. Since, as a best practices analysis, hives are usually just a skin symptom (cutaneous manifestation of internal pathology) of an underlying internal body histamine release issue, therefore treatment should be directed to the internal body, not just to the skin bumps.
If hives persist, a few treatments of narrow band UVB light therapy ( medical phototherapy) done in-office can be an effective drug-free ( holistic) approach to expedite resolution of symptomatic hives.
If the hives condition persists, best practices would be for a lab workup with blood tests. Sometimes a non-invasive and painless patch test is offered and performed to determine if there are any contact or skin allergies. Food allergy testing may be done by a simple blood test as well.
Physician ordered lab tests may include CBC, ANA, IGE, H. Pylori Ab, ESR, Chem 20, TPO, Anti thyroid Ab, TSH, as well as others in the recommended chronic or “resistant” hives lab workup.
Chronic hives often warrant a full autoimmune lab panel to exclude either a connective tissue disease like lupus, or another of the myriad of related hyperactive immunity conditions, as well as potential a connective tissue disease process early in evolution. Repeat interval lab tests are important to monitor a process that is perhaps early in evolution, or has not yet declared itself.