Hives Treatment in Indianapolis and Carmel

Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology

Hives Treatment Indianapolis & Carmel IN

People with hives who are interested in treatment are seen by Turkle & Associates board certified dermatologist, Dr. Matt Strausburg.

We invite you to continue reading for frequently asked questions and more information about hives and how we can help.

What Are Hives?

Hives are not really disease, but a rash or welts on your skin that itches. There are two types of hives as follows:

  • Acute hives — hives lasting less than 6 weeks
  • Chronic hives — hives which appear daily or intermittently for longer than 6 weeks

The medical term for hives is urticaria.

What Do Hives Look and Feel Like?

Hives feel very itchy. Skin with hives is red and swollen and has a rash which is raised up off the skin. Both acute and chronic hives look the same.

What Causes Hives?

The cause of hives varies and, in many cases of chronic hives, it is unknown. Generally, hives form when a chemical called histamine is released by your body.

Allergic reactions, chemicals in food, medications, and physical factors (cold, heat, sunlight, water, pressure, and vibration) can cause this histamine release and lead to hives.

Below is a list of some things that can cause hives in certain individuals.

  • Stress
  • Infections: colds, bacterial and fungal infections
  • Illnesses: lupus, thyroid disease, vasculitis
  • Insect Bites or Stings: bees, hornets, wasps
  • Drugs: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Opiates, Penicillin, Insulin
  • Breathing in things like: latex, dust mite, animal danders, pollen
  • Contact: Latex (rubber), perfumes and fragrances, wool
  • Foods: tree nuts (e.g., walnuts), peanuts, fish, shellfish, bananas, soybeans, tomatoes, eggs, milk, berries, wheat
  • Physical Factors: simple friction or scratching, sunlight, pressure, heat, cold temperature, water, vibration, exercise

Please note this is not a complete list of things that can cause hives, and sometimes the cause is unknown.

What Is the Treatment for Hives?

Compared to chronic hives, acute hives are usually easier to control with medication.

The best way to treat hives is to remove what is causing them.

When the cause of chronic hives cannot be found, drug therapy enables most patients to live normal lives. It is important to note that the medication should be taken exactly as prescribed instead of on an “as-needed” basis.



In the great majority of cases, the symptoms and lesions of chronic hives can be controlled with oral antihistamines. A “non-sedating” antihistamine (loratidine, fexofenadine, cetirizine) is often the first choice since they have minimal side effects and are quite effective in most cases.

If the above drugs do not work, a trial of “classical” antihistamines like hydroxyzine, diphenhydramine, and doxepin may be tried. These drugs are quite effective but are often found to make people sleepy. However, they are worth trying since the sleepiness may stop after the drug is taken for several days.

An occasional patient may need corticosteroids. Cortisone and its derivatives can be used safely during severe episodes, or when you particularly need to be clear, such as for an important social event or business meeting. However, because of their severe side effects, the use of steroids is limited to brief periods.

How Are Hives Diagnosed?

Dr. Strausburg can diagnose hives based on your symptoms and the appearance of your rash. No specific testing exists.

Additionally, Dr. Strausburg may provide you with a questionnaire that may help identify exactly what is causing your hives.

Will I Have Chronic Hives Forever?

In most cases chronic hives will simply go away. Thus, even though a cause may not always be found, nature usually has its own way of eliminating the problem.

Therefore, you can expect to eventually get relief from your hives, but it is difficult to predict when it will happen.

Do You Take Insurance For Hives Treatment?

Yes, we do take insurance for hives. We suggest you contact your plan administrator to determine if we participate with your insurance plan.

Contact Us About Treatment for Hives

If you have more questions and would like further information about hives, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment, contact Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology by clicking here for our online quick-contact email form or feel free to call us at 317-848-0001.

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*Fees are approximate only and subject to physical examination and consultation. We do try to keep the fees on our website up to date, however be advised fees are subject to change without notice. Please feel free to inquire about any price changes.

Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatologys’ video content is for informational and educational purposes only. Viewing of these videos should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or a treatment recommendation. As with any health concern, always seek a consultation regarding a medical condition. Any questions concerning the content of these videos may be directed to Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology at drturkle@turklemd.com or 317-848-0001.

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