If your symptoms are mild, you may not need treatment. Many cases of hives and angioedema clear up on their own. But treatment can offer relief for intense itching, serious discomfort or symptoms that persist.

The standard treatment for hives and angioedema is antihistamines, medications that reduce itching, swelling and other symptoms of histamine release.

For severe hives or angioedema, doctors may also sometimes prescribe an oral corticosteroid drug — such as prednisone — which can help lessen swelling, redness and itching.

Your doctor will examine your welts or areas of swelling if they are still present and take a careful medical history to identify possible causes. Your doctor's questions may focus on recognized factors linked to urticaria and angioedema, such as certain foods, physical triggers and medications. It's important to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including over-the-counter (nonprescription) drugs and supplements, even if you don't take them every day. To help pinpoint the cause of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you keep a detailed diary of exposure to possible irritants.