Urticaria (Chronic Hives)

Finding an effective treatment for chronic hives can be challenging. In cases in which a trigger is identified — such as a reaction to a certain food, medication or physical stimulus — treatment includes avoiding the trigger. If your chronic hives are caused by an underlying health condition, they may improve when the underlying condition is treated.

Symptoms can be treated effectively in most people with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Work with your doctor to find the medication — or combination of medications — that works best for you. If the first medication you try doesn't relieve your symptoms, talk to your doctor about trying something else.

Physical exam and medical history

Your doctor will ask you a number of questions and do a physical exam. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a diary to keep track of:

  • Your activities
  • Any medications or herbal supplements you take
  • What you eat and drink
  • Where hives appear and how long individual hives last