Allergens are around us all the time. They are in the air, in our homes, on our clothes, and in our food. Most people have allergic reactions to these allergens in their environment from time to time. Hives are one of the most obvious signs that you are having an allergic reaction. In many cases, hives are not indicative of a serious health risk. But sometimes even seemingly mild reactions could be symptomatic of a larger allergy issue. How can you know?
Here are some tips to determine whether you have had a mild allergic reaction or you need to seek medical attention.
When Not To Worry
Most allergic reactions will manifest themselves as hives. These small pale red bumps often cause itching, but they may also produce a stinging or burning sensation. While hives do cause a level or irritation and discomfort, there is no need to worry if
- they go away within a few hours or days
- they are on the skin’s surface (though hives under the skin also go away within a few hours, typically)
If you have repeated hive outbreaks, these common allergens are probably the culprits: food allergies (specifically nuts, chocolate, berries, tomatoes, and milk), medications, insect stings, chemicals, or even sunlight. If you can identify the allergen that may be causing the hive outbreaks, simply avoiding it in the future should keep them away.
When You Should Seek Medical Attention
In rare cases, hives could indicate a more serious reaction. You should seek out medical attention for hives if you observe the following:
- They persist for 6 weeks or longer
- Effect your breathing or swallowing.
Of course, it never hurts to get an allergic reaction checked out, but if you aren’t experiencing one of these more severe effects, the hives should clear up in a short time.
If you have concerns about reoccurring or persistent allergic reactions you are having, or if you would like to be tested so you can avoid these irritants, give Asthma & Allergy Associates in Colorado Springs a call. We can rule out any serious risks and help you to find the allergens to avoid.