Hives and Urticaria Treatments in London.

Alternative names: Hives, welts, wheals, nettle rash, allergic reaction.

What is it?

Urticaria is a common skin condition that can occur as a single episode (acute urticaria), or less commonly, it may recur multiple times for longer than 6 weeks (chronic urticaria). Urticaria is due to the immune system releasing histamine into the skin. This substances cause the redness, swelling and itching. The rash can last from minutes to hours but often disappears without a trace within 24 hours. A trigger for urticaria can be identified in some cases such as:

Infection, Allergies, Environmental temperature changes, Emotional stress, Food, Medication

Even though the rash of urticaria is identical in appearance to that caused by an allergic reaction, in most cases no obvious cause can be found. This is classed as ‘idiopathic urticaria’.

Make An Enquiry

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What does it look like?

Urticaria usually appears as a series of raised, red bumps that come up within minutes and can resemble mosquito bites or nettle rash. It can be limited to a small area or span large expanses of the body (see picture). Sometimes there is swelling of the face and eyes (angio-oedema). The rash often resolves over a period of an hour or two, but might last as long as 24 – 36 hours.

photograph of hives on stomach

How might it affect me?

Hives are usually very itchy which can be a source of much frustration. In chronic cases, the symptoms are often worse in the evenings which can affect quality of sleep. If symptoms are severe it may also affect a person’s ability to carry out simple activities of daily life or work. Some people also find the physical appearance of wheals distressing.

What are the treatments?

Most cases of acute urticaria get better without treatment and the symptoms can be effectively treated with antihistamines. For long-term urticaria the treatments aim to relieve symptoms rather than act as a cure. Identifying potential triggers is an important first step though usually a specific offender cannot be found. Available treatments include antihistamines, short courses of steroid tablets and in very severe, chronic cases medications to dampen the body’s immune system (such as ciclosporin) can be beneficial.

Our Specialist Dermatologists at the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic can offer effective treatment to patients to help control your symptoms.

For further information please visit the NHS website or see the British Association of Dermatology Patient leaflet.

Did you know?

Most moles are not a cause for concern and present a purely cosmetic problem. However, moles can occasionally undergo changes that lead to them becoming cancerous.

Acne is a common condition characterised by blackheads, whiteheads and cysts. It affects the greasy and hair-bearing areas such as the face, chest and back.

Accreditations & Awards.

Our Consultants.

Dr Adam Friedmann

Dr Victoria Akhras

Marie Louise Daly - Black and White - Expert Dermatologists in London

Dr Marie-Louise Daly

Dr Natalie Attard

Dr Laura Proudfoot

Dr Alvin Lee

Dr Abha Gulati

Dr Sanjar Rajpara

Dr Sasha Dhoat

Dr Suchitra Chinthapalli

Dr Richard Coelho

Fiona in Black and White - Expert Dermatologists in London | Harley Street Dermatology Clinic

Dr Fiona Worsnop

Dr Andrew Lock

Meena Arunachalam in Black and White - Expert Dermatology Clinic in London | The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic

Dr Meena Arunachalam

Recent Blogs.

Highest quality treatments with peace of mind and the best possible care