Eczema and hives may look alike, but the underlying cause, expected course, and subsequent treatments are often quite different for these common skin conditions. Richard Herrscher, MD, is a board-certified allergist at AIR Care in Dallas and Plano, Texas, who can identify which skin issue is causing your itch. He then creates a treatment protocol that’s tailored to relieve your symptoms and improve your overall health and well-being over a lifetime rather than just temporarily. Call today for your appointment or schedule your visit online.
Hives, which are called urticaria in medical speak, are red, itchy, raised areas of skin. They can occur anywhere on your body and may range in size from tiny raised spots here and there to large patches that cover your abdomen, back, and other areas. Hives typically start suddenly and then fade away within a few days or weeks. Some people, however, develop chronic hives that can last for months or years.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology notes that chronic hives are not usually related to allergies, but acute (sudden onset) hives are often caused by:
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a long-term skin condition that often starts in infancy or early childhood. However, many people have their first experience with eczema as an adult. In either case, eczema produces a red, scaly, often extremely itchy skin rash that’s frequently associated with food allergies, allergic rhinitis, and asthma.
Common triggers for eczema include:
Antihistamines often provide relief from the itching and discomfort associated with hives. For chronic hives that don’t respond to antihistamines, Dr. Herrscher might recommend monthly treatments with omalizumab (Xolair®), which is a biologic drug approved for treating chronic hives in patients over 12 years of age.
Scratching or even rubbing an eczematous rash only worsens your itching and discomfort. Frequent scratching increases the odds of developing skin breaks that can lead to secondary bacterial infections. So the first step in treating eczema is to reduce the itch.
New and effective therapies for eczema include:
Regardless of your age or the frequency and intensity of your symptoms, Dr. Herrscher can develop an effective treatment plan for eczema and hives. Call for your appointment today or book your visit online.