What are Hives?
Hives are itchy, red welts or small bumps that last from 15 minutes to several hours. They usually appear suddenly and leave no trace when they disappear. Crops of Hives may appear several times a day. They may come and go for days or weeks, sometimes longer. Hives are harmless except when they cause throat swelling, which is rare but requires immediate treatment. Angioedema is a hive-like swelling of the lips, eyes, or other tissue. Angioedema may take 24 hours or more to go away. Hives are treated by Dr. Green for patients in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland regions.

What causes Hives?
Hives are usually the result of an allergic reaction.

How do I determine the cause of my Hives?
Many things can cause Hives. Medications such as penicillin, aspirin, or codeine can cause Hives in allergic people. Certain foods like shellfish, strawberries, chocolate, and blue cheese commonly trigger Hives. Infections such as infectious mononucleosis, urinary tract infections, colds, infected teeth or sinuses can also cause Hives. Only very rarely have Hives been the result of an internal disease such as an overactive thyroid. Occasionally physical agents such as pressure, heat, sunlight, exercise, or cold may cause Hives.
Since medications are the most common cause of Hives, please list all the medicines you’ve been taking. List any unusual foods you ate in the last 2 days before the Hives first appeared. Have you had any recent illnesses? It is important to search for a cause of Hives if you are having other symptoms such as fever or joint pains, or if you have had Hives more or less daily for more than 6 weeks.

Treatment for Hives
Hives are best treated by removing the inducer. All drugs not critically important to health, including aspirin and vitamins, should be stopped, even if you have taken them safely for years. Contact Dr. Green before discontinuing use of medications for heart conditions, epilepsy, and the like. Foods are more difficult to incriminate. Usually Hives will appear within 8 hours of eating something and will then disappear and not reappear unless the same food is eaten again. A daily diary of foods and activities may be helpful to pinpoint the reactor.

Often the cause can’t be found. Fortunately, our physician can usually treat Hives successfully. Medicines can be prescribed to control the rash and itching. Antihistamines will counteract the histamine your body is releasing.

Injections of epinephrine (adrenaline) may be used for treatment of severe Hives. Sometimes they are taken by mouth and used in combination with antihistamines. Cortisone pills and injections are also used to treat Hives, but these measures have potential side effects as well, and are often reserved for severe Hives.

“You cannot go wrong with this dermatologist. Dr. Green and his staff are the very best! They go out of their way to assure patient satisfaction. I have used many services in the Bethesda location, and have always been more than satisfied. I highly recommend Dr. Green.” 

Susan E.

Dr. David Green, M.D.

Dr. David Green is a Board certified Dermatologist in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Green specializes in Dermatology, Dermatologic Cosmetic and Laser Surgery and the treatment of Varicose Veins and vascular disorders.

He is Certified by the American Board of Dermatology, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and a Member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the American College of Phlebology. He treats patients from Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia and throughout the Mid Atlantic region.


Dr. David Green proudly offers services in his Bethesda, Maryland office.

4800 Montgomery Ln.,
Suite LL50
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301.907.7250


10.32.09: Delegation and Assignment of Performance of Cosmetic Medical Procedures and Use of Cosmetic Medical Devices. This is a Maryland safety regulation that governs who can legally perform medical cosmetic procedures.  Dr. Green administers all injectable treatments (including Botox™, Juvederm™, Voluma™, Kyblella™, and other fillers & Sclerotherapy) and laser treatments.