There is no specific diagnostic test for hives. The diagnosis of hives usually based on the symptoms and a physical examination of the person.
A person with acute hives doesn’t require testing because the symptoms go away aftre a short time. Your physician can tell if you have hives by simply looking at your skins condition.
Doctors perform tests for hives only when they suspect that an allergen is irritating the patient’s skin. This is mostly done in young children or adults who have a history of allergic reactions.
If the doctor believes that the hives are not caused by allergies, further tests will be done.
Your Doctors will ask plenty of question regarding your medical history and what food you have eaten of late.
Your doctor may ask you to create a detailed diary of exposure to possible irritants. This enables them to se if a pattern has been formed in your daily activities.
You should tell your doctor about all medications you take and if thewre is a family history of hives.
Further Testing For Hives
If the cause of your hives isn’t clear or if your symptoms recur often, then your doctor can recommend an allergy skin test. In certain cases, blood or skin tests are performed to confirm that whether it is an allergic reaction or hives.
Tests that your doctor can recommend to diagnose hives are mentioned below.
- Blood test: At times doctor perform blood test on patients whose hives have persisted for several weeks to determine if there are signs of underlying diseases, such as thyroid or liver problems or an autoimmune disease.
- Skin biopsy: This test is performed to identify uncommon causes of hives. it is mostly recommended to people who have persistent fever, painful hives, individual hives that last for days at a time or hives that are associated with bruising of the skin. At times it is recommended to people who have other symptoms of abnormalities on blood tests.
- Percutaneous: This test includes puncture, prick or scratch test. In this test, tiny drops of purified allergen extracts are scratched on the skin’s surface to identify allergies to pollen, animal dander, foods, insect venom and penicillin.
- Intradermal test: in this test purified allergen extracts are injected into the skin of your arms. It is performed only if your doctor suspects that you’re allergic to insect venom or penicillin.
- Patch test: In this test an allergen is applied to a patch, which is then placed on your skin. It is performed to identify substances that cause a reaction when coming in contact with your skin. Tested materials can include latex or medications.
Sometimes, the cause of the hives is easy to make out because they will occur as soon as the offending trigger is eaten or touched. However, in some cases, the patient requires medical testing to diagnose hives.
Medical Advisors will usually need to take a complete history of the patient and his/her family. The patient may require to keep a food diary if allergy is supposed to be the cause. A Doctor can then confirm the type of allergy. In some cases, the cause of the hives is not certain straightaway but with narrowing down the possible reasons for the outbreak, the cause of the outbreak will become much clearer.