What brings people mostly to the surgery these days are hives or urticaria – these are wheals measuring 1mm to many centimetres and they itch and they occur in crops on the skin .The cause is a release of histamine from the cells in the skin . Infections in the body can cause urticaria such as upper respiratory tract infections. Hormones and medications like anti inflammatories can cause hives. Insect bites may cause it. Preservatives , colourants and flavourings may cause urticaria. How do you treat it? Triggers include cold, heat, stress or alcohol. Medication to treat it includes antihistamines, non sedative ones are preferred as they have fewer side effects. Sometimes if the normal dose does not work then the antihistamine may be given in 4 x the normal dose to control the urticaria. It may go on for 2 -4 weeks. It may be frustrating. It will probably cause a lot of distress and itching but there will always be a treatment plan.Go and see your doctor for help there is always something that can be done and if regular antihistamines don’t work then other medication may be given for relief.