What should I do if I experience a severe allergic reaction or hives?

Severe allergic reactions, marked by swelling, breathing difficulties, or hives, demand immediate action: call emergency services, use prescribed epinephrine, and seek medical attention promptly for safety and relief.

Share this content

Experiencing a severe allergic reaction or hives can be alarming, so knowing how to respond is crucial.

Here’s a guide:

Recognizing Symptoms

Severe Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis)

Symptoms may include swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or a drop in blood pressure.

Hives (Urticaria)

Manifest as raised, red, or pale itchy welts on the skin and can appear suddenly due to various triggers.

Emergency Response

Call Emergency Services

For symptoms of anaphylaxis, call emergency services immediately (911 in the US) or seek urgent medical attention.

Use Epinephrine (if available)

If you have been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen), administer it according to the instructions and seek medical help.

Hives Management


Over-the-counter antihistamines like cetirizine or diphenhydramine can help relieve itching and swelling from hives.

Avoid Triggers

Identify and avoid triggers that cause hives to minimize their occurrence.

Medical Follow-up

Seek Medical Attention

Even after initial relief, seek medical evaluation for severe allergic reactions or hives to prevent potential recurrence or complications.


Immediate response and seeking medical assistance for severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis, along with using antihistamines for hives, are crucial for managing these conditions effectively.

In case of severe allergic reactions, seek emergency services immediately.

Our dermatology department can provide guidance and follow-up care for hives. Contact us for further assistance or evaluation.

Knowing how to respond to severe allergic reactions or hives ensures timely intervention and appropriate care.

If you need more information or specific guidance, please ask!

Book now

Book a consultation with our dermatology department.

(+974) 44 190 888