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Hives - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Hives? What causes hives? Diagnoses: Treatment:

What is Hives?

Hives are also known as Urticaria in medical terminology. It is characterized by an outbreak of pale red bumps and swollen wheals (plaques) on the skin. It is the body’s reaction against certain allergies for unknown reason.

Hives on the skin usually cause stinging or burning sensation. They can appear on any part of the body such as the ears, throat, tongue, lips and face. It usually varies in size from a dinner plate to a pencil eraser, sometimes they also join together to form plaques (larger area of hives). Angioedema is a form of hives which is characterized by swelling beneath the skin rather than the surface. Signs of angioedema include swelling around the lips, eyes, feet, hands and genitals. The swelling stays for a maximum of 24 hours after which it disappears.

Hives and angioedema on its own is not fatal, but it can block the airway passage of the lungs, tongue and throat making it difficult to breathe. This can be life threatening in some cases.

What causes hives?

  • Hives are generally caused due to allergic reactions resulting from sunlight exposure, insect stings, chemicals found in certain foods or medications which release a chemical called hisamine.
  • Acute urticaria (hives which last for more than six weeks) are caused due to the consumption of certain foods, infections, medications and insect bites.
  • The most common food products that cause hives are milk, berries, eggs, tomatoes, fish, chocolates and nuts. Some food additives also contribute in causing hives.
  • Angioedema and chronic urticaria are caused due to cancer, infection, hepatitis and thyroid diseases.
  • Physical urticaria is caused due to exercise, sweating, pressure, vibration, sun exposure, heat and cold.
  • > Drugs such as codeine, blood pressure drugs, ibuprofen and NSAIDs (Non anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause hives
  • Dermatoraphism is a form of hives which occurs by scratching or stroking the skin.


Hives are diagnosed by performing routine blood tests and skin tests. This is usually performed under the supervision of a certified gynecologist.


Angioedema and hives are usually treated with the help of antistamines, oral corticosteroids, biologic drugs, omalizumab (Xolair), epinephrine injections and cortisone medications. It is vital to seek medical help if you experience wheezing, dizziness, difficulty breathing, tightness of the chest and swelling in the face, lips and tongue.

Applying wet clothes or cool compresses on the affected areas, working or sleeping in a cool room, wearing loose fitting clothes can provide comfort and reduce the symptoms of hives.

Popular Questions & Answers

I suffered from urticaria from 2 years but permanent thek nhe hoa mere body par redness aa hate ha aur long se nisan pad jate ha but round nhe hote.

General Physician, Jalgaon
Yes homeopath medicine will clear it completely send me all details on mobile whats app we will advice you accordingly.

I am 21 years old female and I am suffering papular urticaria disease from last 19 years. I went through many treatment but I didn't got any relief, for how long I have to suffer this and what is the permanent solution for papular urticaria.

General Physician, Chennai
You can help yourself by avoiding things tjhat star it this you have to do yourself by recording wht starts it by keeping a dairy and writing down things you eat use evryday usuall th rashes start within 24 to 48 hrs after the exposure this is whe...

I am 33 married female 2 kids. For past 7 month I am getting food allergy not for particular food everything I am getting allergy. Symptoms is hives itchiness when hives increase I am getting left hand pain and cough wheezing as per doctor prescribed I am using teczine 10 mg daily but no result pls help me.

DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery)
Homeopathy Doctor, Hyderabad
Your food allergy and hives. This is long standing problem which can be effectively and permanently treated by homeopathy. Please take homeopathic medicine pulsatilla 200-once daily in the morning for 5 days. Consult me through “Lybrate text consu...
1 person found this helpful

I am suffering from urticaria. taking histafree 120 mg. But can not see major effect. Pls.

MD - Bio-Chemistry
General Physician, Tirupati
Dear Lybrate reader check whether you have any dental infection-get it treated. If you have constipation get it treated. 1.take bandy plus one tablet stat 2.get the following investigations done- thyroid profile, lft, serum iron continue histafree.
1 person found this helpful

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