What is it?
Hives, also referred to commonly as “welts”, can appear on any part of the skin. The scientific name for hives is “urticarial.” They vary in size from as small as a pen tip to as large as a dinner plate. They may also connect to form even larger welts. Hives are very itchy.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Slightly raised, pink or red swellings
- Welts can occur alone or in a group, or connect over a large area.
- Stinging and/or pain
- Hives can be caused by allergic reactions triggered by: food, medicines, bites or stings, pollen, etc
- Infections: cold, bacteria, fungal
- Pressure on skin (i.e long-term sitting)
- Contact with chemicals
Dermatologists can often diagnose hives just by looking at the skin. Finding out the root cause of the hives is much more difficult. Most of the time the cause of the hives is not uncovered.
- Antihistamine pills
- Topical steroid creams
- Steroid pills
- Other medicines that fight inflammation (redness and swelling).
- A single hive lasts for less than 24 hours
- New hives may appear as old ones fade, so hives may last for a few days or even longer
- If you have hives and trouble breathing or swallowing, get emergency care right away.
Learn more at the American Academy of Dermatology: AAD Hives Overview. Hives Treatment.