Allergy (Allergies)

Hives (urticaria)

Hives (urticaria) are skin reactions that appear as red, raised, itchy welts and can occur on any part of the body. Short-lived (acute) hives are often due to an allergic reaction to a food or medication, though they commonly result from a viral infection in children. Hives that recur over a longer period of time (chronic hives) are rarely due to an allergic reaction, and the underlying cause is typically more complicated. Hive symptoms are:

  • Raised, red, welts that resolve over hours to a day
  • Intense itching (not painful)
  • Many cases are also associated with swelling (particularly of the lips, face, hands, and feet)
Reviewed on 11/26/2013

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