Share on Pinterest Hives are a rash that appears as an allergic reaction. Urticaria occurs when the body reacts to an allergen and releases histamine and other chemicals from under the surface of the skin. The histamine and chemicals cause inflammation and fluid to accumulate under the skin, causing wheals.
What do hives from an allergic reaction look like?
Hives are red raised bumps or welts on the skin. Hives (or urticaria ) is a common skin reaction to something like an allergen (a substance that causes allergies). The spots can appear anywhere on the body and can look like tiny little spots, blotches, or large connected bumps.
Do hives always mean allergic reaction?
In most cases hives are not due to allergy and they can be effectively treated with a non-drowsy antihistamine. When hives occur most days for more than six weeks this is defined as chronic (ongoing) urticaria, which may require additional medication.
How long do hives last from an allergic reaction?
Hives can last a variable amount of time. Usually, eruptions may last for a few minutes, sometimes several hours, and even several weeks to months. Most individual hives last no more than 24 hours.
Can hives be a sign of something serious?
Hives appear as a rapidly spreading, red, raised and itchy rash in splotches or all over the body. Caused by an allergic reaction to medications or food, hives can be a sign of a life-threatening problem when accompanied by difficulty breathing and a drop in blood pressure.
How do you calm down hives?
Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothes. Apply a cold compress, such as ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth, to the itchy skin several times a day—unless cold triggers your hives. Use anti-itch medication that you can buy without a prescription, such as an antihistamine or calamine lotion.
How do you treat allergic hives?
Antihistamines are usually prescribed by your doctor to provide relief from symptoms. Antihistamines work best if taken on a regular schedule to prevent hives from forming in the first place. Chronic hives may be treated with antihistamines or a combination of medications.
What can be mistaken for hives?
Skin Conditions That Share Symptoms With Chronic Hives
- GettyImages. Symptoms of chronic hives. …
- Heat rash. Heat rash, also called miliaria or prickly heat, is characterized by raised, red bumps, which can be inflamed and itchy. …
- Contact dermatitis. …
- Rosacea. …
- Eczema. …
- Pityriasis rosea. …
- Urticarial vasculitis. …
When should you see a doctor for hives?
When to see a doctor
You can usually treat mild cases of hives or angioedema at home. See your doctor if your symptoms continue for more than a few days. If you think your hives or angioedema were caused by a known allergy to food or a medication, your symptoms may be an early sign of an anaphylactic reaction.
Does Benadryl help hives?
Antihistamines relieve itching from hives and prevent allergic reactions. Some antihistamines react fast, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl®). Depending how severe the hives are, your healthcare provider may recommend daily over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription allergy medications, like loratadine (Claritin®).
Why do hives get worse at night?
Nighttime. Hives and itching often worsen at night because that’s when the body’s natural anti-itch chemicals are at their lowest.
What kind of viral infection causes hives?
Some infections that can cause hives in children include respiratory viruses (common cold), strep throat, urinary tract infections, hepatitis, infectious mononucleosis (mono) and many other viral infections.
Do hives spread by scratching?
Yes, the itch can drive you crazy, but scratching hives may cause them to spread and become even more inflamed, says Neeta Ogden, MD, an allergist in private practice in Englewood, New Jersey, and a spokesperson for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Why would someone break out in hives for no reason?
An allergic reaction to food, an infection, and stress can all trigger hives, also called urticaria. There are seemingly endless triggers, and they can cause hives to break out within a few minutes or a few hours.
Why am I getting hives all of a sudden?
A sudden onset of hives (acute hives) usually has an identifiable cause or trigger — such as insect stings or bites, medications, certain foods, allergens, or infections. Acute hives go away within a few weeks and are usually effectively treated with antihistamines.
Why am I breaking out in hives everyday?
They’re often caused by an allergic reaction to a food or drug. Usually, they go away quickly. For a small number of people, though, hives come back again and again, with no known cause. When new outbreaks happen almost every day for 6 weeks or more, it’s called chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU).