Hives (Urticaria)

Hives (Urticaria)

Raised red welts of various size on the surface of the skin, often itchy, which come and go. Hives are also called urticaria.
Many substances, called allergens, can trigger an allergic response resulting in hives
Hives may also develop after infections or illness (including autoimmune diseases, leukemia, and others).

  • Itching
  • Welts enlarge, spread, or join together to form large flat raised areas
  • Welts change shape, disappear and reappear within minutes or hours
  • Sudden appearance on the surface of the skin of red or skin colored welts (wheals) with clearly defined edges


Treatment may not be needed if hives are mild, and they may disappear spontaneously.
The following medications may reduce the inflammation, itching, and swelling:
  • Antihistamines (e.g. Loratin)
  • Adrenaline
  • Corticosteroids
  • Sedatives

Hives in the throat may obstruct the airway, so any swelling in the throat or difficulty breathing with hives are emergency symptoms.

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