Hives, also known as urticaria, are a common skin condition characterized by the sudden appearance of itchy, raised, and red or white welts or bumps on the skin. Hives can vary in size and shape and may change rapidly in appearance, often migrating to different areas of the body. This condition can be acute (lasting less than six weeks) or chronic (lasting more than six weeks) and is often triggered by various factors, including allergies, medications, stress, and infections.


Allergic reactions to foods, medications, insect stings, or pollen are common triggers for acute hives

Physical factors such as heat, cold, pressure, or sunlight can induce hives in some individuals

Certain medications, including antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and aspirin, can cause hives as a side effect

Infections: Viral or bacterial infections can lead to hives in some cases

Emotional stress or anxiety can sometimes trigger hives


Itching is the primary symptom of hives and can range from mild to severe

Raised, red or white welts or bumps known as wheals can appear on the skin

Swelling may occur, particularly around the eyes and lips.

Variable appearance that can change rapidly in size, shape, and location, often move to other areas in the body

Acute hives typically resolve within hours to a few days, while chronic hives can persist for weeks or months


Antihistamines, identifying known allergies, immune modulators, and stress management are part of the treatment plan. A dermatologist is crucial for a thorough evaluation and tailored treatment plan. A primary care visit may also be required.

If you're dealing with hives, you’re not alone. Our dermatologists and primary care healthcare professionals specializing in skin disorders are here to provide expert guidance and personalized treatment plans.