Hives (urticaria) are red, itchy welts that result from a skin reaction. The welts vary in size and appear and fade repeatedly as the reaction runs its course. The condition is considered chronic hives if the welts appear for more than six weeks and recur frequently over months or years.
Frequently Asked Questions
An allergic reaction is the single most common cause of an outbreak of hives. It can happen to anyone at any time. Some children with allergies seemingly outgrow them, and adults can develop them almost out of nowhere. Food allergies (most commonly an allergy to citrus fruits) will cause hives.
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.
Hives (medically known as urticaria) appear on the skin as wheals that are red, very itchy, smoothly elevated areas of skin often with a blanched center. They appear in varying shapes and sizes, from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter anywhere on the body.