Hives, in medical terms referred to as urticaria, are an outbreak of itchy, pale red lumps or welts that abruptly occur on the skin. They are often red, pink, or flesh-colored and may sting or cause pain. Hives can cause mild to severe itching. Angioedema is the term used to describe the swelling that frequently occurs with hives.

Hives are classified into four types:

Acute Urticaria – Characterized by hives that persist for less than six weeks. Foods, medicines, and infections are the most prevalent reasons. Additionally, insect stings and illnesses may be to blame.

Urticaria Chronica – Hives that persist for longer than six weeks. The reason is typically more difficult to determine than the cause of acute urticaria. For the majority of patients who suffer from chronic urticaria, determining the reason is challenging.

Physical Urticaria – Stimuli trigger hives to the skin, such as cold, heat, sunlight, vibration, pressure, perspiration, or exercise. Hives often develop where the skin was stimulated and seldom arise in other locations. The majority of hives appear within one hour.

Dermatographism – A common kind of physical urticaria in which hives develop in response to vigorous stroking or scratching of the skin. Additionally, these hives can develop in conjunction with other types of urticaria.

The majority of rashes resolve on their own. On the other hand, chronic instances and hives associated with a strong allergic reaction are more serious medical issues.

What is the cause of hives?

Hives are often triggered by an allergic reaction to anything you have come into contact with or ingested. When an allergic reaction occurs, the body begins to produce histamines into the bloodstream.

Histamines are substances produced by your body in response to illness and other external invaders. Unfortunately, histamines can induce swelling, itching, and various other symptoms associated with hives in some people. Hives can be triggered by allergens such as pollen, medicines, food, animal dander, and insect bites.

Hives can be triggered by a variety of factors other than allergies. Hives are not uncommon in response to stress, tight clothing, activity, diseases, or infections. Additionally, hives can form due to prolonged exposure to hot or cold conditions or as a result of discomfort caused by excessive perspiration.

Since there are several potential causes, the exact cause of hives is frequently unknown. Hives can occur on any part of the body; they can change shape, move around, disappear, and return quickly. The duration of symptoms might range from minutes to months – or even years.

Diagnosing Urticaria

If you suspect you have hives, our dermatologist can frequently establish the diagnosis simply by examining your skin. However, determining the source of hives might be difficult. This is particularly true for hives that have persisted for longer than six weeks.

To determine the cause of your skin condition, we will evaluate your medical history, ask questions, and perform a physical examination. Additionally, you may require the following tests:

  • Tests for allergies on the skin or blood tests
  • Blood tests to rule out an illness or infection
  • A biopsy of the skin

A skin biopsy is a procedure where your Buckeye dermatologist takes a small sample of your abnormal skin to examine under a microscope.

Contact Buckeye Dermatology

Contact us soon to schedule an appointment If you have any known or unknown skin issues you are concerned with. Call (602) 754-6075.