Hives (Urticaria) are itchy plaques in the skin due to release of histamine. Common triggers include stress, medications, foods, illness, and environmental allergens.


  • Red, raised, patches on skin
  • Intense itching
  • Feeling of heat

An individual hive often goes away within 24 hours but new ones may continue to develop. Individual hives that persist longer than 24 hours or those associated with difficulty breathing may represent a more serious systemic process.



woman scratching elbow covered in hives.


Treatment options include:

  • Oral antihistamines
  • Avoid known triggers, including scratching
  • Application of a cool, wet cloth to the welts can provide some symptomatic relief

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individual scratching back covered in hives.
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