Learn more about Hives
Hives are itchy skin rashes that are usually caused by an allergic reaction. Initially, hives appear as raised, red bumps. Hives can appear anywhere on the body, including the tongue or throat, and they range in size from as small as ¼” to 10”. The duration of an outbreak of hives may be as short as a few hours.
Hives develop when histamines are produced in the body as a reaction. Histamine production causes the tiny blood vessels, known as capillaries, to leak fluid. When the fluid accumulates under the skin, it causes the red bumps that are hives. Hives often itch uncomfortably.
There are several different types of hives, the most common of which include:
- Caused by ingesting certain foods or medication or through infections. Insect bites may also be a cause.
- Chronic urticaria and angioedema: Usually affects internal organs and the exact causes are unknown, except that it is allergy related.
- Physical urticaria: Caused by direct physical stimulation of the skin, such as extreme heat or sun exposure, this form of hives develops in about an hour.
- Dermatographism: Hives formed after aggressive stroking or scratching of the skin.