Hives, also called urticaria, are raised itchy or stinging bumps or welts that may be red or flesh-toned but turn white when pressed. They are an acute condition, which means they may be sudden and severe, and cover large patches of the body. They may also seem to “move” from one part of the body to another, and sometimes, they disappear as quickly as they came.

What causes it?

  • A recent viral or bacterial infection
  • Certain medicines or foods
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Heat, cold, exercise, or sun exposure
  • Latex allergies
  • Blood transfusions
  • Poison ivy, oak, sumac
  • Pollen allergies
  • Pet dander allergies

What is the treatment?

Your dermatologist can treat your hives with antihistamines and steroids, both of which encourage your immune system to calm down and relieve symptoms.

If allergies are causing your hives, the best treatment is prevention. Your dermatologist may refer you to an allergist, who can use tests to help identify your allergens. Avoiding allergens can help you prevent the recurrence of hives.

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