What are Hives (urticaria)?

Hives (also known as wheals or welts) are raised, red, itchy regions of skin that can occur as a result of an allergic reaction. Urticaria is the medical name for hives.

Urticaria is sometimes referred to as hives. Hives can come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and they can arise anywhere on your body. They might be minor or severe, and their duration can range from a few minutes to many days.



Hives might be an indication of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic response that requires quick care. Urticaria that lasts longer than six weeks might be a sign of a chronic illness that requires long-term care.

What’s Hives in Kids?

Urticaria (hives) is a rash that appears suddenly on the skin and is red, itchy, and swollen. This illness is frequently caused by an adverse response to particular foods or medications.



The reason of some occurrences is unknown. Hives can range in size from half an inch to several inches. Hives can appear all over the body or only on a specific area.


Hives can be triggered by a variety of factors. Hives in young children are frequently caused by minor viral infections. Before the hives appear, the youngster is usually in good health and has no or few additional symptoms.

Foods, medicines, food and vitamin additives like color dyes, other small diseases like dental infections, and in some cases even exercise, stress, sunshine, ice or other cold objects contacting the skin, or extremely infrequently other underlying conditions can produce hives.

A particular reason for hives can’t be determined in up to a third of instances.



When the immune system reacts improperly to a chemical, illness, or environmental situation, histamine is released into the circulation, resulting in hives. Blood vessels widen as a result of this, allowing fluid to flow into the skin’s middle layers. There are occasions when no reason can be identified.

How do Hives appear?

When touched, hives often appear red and feel elevated. They come in a variety of sizes and forms. They might be localized (limited to a single portion of the body) or dispersed throughout the body.

The hive’s core will become white when squeezed. On darker skin, the redness might be more difficult to perceive, even though it is usually red. Individual hives might be as little as one millimeter in diameter or as large as 6 to 8 inches.

What is their duration?

Hives appear swiftly (in minutes) and go away quickly (in hours). They fade to nothing but scratches from itching until they have disappeared. After the initial hives have vanished, new hives could appear.

The hives will only return for a few days to a few weeks for the majority of people. For months or years, hives may reappear in some people every day or every few days.

Who is responsible for their delivery?

Hives can strike people of any age. Hives affect around one out of every five people at some point in their lives, although only one out of every 100 people may experience bouts lasting more than six weeks.


Urticaria is a condition in which red itchy welts appear and disappear quickly all over the body. Hives are sometimes part of a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.



Anaphylaxis symptoms include:

  1. Breathing problems
  2. Confusion
  3. A fast heartbeat
  4. Lips, tongue, and throat swelling
  5. Wheezing
  6. Speech that is slurred
  7. Confusion
  8. Skin that is bluish (cyanosis)
  9. Feeling light-headed, dizzy, or fainting
  10. Hives and itching all over
  11. Anxiety
  12. Palpitations in the heart
  13. Vomiting and nausea
  14. Diarrhea
  15. Cramping or discomfort in the abdomen
  16. Cough

Who is in danger?

  • Hives can affect persons of various ages, ethnicities, and genders.
  • Acute hives are most prevalent in children and young adults, but chronic hives are more common in women, particularly in their middle years.
  • Hives are quite prevalent, with up to 20% of the population developing them at some time in their life.



Hives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including:

1. Dermatographias

This is a condition that affects 5% of the population. These hives are triggered by caressing or massaging the skin, and they commonly appear after scratching or when wearing tight-fitting clothing.

2. Urticaria cholinergic

Hives that form when the body temperature rises are known as cholinergic urticaria. Warm baths or showers, usage of a jacuzzi or hot tub, exercise, a fever, or mental stress can all cause this. Cholinergic urticaria affects around 5% to 7% of persons with hives.

3. Hives brought on by the cold

Cold-induced hives develop as a result of being exposed to cold air or water. Hives can occur on the arms or legs, as well as any other exposed place. Symptoms on the lips or in the mouth might be triggered by cold water/liquids or frozen foods such as ice cream.

4. Beehives powered by the sun

Solar hives are caused by prolonged exposure to the sun or a sunlamp. Within one to three minutes, a response might develop.

Points to remember

  1. Hives are itchy, elevated patches on the chest, stomach, or back that produce a rash.
  2. Although hives are typically harmless, it’s a good idea to see your child’s doctor.
  3. Children with hives and indications of anaphylaxis should seek medical help right away.
  4. Itching can be relieved with calamine lotion, antihistamines, ice packs, and chilly showers or baths.

What’s the best way to deal with hives?



Normally, no therapy is required. Antihistamines can be used to treat the hives rash if it persists or worsens. Antihistamines are available over-the-counter at pharmacies. If these don’t help, talk to your doctor about taking a stronger medicine.

Hives can continue for weeks or months at a time. If you’ve had hives for more than 6 weeks, you may require further testing to determine if the symptoms are due to an underlying infection or a persistent immunological condition.

If a specific trigger, such as a meal or medication, is causing the hives, you should avoid it.

If your infant develops hives on a regular basis, it’s crucial to consult a doctor since they might be allergic to anything they’re eating often, such as cow’s milk.

What can you do at home to take care of yourself?

  • Avoid whatever you believe is causing your hives, such as a certain meal or medication. You may not, however, be aware of the reason.
  • To ease itching, apply a cold, damp cloth to the region.
  • Don’t use harsh soaps, detergents, or chemicals on your skin. These are known to aggravate irritation.

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