Hives (Urticaria) Treatment

Hives, also known as urticaria, are red bumps or spots on the skin. It is a type of swelling on the surface of your skin and occurs when your body has an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions occur when your immune system comes into contact with an allergen. Allergens are proteins that are harmless to most people but cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. Hives are usually very itchy. However, it can also cause a burning and stinging sensation. They can be as small as a fingertip or as large as a dinner plate. The medical name for hives is urticaria. Various medications and methods can be used in the treatment of hives. In this article, we have written the details about the treatment of hives for you.

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    How to Treat or Manage Hives?

    Most of the time, hives go away without treatment. However, it can take a long time and reduce your quality of life. There are some medications used to treat hives:

    allergy medications

    Medicines called antihistamines block the effects of histamine. They can be taken orally (by swallowing a pill) or topically (which can be rubbed into the affected skin). Antihistamines relieve itching caused by hives and make allergic reactions go away or become less severe.

    allergy vaccines

    For chronic hives that are difficult to treat, your allergist may prescribe monthly injection medications that block allergic reactions. Allergy vaccines aim to make your body insensitive to the allergen by gradually introducing a small amount of allergen into your body.

    oral steroids

    Some corticosteroids can relieve the symptoms of hives that do not respond to antihistamines or topical steroids.


    Severe acute allergic reactions can lead to a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. Symptoms include hives, swelling of your face, mouth, or throat, shortness of breath, wheezing, vomiting, and low blood pressure. Anaphylaxis is life-threatening, and anyone who has had this type of reaction needs an emergency injection of epinephrine to open up a swollen airway.

    How Can I Prevent Hives?

    Your allergist can use the results of allergy tests to help you understand which substances cause acute hives. Revealing the situation that triggers the hives will make your job easier. Once you know your triggers, you can avoid them. To avoid your triggers, you can:

    • Eliminate certain food products from your diet.
    • Reduce exposure to airborne allergens.
    • Switch to unscented or dye-free detergents and soaps.
    • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
    • Relax and take a break when you are stressed or overworked.
    • Wear loose, light clothing.

    How Long Does It Take for Hives to Go?

    Hives usually tend to improve within a few days to a few weeks. However, chronic hives can last much longer than that. Chronic hives can take months or longer to go away.

    What Causes Hives?

    There are many factors that can cause hives to occur. Some of these reasons are:


    When your immune system sees a substance as dangerous, it reacts to it; This substance is called an allergen. When your body reacts to an allergen, it releases a protein called histamine. Histamine is responsible for allergic symptoms, including hives. If hives occur after touching something you’re allergic to, it’s called contact urticaria. Some allergens that can cause hives include:

    • Some drugs; antibiotics, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs such as aspirin, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, which are drugs for high blood pressure,
    • Some foods; peanuts, shellfish, eggs, other food allergens,
    • Latex,
    • Kiwi, banana, chestnut or mango in people with latex allergy,
    • Some plants, such as nettle, poison ivy, and poison oak
    • Additives in certain foods, cosmetics and other products.

    physical triggers

    A number of physical factors other than allergens can also cause hives:

    • exposure to sunlight,
    • Scratching or rubbing the skin
    • extreme temperatures or changes in temperature,
    • High body temperature due to sweating, exercise, anxiety, or a hot shower
    • Adrenaline, which the body releases during exercise and when exposed to heat or stress,
    • underlying health conditions.
    • Some examples of health conditions that can cause hives include:
    • Viral infections such as the flu, the common cold, glandular fever or hepatitis B
    • Bacterial infections such as some urinary tract infections and sore throat,
    • Some intestinal parasites
    • autoimmune hypothyroidism,
    • Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s disease, celiac disease and type 1 diabetes
    • Any other condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels.

    Types of Hives (Urticaria)

    Acute urticaria means hives that do not last very long (less than six weeks). Chronic urticaria refers to hives that occur at least twice a week for more than six weeks. Chronic, spontaneous urticaria is the name for chronic hives with no obvious cause. Another name for this condition is chronic idiopathic urticaria.

    There is also a condition called physical urticaria or inducible urticaria. These hives can appear when you are in the cold, heat, or sun. Some people respond to vibrations or pressure, exercise, or sweating. Physical hives usually appear within an hour of exposure. This type of hives can also be chronic.

    Who Gets Hives?

    Almost anyone can get hives. If you are someone who reacts to many types of allergens, you may have frequent hives. Other people who don’t react to allergens may have hives one or more times in their lives. There seems to be an association between acute hives and conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis, especially in children. You may also be affected by hives during periods of extreme stress. Having hives in a family member may increase the likelihood of you having hives due to a genetic predisposition.