Pin Me

Medical Information on Hives Caused By Allergies

written by: CoDayDreamer • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 11/10/2010

Approximately 10 to 20% of the population will have this condition at some point in their life. Find medical info on hives due to allergies, including the causes, prevention and treatment of hives, also known as urticaria.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Overview

    Important medical info on hives due to allergies includes the appearance, causes, prevention and treatment options. Hives, also known as urticaria, appear on the skin as numerous red welts that cause itchiness. The intensity of itchiness can vary from low to severe. The size of hives can vary and its appearance can change while present. There is no set time frame that hives will stay on the skin. It is possible for the welts to disappear and reappear minutes or hours later.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Causes

    Hives commonly occur as a result of an allergic reaction to the following:

    • Food - common hive causing foods are milk, nuts, egg, fish and berries
    • Insect bites
    • Animal dander
    • Pollen
    • Medications - including over-the-counter and prescription medications

    Hives can also occur from physical or environmental factors, including:

    • Stress
    • Vibration
    • Pressure
    • Infection
    • Extreme sun or cold exposure
    • Excessive perspiration

    A medical professional may do skin or blood tests to confirm an allergic reaction and to identify what substance caused the allergic reaction.

    The exact cause of hives in many cases cannot be identified.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Prevention

    If the cause of hives is determined, an individual should avoid this cause. If it is a food, it is important to read the label of products carefully to verify that the hive triggering substance is not contained as an ingredient.

    If the cause of hives has not been determined, an individual should further try to determine the cause. To help determine the cause it is important to keep track of environmental, physical and dietary information on a daily basis. With this information, an individual or medical personnel may notice a pattern of the appearance of hives.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Treatment

    In mild cases, the hives normally disappear on their own and treatment is not necessary. To help relieve the symptoms of swelling and itching, you can:

    • take an antihistamine
    • wear loose fitting clothing
    • avoid taking hot baths and showers.

    If hives are the symptom of an allergic reaction, there may be other symptoms that can be life-threatening. These include tightness in your throat, face or tongue swelling, wheezing, shortness of breath and fainting. If this occurs medical treatment should be sought immediately.

    This medical info on hives due to allergies is intended to be used for informational purposes only. As with any medical condition, a medical professional should be consulted to further evaluate any medical concerns or symptoms. Often the signs for one condition may be similar or identical to another. A medical professional will be able to determine the condition, prevention and treatment of a condition.

  • slide 5 of 5

    References

    MedLine Plus: Hives - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hives.html

    American Academy of Dermatology: Urticaria - http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/skin_urticaria.html

    MedLine Plus: Hives - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000845.htm