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Hives on man's arm.

Hives on man's arm.
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What is hives?

Hives (also known as 'urticaria' or 'nettle rash'), is a skin rash that can be triggered by a variety of things including allergic reactions, medicines and heat. Sometimes the trigger is unknown.

The rash is caused when the body produces a substance called histamine, which is a protein used to fight off viruses and bacteria.

The common symptoms include a raised, bumpy red rash, with the bumps often looking more like normal skin colour, that is often quite itchy. The raised areas of skin are known as weals, which often fade after a few hours but can sometimes reappear elsewhere on the body.

Hives treatment

The symptoms will usually disappear after a few days but if they continue or get worse they can be treated by taking antihistamines. You can buy antihistamines over-the-counter at pharmacies.

Sometimes hives can last for a long time. If you have hives for more than 6 weeks you might need more medicines.

If your baby gets hives repeatedly, it's important to see your doctor, as your baby may be allergic to something they are being fed frequently, such as cow's milk.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your hives, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: August 2017

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Hives (Urticaria) | myVMC

Hives, or the medical term Urticaria is a common allergic reaction on the skin

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Urticaria (hives) -

Urticaria, which is also known as hives, is an itchy rash or skin eruption that usually only lasts from 24 to 48 hours.

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Urticaria - ACD

Urticaria is a skin condition commonly known as hives. It produces an itchy rash that tends to come and go and can last for a variable period of time.

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Papular urticaria - ACD

Papular urticaria is a term used to describe hypersensitivity or an allergic reaction to insect bites manifested by recurrent and persistent itchy lumps or fluid filled blisters.

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Hives or urticaria in children & teenagers | Raising Children Network

If your child has raised white, pink or red spots that form an itchy rash, it might be hives or urticaria. Its a good idea to take your child to the GP.

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Hives (Urticaria) | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

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Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Hives

Hives, which is also called urticaria, is a very itchy rash. It is sometimes caused by an infection and sometimes by an allergy to something (such as some foods), but often no cause is found. Many people get hives at some time in their life, but only a few have major trouble with it.

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Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Food allergy - easy read

Allergicreactions can include: skin reactions (eczema, hives, swelling of the face), tummy reactions (pain and vomiting, diarrhoea)andanaphylaxis.Anaphylaxis is a severe and life threatening allergy.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Angioedema - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Angioedema is a condition in which small blood vessels leak fluid into the tissues, causing swelling. There is no known cure, but it may be possible to prevent the swelling with medications or occasionally diet. Allergy is a very rare cause of angioedema.

Read more on ASCIA – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website

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Alzene Tablets - Consumer Medicines Information leaflets of prescription and over-the-counter medicines

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