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Hives on man's arm.

Hives on man's arm.
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2-minute read

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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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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Hives (Urticaria) | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

What is urticaria? Urticaria is a type of skin rash that has raised lumps (wheals) and is usually very itchy

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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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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, however it may be possible to prevent the swelling with medications. Wheal like swellings on the surface of the skin are called hives (urticaria). Angioedema involves swelling deeper in the tissues. Allergy is a very rarely the cause of isolated angioedema (swelling without any other symptoms).

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Adverse Reactions to Food: Many people associate various symptoms to foods, and while scientific evidence that foods can be harmful is lacking in many cases, there is evidence to support some adverse reactions to foods.

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