Hives are welts or raised bumps on the skin that are usually itchy. They can be due to an allergic reaction to something you had contact with or ate.
Hives (itchy, red welts) usually occur as a result of an immune reaction in the body. The hives may be on one small section of the body or they can be more widespread. A hive typically turns white (blanches) when you press on its center. In many cases, the cause of hives is unknown. Some of the common causes of hives due to an allergy include:
Some causes of hives that are not due to an allergy include:
It can be very difficult, even for a trained healthcare provider, to determine the exact cause of many cases of hives.
Hives may not occur the first time a person is exposed to a substance they are allergic to. Treatment is based on removing the source when possible, decreasing symptoms and monitoring for and treating severe reactions.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you develop hives. Before seeing your healthcare provider, make a list of items you've come in contact before you noticed the hives. This can help identify potential causes.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
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