Hives

(Angioedema; Urticaria)

Definition

Hives are small, itchy, red swollen areas on the skin. The swelling occurs singularly or in clusters. Hives tend to fade after a few hours, but new ones can appear. Most cases go away within a few days. However, some last a few weeks or longer.
Hives
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Causes

Hives are often caused when the body releases a chemical called histamine. Histamine is released during an allergic reaction. Many people, though, get hives without being exposed to something they are allergic to.While the cause is unknown in some cases, these factors may cause hives:

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of hives include:
  • Exposure to an allergen—something that causes an allergic reaction
  • Exposure to an allergen that triggered hives in the past

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