What Causes Hives?

Hives are a skin reaction that develops when the body releases histamine. The bumps and raised patches are often red, itchy, and swollen. They may occur in a single location or spread along the body.

What causes hives?

What causes hives can include:

  • An allergic reaction
  • The body’s overreaction to heat, sweat, or cold
  • Stress
  • Sunlight
  • Bug bite
  • Latex
  • Medications
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • A preexisting infection can also trigger hives

How long do hives last?

Hives are usually harmless and temporary. A single hive tends to last a few minutes to a few hours but usually clears up within 24 hours.  

How do you treat hives?

If you have a mild case of hives, it will likely go away in a few days. You can apply a soothing anti-itch lotion or cream and take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl. If your hives last longer than a few days, cover a large area of your body, or are caused by an allergy, it is best to schedule an appointment with your local board-certified dermatologist. Please seek immediate emergent care if you are having problems swallowing, feeling faint, or experiencing swelling.