Hives On Skin: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment!

Bajaj Finserv Health
February 18th, 2022
8 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Hives on skin look like raised and itchy, red bumps that may hurt or sting
  • Hives causes include allergic reactions, physical triggers, health conditions
  • Treatment of hives include medication or natural and home remedies

Hives affect around 15-20% of the population during a lifetime [1]. In medical terms, hives are also known as urticaria. In India, the lifetime prevalence for hives is said to be 7.8% to 22.3%. Of these, almost 4%-33% cases are physical urticaria [2]. Hives on skin appear as raised, itchy rashes that are red or flesh-colored and may sometimes hurt or sting.

Dry Skin itching causes a feeling of discomfort and may interfere with your daily activities. Hives allergy is generally caused by allergic reactions or physical factors including an underlying health condition.

Read on to learn more about hives’ causes, symptoms, types and treatment.

Symptoms of hives on skin

  • Skin lesions on any part of the body that may appear in batches
  • The lesions may be red, pink, or skin colored and cause itching
  • When pressed, the color of the hive may fade or turn white
  • The welts can either be ring-shaped or random
  • They may also grow larger, spread, or change shape
  • The size of lesions vary between a pinprick to several inches across
  • The bumps or lesions may usually disappear in 24 hours but may reappear 
  • Instead of bumps you may see blotches, thin raised lines, or tiny spots

Additional Read:  Skincare Tips for Treatment!

Symptoms of hives on skin

Causes of hives on skin

Hives can develop as an allergic response to various triggers or due to some physical condition or health condition. In some cases, the reason for you to get hives may be unclear. The following are the most common hives causes diagnosed by doctors. 

  • Allergic reactions

When your body reacts to an allergen, it may cause hives. Such reactions occur when you touch or eat something that you are allergic to. This is when your body releases histamine and the capillaries leak fluid. The fluid accumulates in your skin and causes inflammation as well as a rash. 

Hives caused by an allergic reaction is known as contact urticaria. Some common allergens that may cause hives are

  • Medicines
  • Latex
  • Fruits such as banana, kiwi, mango, or chestnut
  • Plants like poison ivy, poison oak, or nettles
  • Food allergy like eggs, nuts, or seafood
  • Physical factors

Apart from allergies there are also some physical factors that may trigger hives. These triggers are

  • Exposure to sun light or UV rays from a tanning bed
  • Changes in temperatures or extreme temperatures
  • Adrenaline released during heat exposure, stress, or exercise can lead to stress hives
  • Rubbing, scratching, or pressure on the skin
  • Health conditions

Underlying health issues are also one of the common hives causes. These conditions may be

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Autoimmune hypothyroidism
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Other autoimmune conditions
  • Conditions that may cause blood vessel inflammation

 tips for hives prevention

Types of hives on skin


It is a severe allergic reaction in which hives usually accompany nausea, vomit, swelling, breathing issues, and dizziness. 


A form of acute hives, this is a mild condition caused by scratching and pressure on the skin. It usually goes away on its own and may not require medical treatment.

Chronic hives

Also known as chronic urticaria, these are recurring and don’t have an identifiable cause. These usually last over 6 weeks. They may also be a sign of underlying conditions such as type 1 diabetes, celiac, or lupus. 

Temperature-induced hives

If you are sensitive to temperature changes, you may experience this type of hives. Depending on the temperature you are exposed to, you may experience cold-induced hives, solar hives, or exercise-induced hives

Infection-induced hives

Bacterial or viral infection may also lead to hives. Common infections that may cause it are strep throat, urinary tract infection, and colds. Mononucleosis and hepatitis viruses can also be the reasons for these hives to form. 

Allergic hives

Caused by an allergic reaction, this type is usually treated with allergy medicines and avoiding the triggers. Common allergens are foods, pollen, dust mites, medication, insect bites, or pet dander.

Additional Read: What is Cold Urticaria

Treatment for hives

The best way to treat hives is to identify and treat the trigger that caused it. Depending on the cause and the types, you may get one or a combination of the following as a treatment.

Over the counter options such as

  • Medicines like Prednisone, leukotriene-receptor antagonists, omalizumab, dapsone
  • Antihistamines such as fexofenadine, cetirizine, loratadine
  • Calamine lotion to relieve itching
  • Benadryl to reduce itching, rash, and other symptoms

Home and natural remedies for relief from hives are

  • Using witch hazel or aloe vera
  • Cold compress or bath with anti-itch solution
  • Avoiding products and factors that irritate the skin and increase your body temperature

Although hives go away on their own in most cases, you can take allergy medications to ease the problem. But, if you have chronic hives or severe allergic reactions, it is best to seek medical attention. In rare cases, such chronic skin rashes cause further complications. If you have hives, allergy or any other health condition, book an online consultation from the comfort of your home on Bajaj Finserv Health. Get in touch with health experts on the platform for the best skincare tips.

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